Vale: James Michael Tyler
US actor best known as Gunther in Friends, has died.
US actor James Michael Tyler, best known as Gunther in Friends, has died, aged 59.
He died on Sunday morning at home in Los Angeles having been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018.
“Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate and loving husband,” his manager said in a statement. “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.”
Tyler played Central Perk cafe’s Gunther on Friends from 1994 to 2004, first appearing as an extra in the second episode of Friends and returning as a guest star across the remainder of its 10-year run.
Dubbed by many as “the seventh Friend,” he is the most frequently-recurring guest star across the series.
He recently made a video in Friends: The Reunion earlier this year, later revealing his diagnosis on the NBC Today show.
“It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.’”
“I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen,” he said of his diagnosis. “That came back at an extraordinarily high number. So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there. Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”
His other credits include Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Just Shoot Me!, Scrubs, Episodes, Modern Music.
Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans. ❤️☕️ pic.twitter.com/9coGnT5BHz
— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) October 24, 2021