“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” his family wrote in a statement on Twitter. Per longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz, he died at 2:35 pm ET as a result of a heart abnormality called Ventricular Tachycardia — a complication of muscular dystrophy.
Gottfried got his start as a standup comedian when he was 15 years old and went on to dedicate over 50 years of his life to his craft. Throughout the course of his career, he appeared in shows like “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Problem Child,” “Looks Who’s Talking Too,” and “The Aristocrats.” His unique voice was often sought out for animated characters, including Kraang Subprime in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Mr. Mxyzptlk in “Superman: The Animated Series” and his most popular character: Iago, the parrot who accompanied the villain Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin.
In recent years, Gottfried hosted the “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!” where he interviewed celebrities, broke down classic movies and television shows, and shared his advice as a comedy veteran in the industry. His life story was told in a 2017 self-titled documentary directed by Neil Berkeley.
“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children,” Gottfried’s family remembered in their statement. “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”
RIP to comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried. REVOLT sends our condolences to his loved ones during this time.
See his family’s full statement below.
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) April 12, 2022