Skip to main content
Gilbert Gottfried died at the age of 67.

‘The comedian’s comedian’ Gilbert Gottfried dead ‘after a long illness’ at 67


According to a statement from his family posted on his Twitter account, comedian Gilbert Gottfried died at the age of 67. In the statement, his family said his death Tuesday came “after a long illness.” Gottfried’s publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz specified in a statement that the illness was recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a disorder that affects the heart.

“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children,” Gottfried’s family said in their statement. “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”

Gottfried first came to national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint in the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s. He also did frequent voice work for children’s television and movies, most famously playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Gottfried was also known for being the original voice of “the Aflac duck,” the mascot for the insurance company of the same name. He was famously fired from the company in 2011 for telling an insensitive joke on stage.

“Gilbert’s brand of humor 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 him and 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’s death came months after fellow comedians Bob Saget and Louie Anderson died within weeks of each other. Following Anderson’s death, Gottfried posted a photo of himself with Anderson and Saget on Twitter.

“This photo is very sad now,” Gottfried wrote in the tweet. “RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed.”

Gottfried is survived by his wife Dara, sister Karen, 14-year-old daughter Lily and 12-year-old son Max.