James Michael Tyler, actor who played ‘Gunther’ in Friends, dies aged 59
James Michael Tyler, the actor best-known for playing the role of Gunther in the iconic sitcom, Friends, has passed away today, Sunday, October 24. James was aged 59, and reportedly died peacefully in his sleep at his Los Angeles home, after a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer. The sad news of his death was confirmed to TMZ by his agent.
In a statement released by his family, it said, “The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh ‘Friend’), from the hit series Friends, but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband”.
It continued, “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”.
Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, James played Gunther in Friends from 1994 through to 2004. In the sitcom, Gunther was a worker at a coffee shop in Central Park, who had unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston‘s character, Rachel Green. Tyler kept his diagnosis private for three years, after first being diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
His role saw James appear in 148 of the series’ 236 episodes, making him the show’s most-frequently-appearing recurring character actor, as reported by metro.co.uk.