Gilbert Gottfried, the actor and comedian whose shrill voice captivated early stand-up audiences and moviegoers, has died at the age of 67, according to his family.

“After a long illness, we are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear Gilbert Gottfried,” his family said in a statement posted to his verified Twitter account on Tuesday.

Gottfried, who had spent the previous few years in South Florida, had built a name for himself with his piercing voice and frequently obscene humor.

Gottfried’s family recognized him as “comedy’s most iconic voice” and a “great husband, brother, friend, and father to his two young children.”
Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian, was taken aback by Bob Saget’s death.
On May 13, Gottfried was supposed to perform at the Palm Beach Kennel Club’s Paddock Restaurant.

In the 1970s, the Brooklyn-born stand-up comedian was a staple of the New York comedy club scene, but his big break came in 1980, when he joined the cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for its sixth season.

His humor had sparked debate over the years, most notably upsetting a national television audience with a barrage of masturbation jokes directed at Paul Reubens (better known as Pee-Wee Herman), who had been arrested a month earlier on an indecent exposure charge at an adult movie theater in Florida. Fox, which carried the Emmy Awards at the time, censored the show for West Coast viewers and published a statement calling Gottfried’s quips “irresponsible and demeaning.”

Gottfried was also a master at turning national tragedies into jokes, being one of the first comedians to make a joke about the September 11th attacks. Gottfried’s comedy was booed and ridiculed by the audience at the New York Friars Club in 2001.

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