Gilbert Gottfried's Cause of Death Revealed by His Representative

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried died Tuesday from a heart abnormality, his representative told TMZ. Gottfried's family said the Aladdin star died after a "long illness." Gottfried, who was beloved for his hilarious jokes and shrill voice, was 67.

Gottfried's rep, Glenn Schwartz, said he died from a heart abnormality called Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II. According to Johns Hopkins University, Ventricular Tachycardia is an abnormal heart rhythm that happens when the heart's lower chamber beats too fast to pump well. The body then does not receive enough oxygenated blood.

According to the National Center for Translational Sciences, myotonic Dystrophy type II is inherited muscular dystrophy that affects muscles and other organs. "It is characterized by prolonged muscle tensing (myotonia) as well as muscle weakness, pain, and stiffness," the center notes. "Signs and symptoms usually develop during a person's twenties or thirties. Muscles in the neck, fingers, elbows, and hips are typically affected; facial and ankle muscles are less commonly involved."

Gottfried's family announced his death via Twitter. "In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend, and father to his two young children," their statement read. "Although today is a sad day for us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honor." Gottfried is survived by his wife, Dara Kravitz, and their children, Lily and Max.

Gottfried was born in Brooklyn and began performing stand-up comedy while still in his teens. He joined the Saturday Night Live cast in 1980 but only appeared in 12 episodes. He appeared in dozens of movies, including Beverly Hills Cop II, Problem Child, Look Who's Talking Too, Jack and the Beanstalk, A Million Wats to Die in the West, and The Comedian. He was the subject of the 2017 documentary Gilbert.


Gottfried was best known for voicing Jafar's parrot Iago in Disney's 1992 film Aladdin. He reprised the role in the Aladdin series and the direct-to-video sequels The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. He also voiced characters in Bonkers, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Superman: The Animated Series, Hercules, The Fairly OddParents, Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and SpongeBob SquarePants. His final role was playing God in Adult Swim's Smiling Friends

"What a terrible loss," Billy Crystal wrote Tuesday. "A wonderfully funny and gentle man. One of the first comics I met when I started out. Always a joy to be with. We all will miss you."