Voice actor and comedian Emmy nominee Gilbert Gottfried, best known for the voice of Iago in Disney’s Aladdin and the voice of Digit in PBS’ Cyberchase, has died at the age of 67.
Gilbert Gottfried was born February 28, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York. He passed away April 12, 2022, after a long illness.
Gottfried began his career as a stand-up comic at the tender age of fifteen. He appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1980 and ’81. Those who knew him only from his Disney work may be surprised that as an in-person comic he had a reputation for raunchy “blue” material.
NBC News reported that “Gottfried died at 2:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday from Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II”, according to Glenn Schwartz, his longtime friend and publicist.
Gottfried, who has been performing stand-up comedy for over 50 years, became known as “the comedian’s comedian” “because his live performances put aside political correctness while he delivers jokes that know no boundaries,” his representative said in a statement.
Gilbert Gottfried and Superheroes
Gottfried appeared on The Adventures of Superboy as the criminal Nick Knack. In the cartoons Justice League Action and Superman: the Animated Series, and the video game Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham he voiced the magical imp from the fifth dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Heroes he voiced Fraang Sub-Prime.
Live Action Roles
Gottfried was noted as a scene-stealer in Beverley Hills Cop II, Problem Child, and The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. He played Abraham Lincoln in had guest roles in a variety of TV shows: Night Court, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Cosby Show, Hannah Montana, and CSI. and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Few actors are so versatile to have played Abraham Lincoln (A Million Ways to Die in the West), Adolf Hitler (Historical Roasts), and Santa Claus (Billy and Mandy Save Christmas).
Gilbrert Gottfried was a comedian, a podcaster, and an actor, but he was perhaps most famous as a voice actor. In addition to Disney’s Aladdin, he lent his voice to characters in Spongebob Squarepants and Bear in the Big Blue House,
Many actors become typecast. Somehow, Gottfied got a reputation for voicing birds: Iago, Jafar’s parrot in Aladdin, Digit in Cyberchase, and the Aflac Duck in commercials. He portrayed Grayson the Goose in Jack and the Beanstalk2009). Gottfried voiced a woodpecker in an episode of Timon & Pumbaa. It’s an odd niche, but one he filled well.
Gilbert Gottfried married Dara Dara Kravitz in 2007. They had two children, a son Max, and a daughter Lily. Our deepest condolences to them. Gilbert Gottfried will be fondly remembered for a long time.
Ave atque vale. May his memory be a blessing. You’ll be missed, sir.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.
Gilbert Gottfried is a study in contrast. I used to wonder how could he possibly have broken into show business with that obnoxiously screeching voice? Then I learned he didn’t start with it–he created it and made it his trademark.
Another contrast is that he was known for his political incorrectness for which he was blacklisted more than once–and yet he’s well know for doing work for family-oriented Disney. Amazing.