Gilbert Gottfried: US comedian dies aged 67

Stand-up comedian known for his scorched voice died 'after a long illness', his family said.

Gilbert Gottfried, the American actor and stand-up comic known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, has died aged 67 “after a long illness”, his family said on Tuesday.

Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a disorder that affects the heart, his publicist and long-time friend Glenn Schwartz said.

“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children,” his family said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honour.”

Gottfried was a fiercely independent and intentionally bizarre comedian's comedian, as likely to clear a room with anti-comedy as he was to kill with his jokes.

He first came to national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint in the cast of Saturday Night Live in the 1980s.

Gottfried also did frequent voice work for children's television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin.

The comic lent his raspy voice to insurance company insurance company Aflac's famous duck from 2000-2011.

“Gilbert’s brand of humour 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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Updated: April 13, 2022, 4:01 AM
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