James Michael Tyler, Who Played Gunther on ‘friends,’ Dies at 59
We have lost fans’ favorite character Gunther, who took us on comedy rides several times. On Sunday morning, James Michael Tyler, who portrayed Gunther on the sitcom “Friends,” died of prostate cancer at his home in Los Angeles, according to his manager.
He was 59 years old at the time but cancer forced him to take his last breath. Tyler already revealed his cancer diagnosis to the public a few months ago. On the “Today” show, he said, “I have been dealing with that diagnosis for almost three years.” “It’s the fourth stage. Cancer in its final stages. So, you know, it’ll catch up to me someday.” And unfortunately, the same happened.
Jennifer Carno, Tyler’s wife, helped him to cure in an utmost way, but could not make it because of the fatal disease. He holds a great spirit and enthusiasm for his work. Tyler featured in two short films while getting treatment after being diagnosed with cancer and did a spoken word performance of Stephan Kalinich’s poem “If You Knew” to help spread awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Tyler was supposed to be an additional cast member on “Friends,” but his “unique spirit” earned him a role as a named and important character, the successful show’s co-creator Marta Kauffman and David Crane wrote in a homage to the “genuinely nice, sweet man” on Sunday. Tyler portrayed Gunther on “Friends,” a character who makes the gang coffee every day while harboring an unrequited crush on Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel.
He also starred in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and several other Television shows and episodes.
We all know James Tyler as Gunther (the seventh ‘Friend’) from the very hit series Friends, Benson wrote in a tribute, “but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness champion, and loving husband.” “Michael enjoyed live music, rooting for his Clemson Tigers, and finding himself in spontaneous experiences.”
Tyler was hired as a barista at the Bourgeois Pig coffee shop in Los Angeles at the time. According to Saul Austerlitz’s 2019 book, “Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Tv Era,” he didn’t have a line of conversation on Friends even though he had made 33 appearances. Tyler made an appearance in 150 of the 236 episodes, and thus created a beautiful corner in everyone’s heart.
Tyler has made minor appearances in 1990s series such as Just Shoot Me! and Sabrina the Teenage Witch before being cast as a background character in Friends’ second season in 1994. Throughout the show’s multi-year run, he became the show’s most recurring guest star, portraying Gunther, the Central Perk barista with an unresolved crush on Rachel, Jennifer Aniston.
Tyler’s Co-stars Paid Tribute to Him
Joey on the sitcom, Matt LeBlanc, paid tribute to Tyler by posting photographs from the Friends set to his Instagram account. “Boy, we had a lot of laughs.” You’ll be sorely missed. In the caption, he said, “RIP my friend.”
Jennifer Aniston, who portrayed Rachel in Friends, also paid tribute to Tyler on her Instagram account. She released a scene from the episode in which she and Tyler appear. This all overwhelmed the fans of the Friends.
“The enormity of the gratitude you brought into the room and demonstrated every day on set is the measure of the gratitude I hold for having known you,” Courteney Cox wrote. James, may you rest in peace.” Remembering him, all the co-stars expressed their grief and condolence for his family. The loss is severe which would not be recovered.