• Gilbert Gottfried died after battling a rare muscular illness
  • "We are heartbroken," his family said on Twitter
  • Tributes poured in on social media following his death

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has died after a long illness, his family announced Tuesday. He was 67.

Glenn Schwartz, the comedian's longtime friend and publicist, revealed in a statement that Gottfried died from recurrent ventricular tachycardia due to myotonic dystrophy type II, a type of muscular dystrophy characterized by prolonged muscle tensing, weakness, pain, and abnormal heartbeat.

The actor's family took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce the news of his death.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness," the family tweeted.

"In addition to being the true 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 loud as possible in Gilbert's honor. Love, the Gottfried family," they added.

Gottfried is known for his comedy films, including "Look Who's Talking Too," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "Problem Child." Known for his exaggerated voice, he also had a regular standup comic podcast called "Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast." Its last episode was aired on April 4.

Gottfried was also the voice of the parrot Iago in the 1992 film adaptation of Disney's "Aladdin." He went on to reprise his voice role in the sequels "The Return of Jafar" in 1994 and "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" in 1996. In 2017, he was the subject of the documentary "Gilbert," which centered on his life as a standup comedian.

After the news of his death came out, tributes to the late comedian started pouring in on social media. Actor Jason Alexander wrote, "Gilbert Gottfried made me laugh at times when laughter did not come easily. What a gift. I did not know him well but I loved what he shared with me. My best wishes and sympathy to his family."

Frank Santopadre, Gottfried's friend and co-host on his podcast, also mourned his death, saying the late comedian's humor was "brash, shocking, and frequently offensive, but the man behind the jokes was anything but."

"Those who loved him and who were fortunate enough to share his orbit knew a person who was sweet, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of playfulness and wonder. He'll be dearly missed by family, friends, fans, and comedy lovers the world over. To quote Gilbert himself, 'Too soon!,'" he said in a statement to ET.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried arrives with a duck at the Webby Awards in New York June 14, 2010.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried arrives with a duck at the Webby Awards in New York June 14, 2010. Reuters / Lucas Jackson