James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther in Friends, dies at 59

James Michael Tyler on the red carpet
James Michael Tyler is an actor best known for appearing in all seasons of the sitcom Friends. Pic credit:

Friends star James Michael Tyler, who portrayed the barista Gunther on the popular series, died at age 59. His cause of death has been revealed.

Friends is a sitcom that ran for ten seasons and is one of the most popular television series, earning multiple Emmy Awards.

The series revolved around six friends played by Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer.

James Michael Tyler portrayed coffee shop manager Gunther and is affectionally known as the seventh ‘friend.’

James Michael Tyler cause of death

Tyler passed away from prostate cancer at 59 years old.

According to The Guardian, Tyler revealed in June that he has been battling stage 4 prostate cancer, diagnosed in 2018.

“The world knew him as Gunther … but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband,” a statement from his family reads, adding:

“Michael loved live music, cheering on his Clemson Tigers, and would often find himself in fun and unplanned adventures. If you met him once you made a friend for life.”

Friends stars pay tribute to Gunther

Despite being a recurring character in every season, James Michael Tyler only received guest appearance credits. He also appeared in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and Scrubs.

In 2021, he appeared in the Friends: The Reunion special.

On Friends, Tyler’s character Gunther is in love with Rachel Green and lets her maintain her job despite being terrible at it.

Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel, paid tribute to James Michael Tyler on Instagram sharing the clip where his character declares his love for Rachel.

In the caption, the actress wrote the following:

“Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed #JamesMichaelTyler ?”

Courtney Cox, who played Monica Geller on Friends, shared a picture of Tyler on Instagram and wrote:

“The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you. Rest In peace, James.”

Several tributes poured in from the stars of the series and fans.

The Friend’s official social media accounts paid tribute to the late star.

A fan shared a moment Tyler appeared in the Friends reunion earlier this year via Zoom.

Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno, who he married in 2017.

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