Beloved comedian and voice actor Gilbert Gottfried was diagnosed with a heart condition before his death, his longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz has said.
In a statement, Schwartz confirmed that Gottfried died of recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type 2. 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.”
The actor, revered for his irreverent and impactful style of comedy, also had myotonic dystrophy, a muscle disease characterized by the inability to relax muscles after they contract. According to the mayo Clinic, the muscles of the face and neck are usually the first areas affected.
Gottfried died Tuesday at the age of 67 “after a long illness,” his family announced on social media. In addition to his daring stand-up routines, Gottfried was known for his piercing, squeaky voice, which he lent to the evil parrot Iago in Disney’s animated classic “Aladdin,” as well as the Aflac Duck mascot for the company. insurance company of the same name.
“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 hard as you can in honor of Gilbert.”
In the wake of his death, several Hollywood luminaries mourned Gottfried on social media. Among those paying 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 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 lucky enough to share his orbit knew a person who was sweet, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of joy and wonder,” he added. “He will be sorely missed by family, friends, fans and comedy lovers around the world. To quote Gilbert himself, ‘Too soon!’”