(CelebrityAccess) — Comedian and actor and host Gilbert Gottfried, known for his brand of outré humor and his distinctive voice, has died. He was 67.
“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 announced via Twitter on Tuesday.
A cause of death was not provided.
A native of New York City, Gottfried began performing standup professionally around the city while he was still a teenager.
In 1980, as Saturday Night Live was on hiatus for a retooling, Gottfried was hired as a cast member starting with the show’s sixth season, appearing on 12 different episodes of the late-night sketch comedy show.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Gottfried was also a regular on Howard Stern’s popular talk radio show, often showcasing impersonations such as Andrew “Dice” Clay, Bela Lugosi as Dracula, and a senile Groucho Marx.
Gottfried also appeared in numerous roles on the silver screen as well, including Beverly Hills Cop 2, Highway To Hell, Problem Child, Dr. Dolittle, and Gilbert, among others.
His distinctive voice also helped him to land numerous voice acting roles, including portraying Iago the Parrot in the Disney animated movie “Aladdin” and its sequel “The Return of Jafar” as well as the commercial mascot duck of Insurance company AFLAC.
In addition, Gottfried was a perennial host of live events from the Emmys to numerous Friar’s Club Roasts.
Following his passing, tributes from former co-stars and colleagues poured in.
“Nobody was funnier than @RealGilbert on a roll,” writer and director Judd Apatow wrote. “He could put you into convulsive hysterics. He was also the sweetest man. His podcast is a comedy treasure. What a terrible loss. ”
“Gilbert Gottfried was never not funny. He was a lovely guy, always friendly & made many people happy,” tweeted Dane Cook.