Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa says goodbye

Melissa Rivers and her son Cooper bid farewell to Joan Rivers as her body leaves the Frank Campbell funeral home.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI Melissa Rivers and her son Cooper bid farewell to Joan Rivers as her body leaves the Frank Campbell funeral home. Pallbearrs bring the 81-year-old's casket out of the funeral home.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI Pallbearrs bring the 81-year-old’s casket out of the funeral home. The late comedienne will be cremated ahead of her funeral.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI The late comedienne will be cremated ahead of her funeral.
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Melissa Rivers, her eyes behind dark sunglasses and her son’s hand on her shoulder, delivered a final kiss to mom Joan one day before the comedian’s star-studded funeral.

A teary Melissa trailed her mother’s mahogany casket to a waiting hearse outside the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home before the 81-year-old “Fashion Police” star was taken Saturday to a New Jersey crematorium.

Joan Rivers’ only child, in a black dress and long necklace, then leaned into the back of the vehicle to kiss her mother’s casket after six dark-suited pallbearers brought the body out.

Melissa’s son, Cooper, wearing a black blazer, white shirt and tie, stood alongside Melissa with his left hand resting gently on his mother’s shoulder.

And then the moment was gone for the mother and daughter — forever linked in the public eye.

Rivers' daughter and grandson lean in to say goodbye.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI Rivers’ daughter and grandson lean in to say goodbye. The pair look emotional after the farewell.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI The pair look emotional after the farewell. Melissa and Cooper stand with the pallbearers before the hearse sets off.JB NICHOLAS for the NEW YORK DAI Melissa and Cooper stand with the pallbearers before the hearse sets off.
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Melissa stood with her hand on 13-year-old Cooper’s shoulder and his hand on her forearm before the casket — partially covered by a blanket of white flowers — drove away.

The cremation came one day before a funeral service for Rivers, who died Thursday afternoon after she was taken off life-support.

Rivers had often joked about a high-wattage Hollywood sendoff, and it appeared she might get her wish.

The Sunday afternoon service for Rivers was rumored to feature a pair of megastars: Hugh Jackman and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald.

Comedian Joan Rivers' death is being investigated by the city Medical Examiner and the state Health Department.MOLLY RILEY /REUTERS Comedian Joan Rivers’ death is being investigated by the city Medical Examiner and the state Health Department.

Actor Jackman would reportedly close out the private service, while McDonald would perform a song, a source close to Rivers told the Daily News.

Rivers was a huge fan of the theater, both on Broadway and off.

“She loved live performance,” a friend said in explaining the choices of Jackman and McDonald.

Among those expected to speak at Temple Emanu-El on the East Side was Rivers’ friend Margie Stern. But few other details about the service leaked out, including the guest list.

The entrance to the synagogue will include a red carpet, an homage to her sometimes brutal critiques of celebrity outfits at major award shows.

Dozens of comedic colleagues flooded Twitter with kudos for Rivers’ career following her death.

Melissa Rivers, hand-in-hand with Cooper, exited her mom’s East Side apartment building Saturday around 10 a.m.

They were accompanied by Joan’s assistant, Jocelyn Picket, before climbing into a waiting black Cadillac Escalade and heading to the Madison Ave. funeral home.

Melissa reiterated that the outpouring of condolences and accolades for her mother was “amazing” before heading off.

When she returned home more than an hour later, Rivers went back inside without saying a word. A picture of mother and daughter remained near the top of Joan’s website Saturday.

The city medical examiner and the state Health Department are both investigating the circumstances surrounding Rivers’ death. An autopsy was inconclusive pending further tests.

The free-wheeling funny lady did an hour of standup comedy at a small Manhattan club just 13 hours before a routine Aug. 28 doctor’s visit at an Upper East Side clinic.

She was in a medically induced coma that same night, never regained consciousness and died at Mount Sinai Hospital eight days later.

Fans turned out in droves at Rivers’ home to deliver bouquets of flowers, leave cards and reminisce about the Brooklyn-born star.

Rivers, whose first big break came in a 1965 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” shifted from standup comedy to talk show host to fashion critic and author across her career.

lmcshane@nydailynews.com

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