Actor and comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died following a battle with a “long illness,” his family said in a statement. He was 67.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” 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.”
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) April 12, 2022
Rolling Stone reported:
With his raspy, high-pitched voice, Gottfried carved out an impressive career as a stand-up, actor, and voice over performer. He did everything from kids movies like Aladdin to commercials (he was famously voiced the duck mascot for Aflac Insurance), but also put his talents towards brilliantly twisted means. He lost that job as the Aflac duck after tweeting jokes about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and he delivered an outrageously crude version of the infamous “Aristocrats” joke at a Hugh Hefner roast weeks just after 9/11 (he went into “the Aristocrats,” by the way, after trying out some poorly received 9/11 jokes).
Notable initial reactions to Gilbert’s death included:
- Jason Alexander, actor: “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. “
- Dana Loesch, radio host: “Oh no! RIP to a legend.”
- Caleb Howe, Mediaite: “Oh wow. Gilbert Gottfried was one of the all-time greats.”
- Bill Motz, Disney producer: “We had the honor of working with Gilbert on #TheReturnofJafar and the #Aladdin TV series. He kept us laughing–and even brought a tear to our eyes a time or two–as he brought Iago to life. Much love to the Gottfried family and gratitude for sharing him with us.”
- Ariel Helwani, journalist: “What a bummer. What a legend. First time I saw Gilbert was in Problem Child. Iconic personality. He was so good on the Stern Show. May he rest in peace.”
- Brian O’Halloran, actor: “I’m so terribly sad to hear of the passing of @RealGilbert . Gilbert was a hilarious comedian, but very much a gentleman in real life. I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of a few projects with him including the Clerks Animated Series where he voiced a few classic characters.”
- Tom Bergeron, entertainer: “Heartbroken. Too many goodbyes this year.”
- Jon Stewart, comedian: “RIP Gilbert. Opening for Gilbert Gottfried at Carolines and Princeton Catch was one of the great thrills of my early stand up life. He could leave you gasping for breath…just indescribably unusually hilarious…Damn.”
- Bill Burr, comedian: “Rest In Peace Gilbert Gottfried! First time I saw him live he did his Jackie Kennedy bit: ‘Jackie do you remember where you were…’ in front of drunk Bruins fans at Nicks.”
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