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A Tribute to Friends Star James Michael Tyler

Mon 25th Oct 2021

Friends star James Michael Tyler has died at the age of 59, it's been confirmed.

The actor, who famously played Central Perk manager Gunther during the show's 10-year run, passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday morning following a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer.

The actor's representative confirmed the news to TMZ and shared a statement from the actor's family.

"The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh "Friend"), from the hit series "Friends," but 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."

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but kept it private for three years.

James Michael Tyler appeared via Zoom at the Friends reunion. Picture: HBO James Michael Tyler's character Gunther was famously in love with Rachel (played by Jennifer Aniston). Picture: NBC

James revealed his cancer diagnosis earlier this year in an interview with the US Today show, just weeks after the much-hyped Friends reunion aired - which had left fans wondering as to why he wasn't included in the live filming.

He explained that his former castmates were aware of his health battle and that his chemotherapy treatment had prevented him from taking part in person.

"I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities," Tyler said in the interview in June.