Iconic comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died at the age of 67, his family confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
“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 wrote in a prepared statement shared widely on social media.
Gottfried died at 2:35 p.m. EDT Tuesday from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, Glenn Schwartz, Gottfried’s longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz confirmed to NBC News.
Known for his shrill voice and often bawdy humor, Gottfried carved a niche as a voice actor for a number of iconic animated characters, including Iago the parrot in Disney’s “Aladdin,” the Aflac duck in commercials for the insurance company and as the robotic bird Digit in PBS Kids’ “Cyberchase,” Variety reported.
According to NBC News, Gottfried became known as “the comedian’s comedian” because his live performances “put aside political correctness while he delivers jokes that know no boundaries,” Schwartz said in a prepared statement.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on Feb. 28, 1955, Gottfried performed his first stand-up comedy act at 15. He earned a 12-episode stint on “Saturday Night Live” in 1980, and reunited with “SNL” castmate Eddie Murphy for 1987′s “Beverly Hills Cop II,” the entertainment news outlet reported.
Gottfried’s other film credits included “Problem Child,” “Look Who’s Talking II” and “The Aristocrats.” He was also the subject of the 2017 documentary “Gilbert” and co-hosted “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!,” a podcast in which he and Frank Santopadre interviewed Hollywood icons and legends, NBC News reported.
“Although today is a sad day for us all, please keep laughing as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” his family wrote.
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