Gilbert Gottfried, Comedian and Aladdin Star, Dead at 67
Gilbert Gottfried, the comedian and voice actor who made memorable turns in films like Disney’s Aladdin, has died. He was 67 years old.
Gottfried’s family announced the comedian’s death on his official social media pages, attributing his passing to a battle with “a long illness.”
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” the family’s official statement reads. “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,” the statement continued. “Love, the Gottfried family.”
Gottfried was a well-known figure in the stand-up comedy world, famous for the harsh, distinctive voice he used onstage. In interviews over the years, he’s described his stage voice as something that just occurred naturally. “There’s no thought to it,” he said in 2014 when asked to describe where the voice came from. “Just over years, that’s what you are.”
The comedian began working as a comic as a teenager in New York City, joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1980. He remained a consistent figure in the comedy world, doing everything from televised comedy hours, to starring on sitcoms, to regularly appearing on Comedy Central Roast, the network’s series of specials devoted to roasting an array of celebrities.
Gottfried also did voiceover work, most memorably voicing the evil parrot Iago in the 1992 Disney classic Aladdin. The characterization came easily to Gottfried, who told People in 2018 that he did very little preparation for the role. “I started improvising and playing with it and having fun,” he said.
Gottfried married Dara Kravitz, a former music industry executive, in 2007, and the two remained together until his death. He is survived by his wife and their two children, Lily and Max.
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