James Michael Tyler, who was best known for his role as Gunter on “Friends”, died Sunday morning from prostate cancer at 59 years old. Tyler received his cancer diagnosis in 2018 and shared an update on the “Today” show over the summer.
“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years,” Tyler said. “It’s stage 4. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”
The actor was a crucial part of the “Friends” franchise, as he was dubbed by many as “the seventh ‘Friend,'” in his role as the Rachel-Green-obsessed barista at the iconic Central Perk cafe. “Friends” stars including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Matt LeBlanc have recently paid tribute to James Michael Tyler.
Marta Kauffman and David Crane, co-creators of “Friends”, had nothing but kind words to say about the star. “When he started as an extra on ‘Friends,’ his unique spirit caught our eye and we knew we had to make him a character. He made Gunther’s unrequited love incredibly relatable. Our heart goes out to his wife, Jennifer Carno,” the statement said.
James Michael Tyler died peacefully in his Los Angeles Home and was known as an “actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband,” according to his representative Toni Benson.