Gilbert Gottfried, Legendary Comedian and ‘Aladdin’ Voice Actor, Dead at 67

by Samantha Whidden

Gilbert Gottfried, a long-time comedian and TV entertainer who is best known for his role as Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin,” is reportedly dead at the age of 67. 

Gilbert Gottfried’s family issued a statement on Twitter sharing that the actor has died after battling a long-term illness. “We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend, and father to his two children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor.”

According to his IMDb profile, Gilbert Gottfried began doing stand-up at open mike nights in New York City at the age of 15. Years later, he became known around the Big Apple as “the comedian’s comedian.” In 1980, after mastering stand-up comedy, producers of “Saturday Night Live” hired him as a cast member. MTV later hired him for a series of improved and hilarious promos. 

Along with appearing on TV, Gilbert Gottfried scored the role of business manager, Sidney Bernstein, in “Beverly Hills Cop II.” Other roles included “Problem Child” and “Look Who’s talking Too.” In 1992, he took on the voice role of Iago in “Aladdin” and played the parrot for numerous Disney specials, films, and series. 

Gilbert Gottfried’s last film was “The Truth About Santa Clause,” where he played Dr. Leland. He was preparing for “Hassle at the Castle,” which is a new comedy project. It features a comical cast of characters and circumstances that collide two kingdoms into hilarity with a parallel to today’s crazy society.

Gilbert Gottfried Previously Recalled Auditioning for ‘Aladdin’ 

During a 2018 interview, Gilbert Gottfried reflected on when he auditioned for the role of Iago in “Aladdin.”

“They auditioned me,” Gilbert Gottfried explained. “And among the others they auditioned were Joe Pesci and Danny DeVito. So the search was on for short, unattractive Jews and Italians. I went in, I auditioned for it. I sat in front of the mic and read from the script. And as I was reading the script, I started improvising and playing with it and having fun.”

Gilbert Goffried also went on to share that the Disney film’s producers showed him a “cheap, primitive” pencil animation of the parrot. “They took my recordings from the audition and matched it up to that. I remember that was the first time I saw it. I saw the parrot walking around and my voice coming out.”

Gilbert Gottfried then added he remembers the movie coming out and being a monster hit. “Still, when I look at my career, I look at that one and say I know for a fact that one is a quality work.”

This is a developing story…