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Joan Rivers: Hollywood mourns a friend

By Breeanna Hare and Dorrine Mendoza, CNN
updated 7:51 PM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
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Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
Joan Rivers: In her own words
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Legendary comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday at age 81
  • Whoopi Goldberg tweeted, "There are no words"
  • Billy Eichner called her "a constant source of encouragement"

(CNN) -- The death of Joan Rivers on Thursday left some in Hollywood nearly speechless.

"My friend Joan Rivers has passed away," Whoopi Goldberg tweeted Thursday as news spread that Rivers had died at 81. "Once again to quote Billy Crystal ... There are no words."

Another comedian, Chris Rock, shared the sentiment. How do you put into words what one woman meant to so many or capture completely -- and in 140 characters, no less -- her incredible legacy?

Whoopi Goldberg: 'There are no words'

There's "too much to say," as comedian Billy Eichner put it. "A constant source of encouragement for me years before anyone else gave a damn. A full and fabulous life. Love you, Joan."

At the time of her death, Rivers was an active presence in Hollywood, from TV to the red carpet to the stage. The reactions describe a woman who was respected for her groundbreaking comedy and adored for her kindness.

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