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James Michael Tyler, The Man Behind The Formidable Gunther On ‘Friends’, Has Tragically Passed Away

The iconic actor was 59-years-old.

It has been confirmed that James Michael Tyler, best known for playing Gunther on Friends, has died aged 59.

Per a statement from his managerTyler passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home on Sunday, October 24. He leaves his wife Jennifer Carno, described as “the love of his life”. 

In 2018, Tyler was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to his bones.

In the heartbreaking statement, Tyler’s manager added: “Wanting to help as many people as possible, [Michael] bravely shared his story and became a campaigner for those with a prostate to get a… blood test as early as 40-years-old.” 

The statement continued: “The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend)… but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband.”


Tyler rose to fame for his iconic depiction of Central Perk’s resident café manager. While his role was low-key, he remained a fixture throughout all 10 seasons of Friends

Perhaps most notable for his crush on Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston), the actor garnered a big fan base and became just as synonymous with the show as its six main actors. 

Tyler had previously said of his experience on the show: “It was the most memorable 10 years of my life… I could not have imagined just a better experience. All these guys were fantastic and just a joy to work with. It felt very, very special.” 

In recent years, Tyler continued acting—even throughout his cancer treatment. 

His last project were The Gesture and the Word, and Processing, both of which he earned critical acclaim for. 

Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. 

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