Edgar Rosenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Edgar Rosenberg
Born c. 1925[1]
Bremerhaven, Germany
Died August 14, 1987 (aged 62)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of death
Suicide by prescription drug overdose
Nationality British[2]
Occupation Film and TV producer
Spouse(s) Joan Rivers (July 1965 – August 14, 1987; his death)

Edgar Rosenberg (c. 1925[1] – August 14, 1987) was a German-born British[2] film and television producer based in the US. He was married to American comedian Joan Rivers.

Early life[edit]

Edgar Rosenberg was born to Jewish parents in Bremerhaven in 1925.[1][3] When he was a small boy, his family emigrated from Germany to Denmark and then South Africa in order to escape the Nazis.[4] He was educated in England at Rugby School and Cambridge University.[4][5]


Rosenberg moved to the United States as a young man and rose to become an assistant to Emanuel Sacks, vice president of entertainment at NBC, but was fired during a year of recovery from a traffic accident and had to work as a night clerk in a bookstore.[4] In the 1960s, he worked for the public relations firm run by Anna M. Rosenberg (to whom he was not related) and was a valued news source for journalists.[5] His production company, Telsun Foundations, affiliated with the United Nations, was responsible for five feature films, including The Poppy is Also a Flower,[4] and his television credits included the 1950s US series Omnibus[5] and Husbands, Wives & Lovers.

He served as his wife's manager for most of their marriage and was a producer on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, on the newly formed Fox Television Network.[4][5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Rosenberg married comedian and commentator Joan Rivers in July 1965 four days after hiring her to work with him in Jamaica rewriting a screenplay for a joint movie deal with his friend Peter Sellers.[4][5] The couple had one daughter, Melissa Rivers.

In August 1987, several months after Fox fired Rivers, and shortly after Rivers and he had separated,[7] Rosenberg committed suicide by overdosing on prescription drugs in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hotel room. He had been suffering from clinical depression, which Joan Rivers believed was brought on by medication he had been taking since suffering a heart attack in 1984.[8][9] Nancy Reagan was the first person to telephone Rivers upon Rosenberg's death, and arranged for his body to be moved from Philadelphia.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c Ron Avery, "Rivers' Edgar Takes Life: Depressed By Illness, Rosenberg Downs Valium Overdose", Philadelphia Daily News, August 15, 1987.
  2. ^ a b Associated Press, "Comedian Joan Rivers dead at 81", The Citizens' Voice, September 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Josh Meyer, United Press International, "Joan Rivers' Husband said Suicide,", Schenectady Gazette, August 14, 1987.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Richard Meryman, "Joan Mourns Edgar," People, August 31, 1987.
  5. ^ a b c d e Nikki Finke, "Edgar Rosenberg: The Public Ending of a Private Life : Suicide of Rivers' Husband Came Without a Warning", Los Angeles Times, August 20, 1987. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Associated Press, "Edgar Rosenberg, 62; Producer, Husband of Comedian Joan Rivers," The Boston Globe, August 15, 1987 Online at Highbeam; subscription required.
  7. ^ Marjorie Rosen, "The Rivers Run Together", People, June 21, 1993.
  8. ^ Joan Rivers, Bouncing Back: I've Survived Everything... and I Mean Everything... and You Can Too!, New York: Harper Collins, 1997, ISBN 0-06-017821-3, pp. 11–19.
  9. ^ "The Night the Laughter Stopped: Joan Rivers Talks About the Hope and Despair of Husband Edgar's Brush With Death", People, December 10, 1984.
  10. ^ Marylouise Oates, "Fawn Hall Signs with Superagent", Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1987, retrieved October 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Tim Teeman, "Joan Rivers: Our Last Interview", The Daily Beast, September 4, 2014, retrieved October 19, 2014.

External links[edit]