Tyler, who appeared on all 10 seasons of Friends as Central Perk barista Gunther who reserves an unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel, died Sunday morning four months after revealing in June that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, a disease he had been battling since 2018. Tyler cited his diagnosis for not attending this past May's Friends: The Reunion special in person, opting to appear virtually instead. "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. It was bittersweet, honestly," Tyler told the Today show in June. "I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn't wanna bring a downer on it, you know? ... I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'" In a statement, Tyler's manager said: “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.” In a statement posted to the Friends official Twitter account, Warner Bros. TV said that it "mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans." Besides Friends, Tyler had guest-starring roles on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Just Shoot Me!, Scrubs and Episodes, where he played himself in a reunion with Matt LeBlanc.
TOPICS: James Michael Tyler, Episodes, Friends, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Obits, Retro TV, Warner Bros. TV