Los Angeles: Gilbert Gottfried, the actor and legendary stand-up comic known for his raw, scorched voice and crude jokes, has died at the age of 67.
Gottfried died from a rare genetic muscle disease that can trigger a dangerously abnormal heartbeat, his publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz said in a statement.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried.Credit:AP
“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 it with his jokes.
He first came to national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint on the cast of Saturday Night Live in the 1980s.
Gottfried also frequented voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin.
He was particularly fond of doing obscure and dated impressions for as long as he could milk them, including Groucho Marx, Bela Lugosi, and Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay.
In his early days at the club the Comedy Store in Hollywood, the managers would have him do his impression of then-little-known Jerry Seinfeld at the end of the night to get rid of lingering patrons.
Gottfried was especially beloved by his fellow comedians and performers.
“I am so sad to read about the passing of Gilbert Gottfried,” actor Marlee Matlin said on Twitter. “Funny, politically incorrect but a softie on the inside. We met many times; he even pranked me on a plane, replacing my interpreter.”
Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander wrote on Twitter “Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift”.
Gottfried was born in Brooklyn, the son of a hardware store owner and a stay-at-home mum. He began doing amateur stand-up at the age of 15.
“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.”
Gottfried is survived by his wife Dara, sister Karen, 14-year-old daughter Lily and 12-year-old son Max.
Our Breaking News Alert will notify you of significant breaking news when it happens. Get it here.
Most Viewed in Culture
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article