James Michael Tyler: Friends actor dies aged 59 as Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox lead tributes

Actor James Michael Tyler, best known for playing Gunther on the TV series "Friends," has died of prostate cancer at 59-years-old.

By Beth Murray
Monday, 25th October 2021, 8:46 am

The star was beloved by millions of fans for his portrayal of Gunther, the quirky manager of coffee shop Central Perk who possessed a head of bleached hair and an unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston’s, Rachel.

He died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, his representatives said.

Aniston has marked the death of her co-star by saying the show “would not have been the same” without him.

She shared an Instagram post which included a photo of Tyler from the set and a clip of the pair in the final episode as Gunther declares his love for Rachel before being let down gently.

“Friends would not have been the same without you,” the 52-year-old wrote in the post’s caption.

“Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed.”

Co-star Courteney Cox posted the same photo of Tyler in a pink-striped collared shirt and tie to express her “gratitude” to her former co-star.

James Michael Tyler: Friends actor dies aged 59 as Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc and Courteney Cox lead tributes. (Photo credit: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Cox wrote: “The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you.

“Rest In peace, James.”

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Matt LeBlanc shared the same photo of Tyler as his co-stars, while the actor led with a still of the pair either side of Central Perk’s counter.

“We had a lot of laughs buddy,” LeBlanc wrote in the Instagram post’s caption.

“You will be missed. RIP my friend.”

Tyler revealed in June he had prostate cancer, telling a US TV show he was diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease in 2018 which had spread to his bones.

In a statement announcing his death, Tyler’s representatives said: “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.”

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