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Actor and stand-up comedian Gilbert Gottfried, known as having one of the most iconic voices in Hollywood, has passed away aged 67, his family have confirmed.
"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness," his family wrote on Twitter today (12 April) .
"In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”
Emerging as a stand-out in the New York comedy scene as a young teen, Gottfried began to forge a name for himself in the 80s, where he appeared on SNL for a 12-episode stint.
The star later admitted that he 'hated' appearing on the popular show, admitting to Joe Rogan that he didn't feel accepted by audiences due to joining right after the original cast left.
"It would be like saying, in the middle of Beatlemania, that, ‘Oh, we’re getting four other guys to be The Beatles’ or when Friends was on, ‘We’re recasting Friends but just watch it in the same way',” he told the podcaster.
Throughout his career, thanks in no small part to his shrill voice, the comedian has breathed life into many of our favourite animated characters including Iago the parrot and Digit in PBS Kids’ Cyberchase, as well as providing voicing for The Fairly OddParents and Ren and Stimpy.
Tributes have quickly poured in for the star, with Seinfeld star Jason Alexander writing that Gottfried 'made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily'.
"What a gift. I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family," he added.
Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift. I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family. #ripGilbertGottfried— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) April 12, 2022
They’re together again.— Ben! 💙💛 (@Benimated) April 12, 2022
RIP Gilbert Gottfried pic.twitter.com/aI8PbPxxuZ
Damn. Gilbert Gottfried. Not sure there’s a more iconic voice and seemed like such a genuinely nice guy. RIP. pic.twitter.com/5X1t8ow3nh— Luke Barnett (@LukeBarnett) April 12, 2022
Describing the star as 'one of the comedy greats, one fan wrote: "Gilbert was one of my few comedy heroes and no doubt one of the comedy greats. this so soon after norm really sucks. do yourself a favor today and spend some time going down the gilbert gottfried rabbit hole, there’s too many great moments to include in one tweet."
Another said: "Not sure there’s a more iconic voice and seemed like such a genuinely nice guy. RIP."
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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