Gilbert Gottfried’s family made it public in April 2020 that the actor and comedian are no more. Gottfried left for his heavenly abode at the age of 67. He was suffering from a long illness. Gottfried is popular as a comedian’s comedian, and his shrill voice always worked like magic on the fans. He always had the talent to find humor in almost everything and all kinds of situations.
His comic timing in his stand-up act took him up the ladder of fame and popularity. Aside from being an iconic comedian, Gottfried has made appearances in a host of television shows and films for the last forty years or so. He has lent his voice to Iago, the parrot in the 1992 animation. Besides that, he also lent his voice to Aladdin and Kraang in the 3D animated TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Take a look at the five of his best film roles.
Beverly Hills Cop II
In this 1987 buddy action comedy directed by Tony Scott, Gottfried played the role of Sidney Bernstein opposite Axel Foley, portrayed by Eddie Murphy. Though the role was not a major one in Gottfried’s acting career, he has made every minute of his screen time entertaining. It’s always funny to watch how Axel tricks Sidney and Sidney ends up giving Axel access to his computer. Sidney tries to convince a police officer and bribes the officer to refrain from paying for parking tickets and get humiliated. Though this role was nowhere close to Gottfried’s standup acts, it gave the audience a treat and a signal of what was waiting in the queue.
The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
The 1990 action comedy mystery flick directed by Renny Harlin had Gottfried portraying the role of Johnny Crunch. Many of you probably wouldn’t believe that the actor was nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards. Now, why was that? The first reason that comes to mind is that the 80s decade was not the appropriate period for the vulgar humor that the film delivered. To many, this reason would seem lame keeping in mind how vulgar some recent comedies have been. Johnny Crunch is one of Ford’s close aides and the person who hired Ford to find a missing group. He has a key role to play in this movie, banking on which Gottfried displayed his superb acting skills.
The 1992 animation was a clear favorite among the kids during that time. Gottfried lent his voice to Iago, the parrot and the antagonist Jafar’s sidekick. Despite being evil, Iago is funny to the core and made the audience crack up. Iago was so popular with everyone, that he made his comeback in the Aladdin animated franchise. He also appeared in all the direct-to-video movies as an ally of Aladdin and his friends. The character of Iago went on to become one of the most beloved and iconic characters of the franchise and had a legacy that’s less than only the hero, Aladdin.
The 2005 documentary comedy film deals with hugely different takes on the key elements of comedy. It narrates the story of an individual making an entry into a talent agency and performing a wild act. Gottfried once delivered the said joke at the roast of the owner of the Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner at the New York Friars’ Club in 2001. His inclusion in the documentary stemmed from there. With a filthy retelling of the Aristocrat’s joke, Gottfried has the audience burst out in laughter.
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Playing Abraham Lincoln in this 2014 western comedy film was a high point in Gottfried’s acting career. Though the role was a small one, he made it memorable. He portrayed the character of a crass and crude speaker with elan. His role was just on the opposite pole of people’s perceptions of Honest Abe as a smooth and virtuous speaker. The film is ridiculous. But it works on the audience since the comedian could make anything and everything hilarious.
The untimely demise of the great comedian and gifted actor has left a void in the industry that is difficult to fill. Fans will miss Gilbert Gottfried a lot for sure.