The world grew a little less funny and joyous Tuesday after it was announced that legendary stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried had passed away at the age of 67, Variety reported.
He reportedly succumbed to an illness that he had been battling for some time, a form of muscular dystrophy known as myotonic dystrophy type 2.
Gone too soon following a “long illness”
Gottfried’s death was announced via a post to his social media accounts by his family, who said in the statement, “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,” the family added.
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) April 12, 2022
A rare condition that weakens the heart
The New York Post reported that according to Gottfried’s representative, Glenn Schwartz, the actual cause of death for the comedian was an abnormality of his heart known as recurrent ventricular tachycardia, which is an arrhythmia of the heart caused by myotonic dystrophy type 2.
The rather rare condition can cause irregular and sped-up beating of the heart, which in turn can reduce blood pressure to dangerously low and even fatal levels.
As was noted by the family, Gottfried’s condition had been known about and previously disclosed, and had even caused him to cancel a series of live performances in early 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic due to concerns that the virus could prove fatal if caught in his weakened condition.
Famed comedian and Hollywood actor
Variety noted that Gottfried was born in New York City in 1955 and began performing stand-up comedy in front of audiences at the young age of 15.
His brand of comedy — which featured crude humor and political incorrectness on controversial topics delivered with an instantly recognizable screeching voice — soon led to comedic roles on TV and in Hollywood movies.
According to Gottfried’s IMDb page, he was credited with at least 184 acting appearances from 1980 to the current year, a substantial portion of which were voiceovers for animated characters, arguably the most famous of which was Iago the parrot from Disney’s “Aladdin” in 1992, a role he reprised several times more over the years.
Gottfried will certainly be missed by his many fans, but most especially by his wife, Dara Kravitz, and two children, Lily and Max.