Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian and film and television actor with a renowned voice, died on Tuesday at the age of 67 after a lengthy illness, his family announced.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. 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,” his family wrote in a post on Twitter.
Though audiences know him by his grating tone, it wasn’t yet his signature when he debuted as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for one season from 1980 to 1981, one of a few seasons without Lorne Michaels at the helm. He blended stand-up with dramatic acting in the 1980s and 1990s, frequently guesting on Howard Stern’s radio program.
Despite having a minor role in the ’80s hit “Beverly Hills Cop 2,” Gottfried’s fame skyrocketed in the 1990s. Throughout the decade, he used his trademark scream-speak as a mouthy macaw in “Alladin”, and live-action comedies such as “Problem Child,” where he played a greedy adoption agency owner.
Gottfried has also worked on animated series and has appeared in voice roles such as “Family Guy” and as a reality show participant or “talking head,” including “Celebrity Wife Swap.” (He swapped wives with the late Alan Thicke.)
As well, during several Comedy Central roasts of celebrities such as former President Donald Trump in 2011, Gottfried’s envelope-pushing, blue attire was perfectly at ease.
Even though he wasn’t onscreen as often, he was always available for interviews. He’d interviewed comedy and entertainment figures on his podcast, “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast,” for nearly a decade. A new episode was just published this month.
He will be missed.
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