Goodbye, Gunther: Friends actor James Michael Tyler has died

Los Angeles, California – Actor James Michael Tyler, who played coffee shop manager Gunther in the hit series Friends, has died of prostate cancer.

James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on the hit series Friends, has died of prostate cancer.
James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on the hit series Friends, has died of prostate cancer.  © Collage: Imago / Everett Collection

Tyler passed away on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 59, according to a statement from his manager Toni Benson.

"Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family," the Twitter account for the series posted.

"Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans."

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In the 90s hit series Friends, Tyler starred as the shy coffee shop manager with an unrequited crush on Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston.

Tyler announced he had cancer in June, having already been diagnosed in September 2018. The disease had also spread to his bones, the actor told NBC's TODAY.

"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. ... It's stage 4 (now). Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," he said.

At the Friends reunion special last spring, Tyler was only able to participate briefly via Zoom. He said that while he initially planned to be on stage with the other stars, he ultimately chose not to because he didn't want to spoil the mood.

Cover photo: Collage: Imago / Everett Collection

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