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James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on 'Friends,' dies at 59

Obit James Michael Tyler
Posted at 4:21 AM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 11:34:34-04

NEW YORK (AP) — James Michael Tyler, the actor known widely for his recurring role as Gunther on “Friends,” has died. He was 59.

Tyler died Sunday at home in Los Angeles from prostate cancer, said his manager, Toni Benson.

Tyler was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018.

Tyler had appeared briefly in 1990s series like “Just Shoot Me!” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” before being cast as a background character in the second episode of “Friends” in 1994.

Over the show’s multi-year run, he became the most frequently recurring guest star on the series playing Gunther, the Central Perk worker with an unrequited affection for Jennifer Aniston's Rachel.

Aniston and other cast members expressed their condolences after hearing the news of Tyler’s death.

“Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed #JamesMichaelTyler,” wrote Aniston on Instagram, along with a clip of them from the series finale.

Courtney Cox wrote, “The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you. Rest In peace James.”

Matt LeBlanc also paid his respects, saying “We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend.”