Speed Reads

R.I.P.

Gilbert Gottfried, 'the most iconic voice in comedy,' dies at 67

The world is mourning yet another icon of comedy. 

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died at 67 after battling a "long illness," his family announced Tuesday. Gottfried's publicist said his death was due to complications from muscular dystrophy, according to The Washington Post

"In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children," Gottfried's family said in a statement. "Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honor." 

Gottfried famously voiced Iago in Aladdin, and he performed stand-up comedy since he was 15 years old, according to Variety. He was a cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1980 and lent his iconic voice to a number of shows, including The Fairly OddParents and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For years, he was also the voice of the Aflac duck in the insurance company's commercials. 

Gottfried's death was another devastating blow in the comedy world after the loss of Norm Macdonald last September and Louie Anderson and Bob Saget in January. Both Gottfried and Macdonald memorably performed at the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget in 2008, and in January, Gottfried shared a picture of himself with Saget and Anderson as he paid tribute to them. "This photo is very sad now," he wrote. 

News of Gottfried's death was first shared by Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, who tweeted, "Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift." Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart also reflected that Gottfried "could leave you gasping for breath" and was "just indescribably unusually hilarious."