The Life of Gilbert Gottfried

Gilbert Gottfried Sadly Died at the Age of 67 After Battling a Long Illness

Linnea Sundquist, Sandscript Author

Gilbert Gottfried passed away on Tuesday, April 12 at the early age of 67. Gottfried was a beloved comedian and could always put a smile on faces with his hilarious jokes and skits. It didn’t matter what Gottfried brought to the table because it usually ended up in laughter, ranging from his movies to his stand-up, it could always bring a smile to anyone’s face. 

Gilbert Gottfried was born on February 28, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York. At a very young age, he started his comedy career. At 15 years old he started doing stand up comedy in clubs all around Brooklyn. Around 1980, a big door was opened for Gottfried when he got the chance to be on the hit comedy show Saturday Night Live. This was how he got his iconic screeching and obnoxious voice, that would later stick as his trademark for his career.  Sadly his appearance on the show didn’t last long and he ended up parting ways with the show at the end of that same year. Though this wasn’t a total loss for the comedian because he later got hired to do promos for MTV. 

Gottfried got the attention of a lot of late night TV show hosts due to his promos with MTV. He appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Hollywood Squares, The Howard Stern Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Also, around this time he started acting in movies such as Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. He also provided the voices for many roles that you may recognize, such as Iago from Aladdin, the duck from the Aflac commercials and he voiced Digit in the children’s show Cyberchase. 

Around the early 1990’s, Gottfried’s career continued to rise. He voiced Berkeley Beetle’s voice in Thumbelina, Iago in the sequel of Aladdin, Return of Jafar, and even hosted the Saturday edition of USA Up All Night from 1989 to 1998. He continued to do stand-up comedy and be a part of more comedy shows throughout the early 2000’s. In 2007, Gottfried got married to Dara Kravitz and went on to have two children, Lily and Max Gottfried. 

Gottfried continued to guest star in shows such as Family Guy in 2004 and Law and Order in 2011. In May of 2018, he went on to make a podcast with his co-host Frank Santopadre called, Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast, where he discussed classic movies and brought on comedic legends that shaped his career the way it is today. He also starred in a documentary about his life called Gilbert in 2017. 

Sadly, Gilbert Gottfried was diagnosed with type II myotonic dystrophy, the exact date or age when he was diagnosed is unclear but his publicist has stated that Gottfried didn’t want the public knowing about the illness. Type II myotonic dystrophy can severely impact breathing and heart rate, which caused Gottfried to suffer a recurrent ventricular tachycardia. This is an abnormal heart rhythm which can be fatal. Sadly, in Gilbert’s case, that was the truth.

It was a shock when Gilbert Gottfried passed away. He made so many people laugh and smile every single day, whether it being his fans or his family. He truly will become a legacy and his work will go on to inspire millions of people all around the world.