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Edgar Rosenberg (September 21, 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.

Edgar Rosenberg
BornSeptember 21, 1925[1]
DiedAugust 14, 1987(1987-08-14) (aged 61)
Cause of deathSuicide by prescription drug overdose
Alma materRugby School
Cambridge University
OccupationFilm producer, television producer
Years active1964–1987
Joan Rivers (m. 1965)
ChildrenMelissa Rivers

Early lifeEdit

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]

As a co-founder of the nonprofit Telsun Foundation production company affiliated with the United Nations, he helped to develop a series of television films promoting the United Nations, one of which (The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966)) was also released to theaters as a feature film.[4][6][7] His other television credits included the 1950s U.S. educational TV series Omnibus[5] and the short-lived 1970s sitcom Husbands, Wives & Lovers, which was created by his wife, Joan Rivers.

In the 1970s, he produced the feature film Rabbit Test (1978), written and directed by Rivers.[8] He served as Rivers' 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][9]

Personal life and deathEdit

Rosenberg married comedian and commentator Joan Rivers in July 1965 five 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,[10] Rosenberg committed suicide by overdosing on prescription drugs in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hotel room. He had been clinically depressed, which Rivers believed was brought on by medication he had been taking since a heart attack in 1984.[11][12] Nancy Reagan was the first person to telephone Rivers upon Rosenberg's death, and arranged for his body to be moved from Philadelphia.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b c Ron Avery, "Rivers' Edgar Takes Life: Depressed By Illness, Rosenberg Downs Valium Overdose" Archived 2013-04-11 at, 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. ^ Hadley, Mitchell. "The UN Goes to the Movies". TVparty!. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  7. ^ Lowry, Cynthia (1966-04-22). "Based on Ian Fleming Outline: Spy Story On Narcotics Traffic Ready To Show". The Reporter. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Associated Press (AP). p. 10. Retrieved 2016-01-01 – via
  8. ^ Verswijver, Leo (2003). 'Movies Were Always Magical': Interviews With 19 Actors, Directors and Producers From the Hollywood of the 1930s Through the 1950s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 130. ISBN 0-7864-1129-5.
  9. ^ Associated Press, "Edgar Rosenberg, 62; Producer, Husband of Comedian Joan Rivers," The Boston Globe, August 15, 1987 Online at Highbeam; subscription required.
  10. ^ Marjorie Rosen, "The Rivers Run Together", People, June 21, 1993.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "The Night the Laughter Stopped: Joan Rivers Talks About the Hope and Despair of Husband Edgar's Brush With Death", People, December 10, 1984.
  13. ^ Marylouise Oates, "Fawn Hall Signs with Superagent", Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1987, retrieved October 19, 2014.
  14. ^ Tim Teeman, "Joan Rivers: Our Last Interview", The Daily Beast, September 4, 2014, retrieved October 19, 2014.

External linksEdit