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    Tribute To FRIENDS Actor Who Played Gunther And Died Battling Cancer

    In all 10 seasons of FRIENDS, James Michael Tyler portrayed the character of Gunther, a neglected Central Perk barista. Unfortunately, after a battle with prostate cancer, he died at the age of 59. His longtime friend and manager, Toni Benson confirmed that Tyler died at his home in Los Angeles Sunday morning. Benson described him as someone who loved Clemson Tigers and the live music. He wrote a tribute for Tyler and sent it to The Hollywood Reporter. He wrote, “If you met him once, you made a friend for life.”

    gunther from friends is diagnosed with cancer

    FRIENDS co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman also paid tribute to the actor. They said in a joint statement, “James was a genuinely kind, sweet man. When he started as an extra on FRIENDS, his unique spirit caught our eye.” They further wrote, “And we knew we had to make him a character. He made Gunther’s unrequited love incredibly relatable.” They expressed their sorrow by saying, “Our heart goes out to his wife, Jennifer Carno.”

    The producer of the show, Kevin Bright also shared the news on Twitter and expressed his sorrow. He tweeted, “James Michael Tyler Our Gunther passed away last night. He was an incredible person who spent his final days helping others. God bless you, James, Gunther lives forever.”

    Not just that, the official Twitter account of FRIENDS also posted a tribute. The tweet said, “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.”

    FRIENDS Cast Tribute To James Michael Tyler

    Apart from the creators, producer, and his family, FRIENDS cast also gave tribute to their Gunther on social media. They said about the time they shared with Tyler on the set and also expressed grief for his demise. Check out the tribute given by cast members of FRIENDS.

    1) Matt LeBlanc

    Joey Tribbiani aka Matt LeBlanc paid tribute to Tyler by sharing a photo of them on his official Instagram handle. In the caption, he wrote, “We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend.”


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    A post shared by Matt LeBlanc (@mleblanc)

    2) Jennifer Aniston

    Rachel Green aka Jennifer Aniston was his major crush on FRIENDS. She also dedicated an Instagram post to Tyler. In the post, she shared a clip from the end of the show that featured her and Tyler. She captioned it by saying, “Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed #JamesMichaelTyler 💔”


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    A post shared by Jennifer Aniston (@jenniferaniston)

    3) Courteney Cox

    Courteney Cox aka Monica Geller also shared a picture of Tyler on Instagram and wrote, “The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you. Rest In peace James.”


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    A post shared by Courteney Cox (@courteneycoxofficial)

    4) Lisa Kudrow

    Phoebe Buffay aka Lisa Kudrow showed her grief as well on her Instagram account. She shared a picture of Tyler and captioned it by saying, “James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler”


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    A post shared by Lisa Kudrow (@lisakudrow)

    Fans Reaction On Tyler’s Demise

    After knowing the fact that fans’ favorite Gunther died on Sunday, people could not keep their calm. Not only FRIENDS cast or creators, but fans are also gonna him. From his never-dying love for Rachel to his breaking glass in the storeroom, fans will always remember him. Here are the reactions of fans from all around the world to Tyler’s demise.

    James Michael Tyler’s Life

    Tyler had appeared briefly in 1990s series such as “Sabrina” and “Just Shoot Me!”. After that, he got cast as a background character in FRIENDS in 1994. He became the most frequently recurring guest star over the show’s multi-year run. In the series, he played Gunther, the Central Perk barista who has a major crush on Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). According to the book, “Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era”, he didn’t have a line of dialogue on FRIENDS till his 33rd appearance on the show. Tyler made appearances on Scrubs once FRIENDS concluded in 2004 and he played himself on an episode of Matt LeBlanc’s “Episodes” as well.

    Tyler starred in two short films after being diagnosed with cancer. To help raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, he gave an amazing performance of the Stephan Kalinich poem “If You Knew”. Now, even he is not with us anymore, we will always remember him as a friend, as a family man, and as Gunther!!

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