Actor and legendary standup comic Gilbert Gottfried has died after battling a long illness, his family said in a statement on Wednesday. He was 67.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” his family wrote.
Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a disorder that affects the heart, his publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz said in a statement.
Who was Gilbert Gottfried?
Gilbert Gottfried was born in Brooklyn. He was the son of a hardware store owner and a stay-at-home mom. He began doing amateur standup at age 15.
In the 80, he featured on “The Cosby Show” before giving a standout performance as business manager Sidney Bernstein in “Beverly Hills Cop II.” He then went on to act in movies like “Problem Child,” “Look Who’s Talking II” and “The Aristocrats.”
Gottfried also did frequent voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”
In 2017, he became the subject of the documentary “Gilbert,” and also co-hosted a podcast, “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!”
“Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but,” Gottfried’s friend and podcast co-host Frank Santopadre said in a statement.
“Those who loved and him were fortunate enough to share his orbit knew a person who was sweet, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of playfulness and wonder.”