Gilbert Gottfried death: Aladdin and SNL star dies aged 67

Comic’s family asked his fans to ‘keep laughing as loud as possible’ in his honour

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 12 April 2022 20:42 BST
Gottfried in 2020
Gottfried in 2020 (Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died at the age of 67.

The death of the actor and comedian, best known for the instantly recognisable voice he gave to characters such as Iago in Disney’s Aladdin, was announced on Tuesday (12 April) by his family.

“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” a statement shared on Twitter read.

“In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children.”

They continued: “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honour.”

Seinfeld star Jason Alexander led tributes to Gottfried, tweeting: “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.”

From early in his career, Gottfried was known among the New York comedy scene as “the comedian’s comedian”, having got his start on stage when he was just 15.

In 1980, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, but only appeared on the show for 12 episodes.

He would later say that he “hated” his time on the show, telling Joe Rogan last year that joining straight after the show’s original cast left meant he wasn’t accepted by audiences.

“It would be like saying, in the middle of Beatlemania, that, ‘Oh, we’re getting four other guys to be The Beatles’ or when Friends was on, ‘We’re recasting Friends but just watch it in the same way,’” he said.

In the late 1980s, he continued to develop his shocking and often controversial brand of humour on Howard Stern’s radio show.

Film roles came in Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child, Look Who’s Talking II and The Aristocrats.

As well as voicing Jafar’s parrot accomplice Iago in Aladdin in 1992, he provided voices for The Fairly OddParents and Ren and Stimpy.

In 2014, Goddfried launched his own celebrity interview podcast called Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, the most recent new episode of which was released last week (4 April).

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in