Publicist Confirms Gilbert Gottfried Died Of Rare Genetic Disease

Taylor Sakellis
Gilbert Gottfried
Getty | Gary Gershoff

Fans of comedy have been mourning the loss of Gilbert Gottfried. The comedian, best known for his voiceover work and brash comedy style, passed away on April 12, as reported by his family in a statement posted to his social media networks. Gilbert was a 67-year-old husband and the father of two children.

Now, his publicist is confirming the comedian's cause of death.

On Tuesday, April 12, comedy fans were rocked by the news of Gilbert Gottfried's death.

The comedian's family took to social media to announce the heartbreaking news.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gibert Gottfried after a long illness," the tweet began.

"In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children," the family wrote.

"Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honor," the statement concluded.

Later that day, Gilbert's cause of death was confirmed by his publicist and friend, Glenn Schwartz.

As reported by NBC News, the 67-year-old suffered from a rare genetic muscle disorder called type II myotonic dystrophy.

It is currently unknown when the father of two was first diagnosed.

The news outlet spoke with the director of the Northwestern University Center for Genetic Medicine, Elizabeth McNally, who illustrated the dangers of this often undiagnosed condition.

“People can have symptoms for quite a while even before they notice it,” she explained. "The things I always notice first in patients is that they have trouble getting up out of chairs and difficulty going upstairs."

NBC News goes on to report that Gilbert died of recurrent ventricular tachycardia, which causes "an abnormal rhythm in the lower chambers of the heart."

To learn more about this rare disease, which affects 1 in 8,000 people, please click here.

Our thoughts are with the Gottfried family as they navigate this incredibly difficult time.

h/t: NBC News