We are heartbroken to report that stand-up comedy legend, actor, and podcaster Gilbert Gottfried has died. The news came from his family; they announced that the 67-year old actor passed after a long battle with muscular dystrophy. Gottfried had one incredible career. One where adults loved his raunchy brand of humor, but also kids everywhere knew him for his cartoon voices. And no one ever mistook his shrill voice and constantly squinting eyes for anyone else. You can read his family’s statement below:
Born in New York in 1955, Gottfried got his big break on Saturday Night Live in 1980. But his tour of duty on SNL was brief. He only lasted 12 episodes. Luckily, he later found roles in hit movies like Beverly Hills Cop II. A huge career boost for Gottfried came in the late ’80s/early ’90s, as a frequent guest on Howard Stern’s radio show. This was during the peak of Stern’s popularity. Gottfried’s impressions and unfiltered humor made him a household name. With his voice now famous throughout the country, he landed the role of Iago the parrot in Disney’s Aladdin.
The success of Aladdin made Gottfried an in-demand voice actor. You could hear his voice on such shows as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ren & Stimpy, Superman: The Animated Series, Duckman, and more. Also, he reprised the role of the loud parrot Iago in many Disney projects. He also provided the unmistakable voice of the Aflac duck in commercials until 2011. In the last decade, Gottfried focused his attention on his podcast, Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, which ran for eight years. During this time he made several appearances in movies and TV, solidifying himself as an ever-present part of popular culture. His final film role was called Hassle at the Castle, and it will be a posthumous release.