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Celebrities, Fans Remember Joan Rivers As Trailblazer At Her Funeral

More than 500 people gathered to pay their respects to the comedian. Howard Stern, who delivered the eulogy, called Rivers his "hero."

Posted on September 7, 2014, at 2:46 p.m. ET

People gather behind police barricades outside of the funeral of Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York on Sept. 7.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

People gather behind police barricades outside of the funeral of Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York on Sept. 7.

Joan Rivers once said that she wanted her funeral to be "a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action."

"I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents," she wrote in her 2012 book.

While it's not clear if Streep made that dream come true, Rivers's funeral took place on Sunday and was indeed an A-list affair.

Many stars came out to pay their respects, including Howard Stern, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donald Trump, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Kelly Osbourne and Barbara Walters.

Whoopi Goldberg arrives to attend the funeral.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Whoopi Goldberg arrives to attend the funeral.

The ceremony began around 11 a.m. The New York Times described the affair:

Inside, white gardenias lined the front of the synagogue as an organist played classical music. Shortly before 11 a.m., the New York City Gay Men's Chorus began to sing several songs, including "What a Wonderful World," "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" and "Big Spender."

Actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker depart the service.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker depart the service.

Speeches and tributes were given by TV anchor Deborah Norville, friend Margie Stern, writer Cindy Adams and Rivers' daughter, Melissa, who spoke "about how she respected her mother and appreciated everyone's support," the Associated Press reported.

Audra McDonald perfomed, "Smile" and later, Hugh Jackman sang ''Quiet Please, There's a Lady On Stage'' to close out the service.

Kelly Osbourne arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers.
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Kelly Osbourne arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers.

Howard Stern delivered the eulogy, telling those gathered "She was my hero," according to reports.

The Daily News reported that Stern said, "I hope Joan is somewhere right now chasing Johnny Carson with a baseball bat." Carson and Rivers famously fell out when she became a late-night talk show on the Fox network.

Rivers, well regarded as a visionary comedian who paved the way for female stand-ups, died on Thursday from complications from an operation.

Radio host Howard Stern arrives with wife Beth Ostrosky.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Radio host Howard Stern arrives with wife Beth Ostrosky.

After the ceremony, bagpipers marched outside the temple while guests exited.

Bagpipers march from the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers.
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Bagpipers march from the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers.

Fans and supporters lined the streets outside the Temple Emanu-El on New York City's Upper East Side.

Mourners depart the funeral.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Mourners depart the funeral.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Flowers, cards, and presents were left for the legendary comedian and her family.

Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Her daughter and frequent collaborator, Melissa Rivers, said that while her death was devastating, her mother’s “final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Melissa Rivers, the daughter of Joan Rivers, and her son Cooper depart the funeral of her mother.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Melissa Rivers, the daughter of Joan Rivers, and her son Cooper depart the funeral of her mother.

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