James Michael Tyler, 'Friends' Alum, Dead at 59 After Battle With Cancer

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James Michael Tyler, best known for his role on Friends, died on Sunday. He was 59.

The actor died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer, his rep confirmed in a statement to ET Sunday afternoon.

Tyler is best known for his role as Gunther on Friends, a manager at Central Perk coffee shop where the show's titular friends spend most of their time when not in their apartments. He appeared in 150 episodes of the beloved sitcom.

Tyler's additional TV credits include roles on Just Shoot Me!, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Scrubs, Episodes, and Modern Music, among others.

According to the statement released by his rep, "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."

Tyler was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, and went on the Today show this past June to open up about his diagnosis and to encourage others to get tested as early and regularly as possible.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm not with you today to announce that there's going to be a Friends movie. Actually, I'm here to let you know that in September 2018 I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones," Tyler said during his appearance.

Looking back, Tyler said he regrets not listening to his wife, Jennifer Carno, and getting tested sooner. 

"I would have gone in earlier, [it] would have been hopefully caught earlier," he said, tearfully. He also urged viewers, "Next time you go in for a basic exam or just a checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA checkup."

He appeared virtually during the recent HBO Max Friends reunion special, choosing not to share the news of his diagnosis during the joyful occasion.

"I didn't want it to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer,' you know what I mean?" he explained.

Tyler is survived by his wife, whom he wed in 2017.


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