Melissa Rivers Speaks Publicly about Her Late Mother Joan Rivers

"My mother was fearless," Melissa Rivers said at the Women in Entertainment luncheon in Hollywood

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty

Two months after the sudden passing of her mother Joan Rivers, daughter Melissa spoke publicly Wednesday about her loss..

“My mother was fearless,” said Rivers, 46, who was met with a standing ovation at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2014 Women in Entertainment breakfast at Milk Studios in Los Angeles.

Dressed in a pale pink dress, Melissa Rivers sweetly recalled her mother’s legacy during a tribute to the comedienne, who died at 81.

“She was willing to say what others were thinking. She thought of herself as a comic and had to be funnier than everyone else. She just wanted to do her job and that was to make people laugh.”

“If my mother were here this morning she would not only be grateful and proud but she would be beyond herself,” Melissa added. “On behalf of my mother, thank you so, so much for this wonderful honor.”

The legendary comedian, who passed away in New York Sept. 4 following a routine outpatient procedure, was honored at the Hollywood event by Sarah Silverman, who introduced a video tribute that featured Melissa Rivers saying “I’m going to keep going. It was what I was taught to do.”

“Anyone who knew Joan knew she only had one true love and that was her daughter Melissa,” Silverman said. “She left us unfinished.”

Angelina Jolie, who directed the upcoming World War II drama Unbroken, also made a surprise appearance at the event.

In addition, TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes received THR’s Sherry Lansing Award, which recognizes industry pioneers and leaders. Scholarship were also given to 18 inner-city girls who participate in THR’s Mentorship Program, which pairs girls with leading figures from the entertainment industry.

The Women in Entertainment breakfast, sponsored by Audi, Gucci, Lifetime, Roberto Coin and Loyola Marymount, is held to coincide with the publication of THR‘s annual Women in Entertainment: Power 100 list.

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