'Friends' Actor James Michael Tyler Has Died at 59

Tributes are pouring in following the sad news.

actor james michael tyler attends the central perk pop up celebrating the 20th anniversary of "friends" on september 16, 2014 in new york city
(Image credit: Paul Zimmerman)

James Michael Tyler, who famously portrayed Gunther on Friends, sadly passed away on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, a rep for the actor confirmed to TMZ. Tyler, who was 59, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.

Tributes from those close to Tyler have been pouring in following the sad news. "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," his family said in a statement.

On Friends, Tyler played Gunther, the awkward Central Perk café manager with "hair brighter than the sun" who was in love with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) throughout the series, and was a beloved though never quite integrated part of the group.

Friends cast members remember Tyler as a beautiful presence on set. Aniston shared a scene from the show where Gunther finally declares his love to Rachel on Instagram, captioning it, "Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed #JamesMichaelTyler."

Courteney 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."

Lisa Kudrow remembered Tyler with the words, "James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler [sic]."

And Matt LeBlanc wrote the simple but poignant caption, "We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend."

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author whose work has appeared in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, HelloGiggles, SheKnows, Metro, Fabulous, Nicki Swift, POPSUGAR, Alma and more. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.