Comedian Gilbert Gottfried was diagnosed with a heart condition before his death

A close-up photo of a freckled man's face. He is smiling with short brown hair
Voice actor Gilbert Gottfried attends a 2015 event for “Aladdin” in New York City.
(Mike Pont / WireImage)

Beloved comedian and voice actor Gilbert Gottfried was diagnosed with a heart condition before his death, his longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz said.

In a statement, Schwartz confirmed that Gottfried died of recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to type 2 myotonic dystrophy. Ventricular tachycardia is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a heart rhythm problem (arrhythmia) caused by irregular electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart.”

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, known for voicing Iago in the Disney classic ‘Aladdin,’ has died after battling an illness.


The performer — revered for his irreverent and shocking style of comedy — also had myotonic dystrophy, a muscular disease characterized by an inability to relax muscles after they contract. According to the Mayo Clinic, muscles in the face and neck are typically the first areas affected.

Gottfried died Tuesday at age 67 “after a long illness,” his family announced on social media. In addition to his brash stand-up routines, Gottfried was known for his piercing, squawky vocals — which he lent to the evil parrot Iago in the Disney animated classic “Aladdin,” as well as the Aflac duck mascot for the insurance company of the same name.

Judd Apatow, Tiffany Haddish, Conan O’Brien and Kathy Griffin are among those who are mourning comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who died Tuesday at age 67.

“Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children,” his family wrote. “Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”

In the wake of his death, a number of Hollywood luminaries mourned Gottfried on social media. Among those who paid tribute were comedians Bill Burr, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel and Kathy Griffin, as well as actors Marlee Matlin, Jason Alexander, Lydia Cornell and Viola Davis.

In 2012, Gottfried, who died Tuesday at 67, stepped up to the dais at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Barr. I’ve never laughed harder in my life.

In a statement, Gilbert’s friend and podcast co-host Frank Santopadre wrote, “Gilbert’s brand of humor was brash, shocking and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but.

“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 added. “He’ll be dearly missed by family, friends, fans and comedylovers the world over. To quote Gilbert himself, ‘Too soon!’”