‘Aladdin’ actor dies after ‘long illness’

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired by Aflac in 2011 after sending offensive tweets about the Japanese tsunami.

Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has died after a “long illness”, his family confirmed Tuesday. He was 67.

Gottfried, known for his shrill voice and roles in “Aladdin,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and as the voice of the Aflac duck, died Tuesday afternoon of recurrent ventricular tachycardia, longtime friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz said in a statement to USA TODAY. The condition of the heart rhythm is “caused by irregular electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

The cabaret artist’s family shared news of his death Tuesday in a post on his Twitter account,

“We are heartbroken to announce the death of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness,” his family said. “Besides 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 loudly as possible in Gilbert’s eare “

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