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The legendary comedian was known for being brutally honest, but many aspects of Joan Rivers’ life never went public until her tragic death. From her epic feuds to her daily habits, these are the most surprising facts about Rivers, including the details behind her unexpected death (page 10).

1. Joan Rivers wasn’t her real name

Joan Rivers poses for a portrait
Actress Joan Rivers in 1987 | Harry Langdon/GettyImages

The star was actually born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, but like many other celebrities, she adopted a more Hollywood-friendly moniker. “Joan Rivers” wasn’t her only alias! When she did stand-up she went by Pepper January.

Next: Johnny Carson launched her career — and then hung up on her.