‘Aladdin’ star Jonathan Freeman, who voiced Jafar, says co-star Gilbert Gottfried’s death ‘breaks my heart’
“Aladdin” star Jonathan Freeman has fond memories of teaming up with the late Gilbert Gottfried to create the animated movie’s iconic bad guys.
Freeman voiced the sorcerer Jafar and Gottfried voiced his parrot sidekick, Iago, in the 1992 film. Gottfried’s family announced this week that the comedian died at age 67 after “a long illness.”
“Losing a partner is never easy. It breaks my heart,” Freeman told People. “Gilbert will be greatly missed. Jafar said it best… ‘I love the way your foul little mind works!’ "
Freeman, 72, added that their partnership “started on the old Disney Lot, in Studio B, at the corner of Dopey Drive and Goofy Lane” and “turned into a 31 year marriage between two of Disney’s most delicious villains.”
Gottfried was also known for his stand-up comedy, his work as a “Saturday Night Live” cast member, and for his decades of roles that included voicing the Aflac Duck.
On Tuesday, “Aladdin” on Broadway dedicated its performance to Gottfried, with actor Don Darryl Rivera paying tribute during the show’s curtain call.
“The first time I met Gilbert was on this very stage,” Rivera said. “The curtain had just come down, and up comes Gilbert from the wings.
“He put his arm around me and we snapped a few photos, but then I pulled out this: the ‘Aladdin’ VHS. And his eyes lit up like it was the magic lamp itself. He signed it for me, and it’s still one of my most treasured possessions.”