Melissa Rivers wants to carry on her late mother's legacy.

The 46-year-old actress - whose mother, Joan Rivers, died after surgery complications in September this year - wishes her mother was respected whilst she was still alive.

Quoting her mother, she wrote: ''I'll never get the respect that I deserve until I'm dead.''

Before adding: ''It feels s***ty because she was right. It's sad. It is important for me to carry on my mother's legacy, in my own unique way.

''I would be letting her down if carrying the torch did not become part of my life - but it will not be all of my life.''

The 'Step Up' actress - who has 14-year-old Edgar with her ex-husband John Endicott - also opened up about not only losing her mother, but her ''best friend'' too.

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter magazine, she explained: ''We've always been a family that laughed through the tears - even in the darkest moments, from my father's death to my divorce.

''I was in the ICU making jokes because that's my coping mechanism. And thank God that I have my father's backbone and my mother's tenacity because I have to figure this out.

''I not only lost my mother, but my best friend and my parenting partner. Who's going to criticise my parenting? Who's going to tell me that what I'm doing is wrong? And who is going to tell me in the next breath, 'You're doing a great job'?

''But it's also a great creative loss - I was part of a comedy team. When you heard 'Joan and Melissa,' you knew what you were getting.''