The Aladdin voice actor died Tuesday at the age of 67
Gilbert Gottfried used his final days to support his friend Chris Rock.
In the last Instagram post made before Gottfried’s death on Tuesday, the 67-year-old addressed Will Smith hitting Rock, 57, during the 2022 Academy Awards.
“Which is the worst crime? Chris Rock being physically assaulted or Chris Rock telling a joke?” Gottfried wrote on March 28, a day after the incident on live television, alongside a smiling portrait of himself with his fellow comedian.
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Gottfried’s Instagram post at the end of last month was the last he would make before his death, which his friend and publicist Glenn Schwartz confirmed to PEOPLE was the result of “Recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia due to Myotonic Dystrophy type II.”
The news was initially broken on Gottfried’s Instagram and Twitter, where his family shared a photo of the beloved star along with a statement: “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 young children.”
Known for his work in comedy films and as the bird Iago in Disney’s 1992 classic Aladdin, Gottfried was instantly recognizable for his over-the-top, exaggerated voice.
Gottfried also worked with Rock on a number of projects, including two Eddie Murphy films — 1987’s Beverly Hills Cop II and Doctor Dolittle from 1998.