LOS ANGELES — Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died, according to a message his family posted on social media.
Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a disorder that affects the heart, his publicist and longtime friend Glenn Schwartz said in a statement.
"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness," the message read. "Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honor."
Gottfried, 67, was best known for his stand-up comedy and his voice which he lent to the villainous bird Iago in Disney's Aladdin and the Aflac Duck.
Gottfried was a fiercely independent and intentionally bizarre comedian's comedian, as likely to clear a room with anti-comedy as he was to kill with his jokes.
He first came to national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in its early days and with a brief stint in the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s.
Gottfried also did frequent voice work for children's television and movies.
“Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but," Gottfried's friend and podcast co-host Frank Santopadre said in a statement. “Those who loved and him 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.”
Gottfried appeared at the 2020 GalaxyCon in downtown Richmond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.