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Gilbert Gottfried, Comedian and ‘Aladdin’ Voice Actor, Dead at 67
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Gilbert Gottfried's cause of death has been revealed. In a statement shared with ET, Gottfried's longtime friend and publicist, Glenn Schwartz, shared that the comedian died from "Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II." He was 67.
According to the Rare Diseases website, Myotonic Dystrophy type II is "an inherited muscular dystrophy that affects the muscles and other body systems (e.g., heart, eyes, and pancreas). It is characterized by prolonged muscle tensing (myotonia) as well as muscle weakness, pain, and stiffness."
"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness," the statement reads. "In addition to being the true 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. Love, the Gottfried family."
Tributes to the late comedian began pouring in not long after news of his death was announced Tuesday, with Patton Oswalt, Jason Alexander, Jon Stewart and more from the comedy world and beyond, taking to social media to share their memories of and with Gottfried.
"Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift," Alexander wrote. "I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family. #ripGilbertGottfried."
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. #ripGilbertGottfried
Stewart remembered opening for the comedian, calling it one of the "great thrills" of his early stand-up life.
"RIP Gilbert. Opening for Gilbert Gottfried at Carolines and Princeton Catch was one of the great thrills of my early stand up life," Stewart tweeted. "He could leave you gasping for breath…just indescribably unusually hilarious…Damn."
Meanwhile, Oswalt shared a photo of him and Gottfried, simply captioning it was a slew of broken heart emojis.
Gottfried's friend and podcast co-host, Frank Santopadre, also gave a statement to ET in remembrance of the late star. "Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but," he says. "Those who loved him and were fortunate enough to share his orbit knew a person who was sweet, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of playfulness and wonder. He’ll be dearly missed by family, friends, fans and comedy lovers the world over. To quote Gilbert himself, 'Too soon!'"
Among his many acting and comedy credits, Gottfried is perhaps best known for his roles in the '90s films Problem Child and Problem Child 2. He was also the voice of the Aflac Duck until 2011.
Gottfried is survived by his wife, Dara Kravitz, and his two children, Lily Aster Gottfried, 14, and Max Aaron Gottfried, 12.
Funeral services for the comedian will be private.