PHILADELPHIA -- Edgar Rosenberg, 62, the husband of comedian Joan Rivers, died yesterday in his hotel room of an apparent drug overdose, and police said his death appeared to be a suicide.
Detective Gerald Whartenby said police found Valium and a note written by Mr. Rosenberg in the Four Seasons Hotel room where his body was found.
"Based on a preliminary investigation, we believe it was a suicide," Whartenby said. "He apparently died on an overdose of Valium."
A Philadelphia medical examiner was conducting an autopsy.
A publicist for Rivers said Mr. Rosenberg, who was executive producer of "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" until she was dropped in May, had been depressed recently.
"Rosenberg had suffered a major heart attack in 1985, and underwent quadruple-bypass surgery and has been in poor health recently, and depressed," said Richard Grant, a publicist for Rivers in Los Angeles.
Mr. Rosenberg had been in Philadelphia since Tuesday for meetings and was set to fly to Los Angeles yesterday morning, Whartenby said. Grant said Mr. Rosenberg was to have reentered Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday morning. He also was hospitalized in Ireland last week for gastrointestinal bleeding.
Rivers was not immediately available for comment.
Rivers shocked the television world in 1986 when she broke off her longtime fill-in host relationship with Johnny Carson and the "Tonight" show, and jumped to the fledgling Fox Broadcasting Co. with her own show, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers."
Mr. Rosenberg often was the brunt of Rivers' stand-up jokes, but friends said they had a strong relationship. She once described his 1985 heart attack as the hardest time in her life.
Mr. Rosenberg and Rivers married 22 years ago and had one child, Melissa, born in 1968.
"Everyone should have had the love affair that Joan and Edgar had," said Brad Turell, vice president of information at Fox.
"He was very dedicated to Joan Rivers' career and to Joan Rivers," said one insider. "He acted as her surrogate manager and was very protective of Joan."