Gilbert Gottfried – Career, Comedy & Death

Stand-up comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried was known for his trademark screeching voice and fearless humor. He appeared in several films and television programs, including as the voice of Iago in ‘Aladdin.’


Gilbert Gottfried was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1955. He started his stand-up career at the age of 15, and in 1980 he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. He came to fame doing a series of memorable promo bits for MTV, and over the years appeared in numerous films, including Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and The Aristocrats (2005).

Early Career

Born February 28, 1955, in Brooklyn, New York, Gilbert Gottfried began his stand-up career at the age of 15, when he started working at small clubs around the city.

Film Work

Beginning in the late 1980s, Gottfried’s star power rose, thanks to a series of smaller roles in a variety of movies. His film work includes Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), Problem Child (1990), Problem Child 2 (1991) and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990). In 2005 he made an appearance in the comedy documentary The Aristocrats.

He also provided the voice for the sarcastic parrot, Iago, in Disney’s animated film Aladdin (1992).


Over the years, Gottfried’s daring comedy resulted in controversy. Not long after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the comedian took the stage and complained that he missed his flight because he was told the plane first had to “stop at the Empire State Building.” The joke earned repudiation from the audience.

Ten years later, in March 2011, Gottfried again stepped into trouble when he started tweeting out jokes about the devastating earthquake in Japan. As a result, Gottfried, the longtime television voice for the duck mascot for Aflac insurance, was fired by the company.

Later Work

A recording of a live event, Gilbert Gottfried Dirty Jokes was released on both DVD and CD in 2008, and Rubber Balls and Liquor was published in 2011, becoming Gottfried’s first book.  

Personal Life

In 2007, Gottfried married his partner Dara Kravtiz, with whom he has two children. 

Gottfried died on April 12, 2022 after suffering a long illness.

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