American actor James Michael Tyler, who played the famous role of Gunther in the television sitcom Friends, has died at the age of 59.
“Tyler passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home on Sunday morning,” his manager said in a statement.
“If you meet him when you’ve been friends with him for a long time,” he said. “[His] wife, Jennifer Carno, is living the love life for her life.”
Tyler was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018 which eventually spread to his bones.
“In an effort to help as many people as possible, he boldly shares his story and expands the campaign for those with prostate cancer to … get blood tests for 40 years,” said his manager.
Even though he doesn’t have as much screen time as his six main friends, Gunther is popular and his backer.
He put a lot of pressure on Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel over the course of the series, who also works as a chef at this time.
His manager said, “the world knows him as Gunther (seventh friend)…
In May, Tyler gave a short presentation about a special gathering of friends from the tour.
“Those were the most memorable 10 years of my life, really,” the actor said during the show.
“I can only imagine a better experience,” he said. “All of this is so amazing that it’s a pleasure to work with them. It’s really special.”
Tyler appeared in nearly 150 NBC films from 1994 to 2004.
Paying homage to Tyler, Aniston wrote on her Instagram page: “Friends will never be the same to you and the four of you. Thank you for the humor you bring to this film and all of our lives. You will be worse off.”
Aniston shared a video from the final episode, in which Gunther later confesses his love for Rachel.
In an Instagram post, co-founder Courteney Cox, who plays Monica, said, “How many thanks you bring into the room and show up every day on set is my gratitude for knowing you.”
Warner Bros Television, a co-creator of the sitcom, said Tyler was “an actor in love and an important part of our family of friends.”
Michael continued to work for many years while receiving cancer treatment.
He starred in two short films – The Gesture and the Word, and Processing – which won Best Actor at various film festivals.
In 2021, his collaboration with Stephen Kalinich If You Know has been redesigned into a short video to raise awareness about the Prostate Cancer Foundation.