Comedian Gilbert Gottfried dies aged 67

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LOS ANGELES — Gilbert Gottfried, the legendary actor and comedian known for his raw, searing voice and crude jokes, has died. He was 67 years old.

Gottfried died of 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.

Gottfried was a fiercely independent and intentionally quirky comedian, as likely to clean up a room with anti-comedy as kill with his jokes.

He first gained national attention with frequent appearances on MTV in his early days and with a brief stint on the “Saturday Night Live” cast in the 1980s.

Gottfried’s manager for the past few years was Tommy Nicchi of Niskayuna, which owns The Comedy Works, with clubs in Saratoga Springs and Las Vegas, and manages comedians through his company Stand-Up Global. Nicchi also has a new Niskayuna restaurant called The Broken Inn. For St. Patrick’s Day last month, Gottfried recorded a promotional video explaining that, for one night only, the only food available at The Broken Inn would be Reuben sandwiches.

“Do you want a turkey sandwich?” Gottfried asks in the video, his eyes in their signature swint and his voice blaring. He responds, “Ah, tough shit. It’ll be Reubens at the Broken Inn.

Gottfried was a regular performer on stages in the Capital Region over the years, notably at The Comedy Works. It was scheduled for two shows at Cohoes Music Hall on June 18. Ticket holders who purchased with a credit card will be automatically refunded through their purchase method and should see an account credit within two to three days, said Owen Smith, who manages the music. entrance

Gottfried has also worked frequently in children’s television and films, including playing the parrot Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

He particularly enjoyed doing obscure and dated prints as long as he could milk them, including Groucho Marx, Bela Lugosi and Andrew “Dice” Clay.

Gottfried was particularly appreciated by his fellow actors and performers.


“So sad to hear of Gilbert Gottfried’s passing,” actress Marlee Matlin tweeted. “Fun, politically incorrect but a little soft inside. We have met several times; he even played a joke on me on a plane by replacing my interpreter.

“Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander tweeted that “Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter didn’t come easily. What a gift.“

Gottfried was born in Brooklyn, the son of a hardware store owner and a stay-at-home mom. He started doing amateur stand-up at age 15.

“Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and often 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 him and he were lucky enough to share his orbit knew a person who was gentle, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of playfulness and wonder.”

Gottfried is survived by his wife Dara, his sister Karen, his 14 year old daughter Lily and his 12 year old son Max.

Times Union Senior Writer Steve Barnes contributed to this article

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