In a message taped before his suicide, Edgar Rosenberg, the husband of comedian Joan Rivers, said ill health made him feel like a burden to people close to him, Philadelphia police said yesterday. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, friends and family members attended a memorial service where he was eulogized as a man who deeply loved his family.

In one of three recordings made before his death Friday, producer Rosenberg also cited "possible business problems," said Sgt. Edward Geigert.

The tapes, found in Rosenberg's room at a downtown Philadelphia hotel, were addressed to his wife, his daughter Melissa and Thomas B. Pileggi, his business manager and a prominent Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, real estate developer.

"Basically, the content was that he was describing his health and business and he was despondent," Geigert said. "He just felt he was a burden and couldn't go on."

One investigator said Rosenberg "kept using the term that he was tired of being a 'clogged wheel.' "

Known to many from his wife's monologues, Rosenberg also said ill health made travel difficult and that he especially regretted not being able to travel with his wife.

An autopsy determined that the 62-year-old producer died of an overdose of sedatives.

"Edgar has left us a wonderful legacy -- one life and career he nurtured with ardent devotion, another he raised with unbounded love," actor Roddy McDowall said in a eulogy to the celebrity-filled Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles yesterday.

Mourners included Milton Berle, Rose Marie, Angie Dickinson, Melissa Gilbert, Howie Mandel, Jon Voight, Bea Arthur, Tony Franciosa, Cher and Nancy Walker.

Actor Vincent Price told the gathering that Rosenberg was a rare friend.

"This isn't a town and ours isn't a profession where one counts friends on both hands. One will do. And when you lose one of those fingers you feel you begin to lose your grip on life. Edgar was one of those friends. His loss diminishes our lives," Price said.

Rivers, dressed in black and obviously distraught, arrived at the temple in a limousine with her daughter. After the 45-minute service of prayers in English and Hebrew, mother and daughter left hand in hand.

Berle was asked how Rivers would be able to continue her career.

"That's the business," Berle said. "You learn to cover up the inner feelings when the spotlight hits you. You hear the first laugh and you're rolling. When the lights go down, you're yourself again."

A spokesman for Rivers said Friday that Rosenberg had been "greatly depressed" by his poor health. In recent weeks he had been hospitalized in Ireland for gastrointestinal bleeding. In October 1984 he suffered a heart attack requiring quadruple bypass surgery.

On Friday, Philadelphia police listened to the tape intended for Pileggi in his presence and then transferred all three cassettes to the medical examiner's office.

"There was enough on the one tape to satisfy the medical examiner {that the death was a suicide}," Geigert said.

Geigert said Pileggi wept at Rosenberg's instructions to personally deliver the two tapes to Rivers and his daughter.

"He broke down," Geigert said. "He was his friend."

The officer who was present heard only parts of the tape and could not provide additional information about its contents.

Investigators said they found at Rosenberg's bedside an empty bottle of Valium, filled in July for Rivers, and a bottle containing Librium pills.

Also on the table were empty miniature scotch and cognac bottles, a half-empty glass containing what was believed to be liquor, and photographs of his wife and of a young woman thought to be their daughter.

"Everything was very neat except the immediate area where he might have fallen off the bed," Geigert said.

During a telephone conversation the night before, Pileggi realized Rosenberg was depressed, but Rosenberg "promised him he wouldn't do anything rash," Geigert said. "Pileggi was convinced he had talked him out of {it}." Pileggi called hotel security when he could not reach Rosenberg in the morning.

Rosenberg shared millions of dollars of real estate holdings in the area with his wife and had been in the city for meetings since Tuesday.

The producer, who managed his wife's career during most of their 22-year marriage, was most recently involved in her ill-fated appearance on Fox Broadcasting Co.'s "The Late Show."

As coexecutive producer of the show, Rosenberg was ordered by Fox Broadcasting President Jamie Kellner in April to stay out of the program's daily operations.

Rivers was taken off the show about one month later, in May, as ratings continued to decline.