Legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died after what his family says was a “long illness.” He was 67 years old. The tragic news was revealed in a Tuesday, April 12, Twitter announcement.
“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” the statement read, adding, “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.”
The funnyman is survived by his wife Dara Kravitz, 14-year-old daughter Lily and 12-year-old son Max.
Gilbert died in New York City from “Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II,” according to his longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz. The latter is a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness in areas of the body, including the heart.
The comedian’s friend and podcast cohost Frank Santopadre said of his pal, “Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but. 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. He’ll be dearly missed by family, friends, fans and comedy lovers the world over. To quote Gilbert himself, ‘Too soon!'”
After the Oscars, the always snarky Gilbert posted a Twitter photo with pal Chris Rock and made light of Will Smith slapping his fellow comedian onstage after Chris made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Gilbert asked, “Which is the worst crime? Chris Rock being physically assaulted or Chris Rock telling a joke?”
This is the second major loss for the comedy world in 2022, following the death of Bob Saget at age 65 on January 9. At the time of the Full House alum’s death, which was later determined to have been caused by accidental head trauma, Gilbert wrote on Twitter, “Still in shock. I just spoke with Bob a few days ago. We stayed on the phone as usual making each other laugh. RIP to friend, comedian & fellow aristocrat Bob Saget.”
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