Friends stars pay tribute to Gunther actor James Michael Tyler after he dies aged 59

25 October 2021, 07:14 | Updated: 25 October 2021, 11:56

James Michael Tyler has passed away
James Michael Tyler has passed away. Picture: Alamy/Instagram
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

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Actor James Michael Tyler, who is best known for playing Gunther in Friends, has died at the age of 59.

James Michael Tyler has died at the age 59 in his Los Angeles home.

The actor is best known for playing Gunther in Friends from 1994 to 2004 and passed away over the weekend, a statement from his manager confirmed.

James was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018 and it later spread to his bones.

James Michael Tyler played Gunther in Friends
James Michael Tyler played Gunther in Friends. Picture: Alamy

The statement read: "If you met him once you made a friend for life.

"[He] is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno, the love of his life."

"Wanting to help as many people as possible, he bravely shared his story and became a campaigner for those with a prostate to get a... blood test as early as 40 years old."

In Friends, Gunther was one of the best loved characters of Friends thanks to his unrequited love of Rachel.

And Rachel actress Jennifer Anniston has shared a tribute to her former co-star by sharing a video of the pair on Instagram.

She wrote: "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."

In the video, Gunther tells Rachel: "I know you are leaving tonight, but I just have to tell you, I love you. I don't know if that changes your plans at all, but I thought you should know."

Rachel then tells him: "Gunther, I love you too. Probably not in the same way, but I do. And when I am in a café, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I will think of you."

Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Courteney Cox also shared their condolences on Instagram.

Phoebe Buffay actress Lisa wrote: “James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler.”

“We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend,” Joey Tribiani actor Matt said, while Monica Geller actress Courteney added: “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. ♥️”.

On Sunday, James' family also released a statement which read: "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."

Our thoughts are with James' family and friends.