Gunther from Friends, actor James Michael Tyler, passes away
James Michael Tyler, most well-known for his performance as 'Gunther' on Friends, died of prostate cancer.
American actor James Michael Tyler, most well-known for playing 'Gunther' on television sitcom Friends, died of prostate cancer. He was 59.
"Michael's loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate and loving husband. 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," his manager said in a statement.
Tyler was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018. He also worked as a campaigner for individuals with prostates to get a first blood test as early as 40 years old.
Although Tyler was a part of the entertainment industry for several years, he was most popular for playing Gunther, a worker at the Central Perk cafe who reserves an unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston, who plays Rachel in Friends. Dubbed by many as "the seventh friend", the actor was a series mainstay, first appearing as a background character in the second episode of Friends and returning as a guest star across the remainder of its 10-year run. Tyler also made an appearance via a video conference on the special Friends: The Reunion earlier this year.
Sharing a clip from the sitcom, Jennifer Aniston wrote, "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."
Beyond Friends, Tyler's acting credits stretch back to 1992, including series like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Scrubs and Modern Music.
While undergoing treatment, he continued to perform, starring in two short films The Gesture and the Word and Processing, which earned him best actor awards at several domestic and international film festivals.
This year, Tyler's spoken word performance of Stephan Kalinich's poem If You Knew was adapted into a short video to help raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.
(with inputs from IANS)