It’s a sad day for “Friends” fans all over the world as the news broke out that James Michael Tyler, the actor who played the loveable background character and owner of the iconic Central Perk café, Gunther, has passed away. He was 59 years old.
According to reports, Tyler had died peacefully in his Los Angeles home after a long battle with advanced prostate cancer which had spread to his bones. He was first diagnosed with the disease in September 2018 and only revealed having it after appearing via video in the “Friends” reunion special. He, later on, started to vocally advocate for prostate cancer awareness as well as urge people with prostates to get blood tests as early as 40 years old.
“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,” said his manager Toni Benson in a statement.
Apart from being the most frequently appearing guest star in the 10-year run of “Friends” which earned him the title of “seventh Friend” by fans, Tyler has starred in many other shows such as “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Scrubs,” and “Modern Music.” He also starred in two short films in recent years while undergoing treatment, namely “The Gesture and the Word” and “Processing,” which had earned him the best actor award in multiple film festivals locally and internationally.
Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.
May he rest in peace.
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