Always in their hearts. Celebrities including Jason Alexander and Kathy Griffin mourned the loss of comedian Gilbert Gottfried after his death on Tuesday, April 12.
The beloved stand-up — who famously voiced Iago in 1992’s Aladdin and the animated series by the same name from 1994 to 1995 — was 67 years old when he passed.
“We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” the late star’s family announced on Tuesday via a social media statement. “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 concluded: “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.” Gottfried is survived by his wife, Dara Kravitz, and their two children, Lily, 14, and Max, 12.
The New York native’s rep confirmed Gottfried’s death via a statement to Us Weekly on Tuesday, revealing that the Hassle at the Castle actor died from Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II.
The genetic disease is rare, according to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. It affects the muscles and other body systems with symptoms such as muscle weakness, pain and stiffness.
“Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but,” Gottfried’s friend and “Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!” cohost Frank Santopadre said in a statement. “Those who loved him and 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!’”
Gottfried broke into the entertainment industry as a teenager and became a household name with the help of his voice work on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and Cyberchase.
Throughout his career, Gottfried’s humor touched many, including Alexander, 62, who paid tribute to the late actor on Tuesday.
“Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift,” the Seinfeld alum wrote via social media. “I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me.
Griffin, for her part, was stunned by the news of Gottfried’s passing, sharing three broken heart emojis alongside her Twitter tribute to the Problem Child actor.
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Scroll down to see what other celebrities are honoring the late comedian: