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Gilbert Gottfried Dies: Beloved Comedian and Voice Icon Was 67

The passing of the actor best known for his voice talents and stand-up comic gifts was announced Tuesday by his family.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried attends a David Lynch Foundation Benefit for Veterans with PTSD at New York City Center on Saturday, April 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

Gilbert Gottfried

Scott Roth/Invision/AP

Gilbert Gottfried, the beloved comedian known for his outsize onstage talents as a stand-up comic and as an iconic voice actor on television and film, has died. The actor was 67 and died after battling a long illness.

The news was first shared via Twitter by fellow comedian Jason Alexander, who wrote, “Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift. I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family.”

Gottfried’s family shared a message on social media as well confirming his death. “We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” the message from the Gottfried family 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. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”

Gottfried’s many cherished film and TV roles included voicing the parrot Iago in Disney’s animated feature “Aladdin” in 1992. He also voiced Iago in the subsequent Disney animated TV series that ran from 1994 through 1995. Among Gottfried’s first big breaks was as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” for 12 episodes from 1980 through 1981.

He then regularly appeared on Alan Thicke’s late-night talk show “Thicke of the Night, before lending his talents (both in-person and via his lovably shrill voice) to series like “Night Court,” “Bonkers,” “Living Single,” “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” “Duckman,” “Wings,” “Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat,” and much more. He regularly voiced Digit LeBoid in the ongoing animated PBS Kids show “Cyberchase,” as well as Kraang Subprime in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

From 2000 through 2011, he was the voice of the Aflac duck for the insurance company Aflac. Since 2014, he’s hosted the podcast “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast,” a trove of celebrity interviews, discussions of classic movies and TV, and many of his comic insights from decades in the industry.

In 2017, Neil Berkeley directed the documentary “Gilbert” about his life and work.

 

 

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