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James Michael Tyler, well known for his role as Gunther in the TV sitcom Friends, has died at the age of 59.

“Tyler died away peacefully on Sunday morning at his home in Los Angeles,” his manager said in a statement. “If you meet him once, you’ve made a lifelong buddy,” it continued. “His wife, Jennifer Carno, the love of his life, survives him.” James Tyler was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018, and it spread to his bones later that year.

“Wishing to help as many people as possible,” his manager added, “he bravely revealed his tale and became a crusader for persons with prostate cancer to obtain a… blood test as early as 40 years old.” Gunther was and continues to be a popular figure among Friends fans, despite not having as much screen time as the other six main characters.

Gunther worked at Central Perk, the show’s coffee shop, as a server and manager. Throughout the series, he had a crush on Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel, who also worked there as a waiter in the early seasons.

Michael’s manager remarked, “The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend), but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness champion, and loving husband.” Tyler made a cameo appearance on the Friends reunion event via Zoom last month.

“Honestly,” the actor James Tyler commented at the time of the program, “it was the most memorable 10 years of my life.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect experience,” he remarked. “All of these men were outstanding and a pleasure to deal with. It had a very particular feel to it.” Tyler starred in nearly 150 episodes of the NBC comedy from 1994 to 2004. Tyler was “a beloved actor and vital member of our Friends family,” according to Warner Bros Television, one of the sitcom’s co-producers.

Many Friends fans have paid tribute to Tyler on social media, calling the actor’s death a “sad day” and sharing their favorite on-screen moments with him. Michael has continued to perform in recent years despite his cancer treatment. He won best actor honors at several film festivals for his roles in two short films, The Gesture and the Word and Processing. His spoken word performance of Stephen Kalinich’s poem If You Knew was turned into a short video for the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 2021.

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