James Michael Tyler, the Actor Who Played Gunther on Friends, Dies at 59

by nerdyminutes

James Michael Tyler, the actor who played Gunther on Friends, has died of prostate cancer at the age of 59.

As reported by Variety, Tyler passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home on Sunday, October 24, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2018. He shared the story of his battle on “Today” earlier this year and also worked as a “campaigner for individuals with prostates to get a first blood test as early as 40 years old.”

Image Credit: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Image Credit: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

“Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate and loving husband,” his manager said in a statement. “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.”

The official Friends Twitter account also mourned the loss of Tyler, a “beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family.”

On Friends, Tyler’s Gunther was a worker at Central Perk cafe who had unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel. He appeared in the second episode of the show and would be part of 150 of the show’s 236 episodes. He was considered by many to be “the seventh ‘Friend'” and was the most frequently recurring guest star.

Tyler appeared in the recent HBO Max special Friends: The Reunion via video conference, saying he wanted to be a part of it but didn’t “wanna bring a downer on it.”

“I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities,” Tyler said about the reunion. “It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.’”

Tyler’s credits go all the way back to 1992 where he was a bar patron in the short titled The Roommate. Over the years, he has appeared in episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Scrubs, Modern Music, Episodes, and more.

Tyler was born on May 28, 1962 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and was the youngest of five children. He graduated from Anderson University with a two-year degree in 1982 and from Clemson University in 1984 with a degree in geology.

He was a member of Clemson’s student theater group – the Clemson Players – and his time there was said to have inspired him to take on a career in acting. He would go on to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1987.

Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno. The two have been married since 2017.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Comment