Stars react to death of comedian Gilbert Gottfried

Gottfried was known for his voice acting and vicious performances at roasts
Gottfried was known for his voice acting and vicious performances at roasts Copyright John Shearer/AP
Copyright John Shearer/AP
By Tim Gallagher with AP
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Gottfried was best known for his role as the sidekick Iago in Disney's 'Aladdin,' but also drew audiences with his crude and controversial humour.


The death of comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has been greeted by outpourings of grief from colleagues and friends.

Gottfried was famous for his controversial anti-comedic routines and unique vocal style which was immortalised in the iconic character of Iago in Disney’s ‘Aladdin’.

“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,” his family said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Star of Oscar-winning film ‘CODA,’ Marlee Matlin said, "I am so sad to read about the passing of Gilbert Gottfried. Funny, politically incorrect but a softie on the inside.”

Long time friend and roast victim George Takei said, "I shall miss you, my friend, my sometimes foil, my always pain in my side, usually from the belly laughs.

“The heavens are a great deal louder with you out there now, I'm sure. Keep 'em shaking their heads and smiling, Gilbert," the ‘Star Trek’ actor added.

Gottfried’s career and legacy

As well as voicing one of Disney’s most well-known animal sidekicks Gottfried had voice roles on ‘The Fairly OddParents,’ ‘ Ren and Stimpy’ and ‘Cyber Chase’.

After a slow start on ‘Saturday Night Live’ he had roles in movies including ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ and ‘Problem Child’.

"Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh so hard that day on set, I could barely do my job. A wholly original comic, and an equally kind and humble guy behind the scenes. He will be missed," wrote Seth MacFarlane, who posted a scene they did together in ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West.’

Gottfried had a sometimes crude and abrasive style of comedy, which could lead to controversy.

In 2011, the comedian was fired by Aflac Inc. for whom he was doing voicework. The actor was let go from his role in their commercials due to a tweet about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

At the roast of Hugh Hefner, which took place less than a month on from the September 11 attacks in 2001, Gottfried made a joke about planes making stops at skyscrapers and was booed and met with shouts of “Too soon!”. In response, he told a foul version of the comedian’s inside joke “The Aristocrats”.

Many in the audience took this to mean that he believed it was the comic’s job to remain crude at all costs.

"Nobody was funnier than @RealGilbert on a roll. He could put you into convulsive hysterics. He was also the sweetest man. His podcast is a comedy treasure. What a terrible loss," wrote Director Judd Apatow on Twitter.

"This is a sad day," said comedian Tiffany Haddish.

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