James Michael Tyler, popularly known as Gunther, a barista on the popular sitcom show, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., died on October 24, 2021, due to prostate cancer.
James was diagnosed in 2018 with an advanced form of the disease, which further spread to his bones, after which he shared this news with everyone and urged them to get themselves checked before the age of forty. He said that he was surrounded by an “extraordinary” and loving support group, and many people were praying for his health.
While undergoing the chemotherapy, Tyler still continued to perform. He was starred in two short films — “The Gesture and the Word” and “Processing” — which also earned him accolades at various film festivals.
His journey on the show – F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
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
Tyler was an actual barista at a coffee shop when he asked if he would like to play as an extra on the show. He was known as “the coffee guy” in the first season of the show. He was also known as the seventh friend by fans due to the uniquity of his role. Though he had been often seen behind the counter, he had some of his popular lines too in the 10-year running of the show.
Tyler was absent from the ‘Friends’ reunion, which was released earlier this year on various HBO streaming services but only appeared via Zoom. He explained his absence by saying that he didn’t want to discourage the show by explaining his illness. Initially, he would be a part of it on the stage with all other actors, but he decided to virtually make his appearance.
Tyler’s representative’s words In a statement, while announcing James’s death, his representatives said that though the world knew him as Gunther- the seventh friend- from the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S., his loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, loving husband, and a cancer-awareness advocate.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S. actors pay tribute As the news of James’s death came out, the tributes poured from all over the world. His co-stars on the show also came forward to pay him tribute sharing their memories on their Instagram accounts.