'Celebrity Apprentice Cast Reflects On Working With Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers will make her first of two posthumous appearances – taped prior to her death -- on Monday's episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice."

Access Hollywood recently caught up with the cast, who said they all cherished the time they got to spend with the comedian while filming the season.

"We were all star-struck to be honest with you," Vivica A. Fox confessed to Access Hollywood at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour in Pasadena, Calif. "When she first walked out it was an absolute, complete surprise. And we all were star-struck and just enamored. And she's such a class act."

PHOTOS: Joan Rivers Over The Years

Donald Trump explained what Joan – a previous "Celebrity Apprentice" winner, herself -- brought to the boardroom.

"You're going to see tremendous strength from Joan Rivers. Smart, strong, incredible and you're going to see a woman that was so healthy and was so vivacious and warm and then to have this happen so shortly thereafter, so, somebody made a horrible mistake," he said.

PHOTOS: Stars Say Goodbye To Joan Rivers

For Trump, it was surreal to lose her just days after spending time with her.

"Well I met her and was with her three days prior to her death and I commented to people, 'She might be around forever.' She was incredible and so for this tragedy to happen was very, very sad," he added.

Geraldo Rivera took note of Donald's observation.

"I remember the Donald saying to me, 'Doesn't she look great?' And we all said, 'Yes she looks great,'" the talk show host told Access.

WATCH: Vivica A. Fox Recalls Working With Joan Rivers

Leeza Gibbons said she remains inspired by the legacy former "Celebrity Apprentice" winner has left behind.

"Monday night's show with Joan is very touching because she was so important to women in business, women in entertainment. She really inspired all of us, I think, to reach higher because she broke the boundaries. She defined her own path and allowed all of us to think that we could do that too," Leeza told Access.

Mom of eight Kate Gosselin said she looked to Joan as a figure to admire.

"It was grandmotherly Joan that I don't know if we really got a chance to see otherwise," Kate said. "I never met Joan prior and she was just this teeny tiny little amazing powerhouse of a woman. And I just remember meeting her thinking, 'My gosh, when I'm 80 whatever, I [want to be] Joan,' because she was smart as a tack, quick as a wit and really inspiring."

After Joan's death, producers had to decide what to do with the footage of her cameo, ultimately opting to air the episodes -- and Donald defended his decision to leave her cameos in the final edit.

WATCH: 'Celebrity Apprentice' Cast On Working With Joan Rivers

"We really had a decision to make. Do we leave Joan on or do we cut it? And that's always been a tough decision for people throughout the years and she was so incredible, we left Joan on," he explained. "She did so well. If she didn't do as well I wouldn't have left her in, but she was so good, so she'll be looking down and saying thank you."

Watch Joan on "The Celebrity Apprentice" when her epidoes air January 19 and February 2 at 8/7c on NBC.

-- Paige Feigenbaum

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