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    James Michael Tyler Dies: ‘Friends’ Actor Who Portrayed Gunther Was 59

    James Michael Tyler, the actor who portrayed Gunther friend, died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday after battling stage 4 prostate cancer, Deadline has confirmed. He was 59 years old.

    Friends, Jennifer Aniston, 1994–present, The One With Joy’s New Girlfriend aired 10/30/97, year 4

    Tyler, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, opened up about his struggles Today in June. He confirmed that “late-stage cancer” had spread to his bones and spine, causing paralysis of his lower body.

    “So in the end, you know, it’ll probably get to me,” he said.

    “All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and at night, and boom — life was pretty normal,” he told Craig Melvin. He said the cancer mutated “right in the time of the pandemic”.

    Tyler was born on May 28, 1962, in Greenwood, Mississippi, the youngest of five children. By the age of 12, he had lost both his parents. He moved to South Carolina to live with a sister.

    His love for acting blossomed during his time at Clemson University, where he earned a degree in geology in 1984 while performing as part of the student theater group. Four years later, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a production assistant and assistant film editor in Hollywood.

    he joined the cast of friend In 1994’s Central Perk in the role of Gunther, a barista who harbored a crush on Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel. He appeared in over 50 episodes of the popular sitcom through its 2004 finale. Gunther was often unofficially considered the 7th Friend by fans.

    Tyler virtually also appeared in the show’s HBO Max reunion which aired in May.

    Other credits include appearances just shoot me!, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, scrubs, And episode.

    While in treatment, Michael continued to star in two short films—The Gesture and the Word, and Processing—winning best-actor awards at various domestic and international film festivals. In 2021, his spoken word performance of Stephen Kalinich’s poem “If You Know” was adapted into a short video to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

    Michael is survived by his wife Jennifer Carno.

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