According to a statement shared with the BBC, Tyler passed away peacefully on Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He had been battling stage 4 prostate cancer since his diagnosis in 2018.
“The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend)…,” reads the statement. “But Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband. If you met him once you made a friend for life.”
Tributes from his fellow Friends co-stars quickly poured in.
“Friends would not have been the same without you,” wrote Jennifer Aniston. Thank you for the laughter you brought the show and to all our lives. You will be so missed.”
“James Michael Tyler, we will miss you,” said Lisa Kudrow. “Thank you for being there for us all.”
“We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend,” wrote Matt LeBlanc.
“The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of gratitude I hold for having known you,” added Courtney Cox. “Rest in peace, James.”
Warner Bros. Television 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. ❤️☕️ pic.twitter.com/9coGnT5BHz
— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) October 24, 2021
The unofficial seventh member of the core Friends cast, Tyler featured as the beloved Central Perk barista, Gunther, from the show’s founding in 1994 until its conclusion in 2004.
Rest in Peace, James.
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