Joan Rivers' Manager Breaks Silence on Her Death

Eighteen months after the comedy legend died, Larry Thompson tells THR why he waited: "I thought no one could speak better for Joan than her daughter."
Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Joan Rivers

A version of this story first appeared in the March 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Veteran manager-producer Larry Thompson, 71, worked closely with Joan Rivers for nearly a decade, but he hasn't spoken publicly about her since her tragic death at age 81 in September 2014.

During an interview with THR to mark his just-announced induction into the Personal Managers Hall of Fame, Thompson explains why he waited. "I thought no one could better speak for Joan than her daughter, Melissa, who has represented her in a most elegant way," he says. "Now, looking back over it, not only did Joan possess impeccable comedic timing but she had perfect legacy timing — she died at the height of her long and lustrous career."

What was it really like to work with the legendary talent?

"I always felt like representing Joan you had to dress fashionably, be very sharp and funny and have plenty of energy just to stay ahead of the curve with her," he admits. "I think she respected me, and I loved her."

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