Melissa Rivers is an American TV host, producer, and actress. Her show biz career received a boost thanks to her late mother the legendary comedian Joan Rivers. Melissa and her mum collaborated on numerous endeavors notably E!’s “Fashion Police” as well as Live From The Red Carpet interviews with celebrities. Upon Joan’s death in September, 2014, Melissa inherited approximately $100 million of her mother’s estate including $75 million in cash. Thanks to that inheritance, Melissa Rivers has a net worth estimated at over $100 million.
Melissa Rivers Net Worth: How She Began
She was born Melissa Rosenberg on January 20, 1968 in Manhattan, New York. She became the first and only child between comedian Joan Rivers and producer Edgar Rosenberg. Melissa’s passion for entertainment became evident at the age of 8 when she began taking dancing classes. At 10 years old, she made her feature-film debut in “Rabbit Test” (1978) a comedy film about the word’s first pregnant man, written and directed by her mother, Joan.
Melissa honed her acting skills under the tutelage of legendary teacher Sanford Meisner. Also as a youngster, she became an accomplished equestrienne.
Unfortunately, in 1987, Melissa at the age of 18 lost her father, Edgar Rosenberg who took his own life by overdosing on prescription drugs. Melissa earned a BA in European History from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, in 1989. In 1990, three years after her father’s death, Melissa adopted her mother’s surname “Rivers.”
Melissa Rivers Net Worth: Professional Career
After working as a correspondent for CBS This Morning, Melissa began taking up roles in TV shows such as “Beverly Hills”, “90210”, and “Hangin’ With MTV”. In 1994, Melissa and her mother played themselves in celebrity docudrama entitled “Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story” (1994). The TV movie was about how they both coped after Edgar Rosenberg’s death.
In 1995, Melissa and her mom landed a deal with E! television to co-host pre show red-carpet programmes where they interviewed celebrities. By the late 90s, the duo began writing an advice column for McCall’s magazine.
In between her duties, Melissa remained active in acting, starring in shows and movies like Men in White (1998), Silk Stalkings (1999), and The Big Tease (1999). In 2003, Melissa and her mom left E! for TV GUIDE thanks to a more lucrative deal valued at about $8 million. However, E! later won them back in 2010 the same year Fashion Police premiered.
Other Melissa-Joan collaborations include “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” a reality TV series that chronicled their daily lives which aired on WE tv for 4 seasons from 2011 – 2012. Next up was “In Bed with Joan” a weekly internet and television talk show filmed from Joan’s bed as they get personal with numerous celebrities from Kathy Griffin to Carmen Electra. The show aired 72 episodes for a year between 2013 and 2014.
Melissa Rivers Net Worth: Inheritance And Recent Endeavors
After Joan died in September 2014 from a routine throat procedure gone bad, her will named Melissa as the executor of her $150 million estate. Melissa reportedly received $75 million in cash as well as her mom’s opulent Manhattan apartment valued at $35 million, bringing her total inheritance to over $100 million.
Joan also left a piece of her estate to her grand son, Edgar Cooper Endicott (b. 2000) whom Melissa had from her previous marriage to horse trainer John Endicott.
In addition to show business, Joan made a bulk of her fortune from her QVC fashion line which brought in $40 million annually and profits of over $1 billion within 24 years.
Melissa later filled a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and doctors who operated on her mom. She blamed her mom’s death on “medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect, and outrageous behavior”. Both parties reached an undisclosed settlement sometime in 2016.
As the sole executor of her mother’s estate, Melissa had access to all of her tangible properties. In June 2016, she put up over 200 lots of her mom’s treasured possessions for auction at Christie’s. About 80 other lots mostly handbags and costumes were auctioned online and included designers such as Fabergé, Oscar de la Renta, Cartier, and Harry Winston. A bulk of the proceeds from the auction were donated to two charities; “God’s Love We Deliver” and “Guide Dogs for the Blind.”
However, it wasn’t the first time Melissa was donating huge sums to charity. In the past she has donated proceeds from her reality TV show appearances to charity. For example the $100,000 she won for coming 2nd place in “I’m a Celebrity—Get Me Out of Here” was donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Another $50,000 earned from Celebrity Family Feud was given to Guide Dogs for the Blind while $22,250 earned from the celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was donated to the of research of Alzheimer’s disease.
Like her mother, Melissa also owns a jewelry line that has been featured on QVC. Taking after her mother, she is now the executive producer and host of E!’s Fashion Police. She also continues to earn as an actress— she appeared as Joan Rivers in J Law’s 2016 movie “Joy”. Though not as prolofic as her mom, Melissa has managed to pen a couple of books including; “Red Carpet Ready: Secrets for Making the Most of Any Moment You’re in the Spotlight.” and “The Book of Joan.”