Friends stars including Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston have paid special tribute to James Michael Tyler, who starred at everyone’s favorite sitcom, ‘Friends’ as Gunther after he died at the age of 59.
In 2018, James Michael Tyler was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer having minimal chances of survival. On Sunday, James Michael Tyler died peacefully in his home according to a statement shared by his manager Toni Benson. Moreover, the actor starred in “Friends” 150 episodes as Gunther, who carried an immense love for Rachel (originally played by Jennifer Aniston).
“The world knew him as Gunther the seventh ‘Friend,’ but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband,” the statement said.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Aniston paid tribute to the actor which featured an episode scene of “Friends” where Gunther was kissed by Rachel on his cheek.
“Friends would not have been the same without you,” Aniston wrote with a broken heart emoji. “Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed.”
Courteney Cox wrote on Instagram, “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. Rest in peace James.”
Matt LeBlanc displayed a photo on Instagram of his “Friends” character Joey with Gunther on the set. “We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend.”
Moreover, “Friends” Co-creator, Jeffrey Klarik also tweeted this Sunday that Tyler “was a lovely, lovely man. Today is a very sad day.”
The manager of Tyler further added in a statement that, “The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend)… 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.”
“Wanting to help as many people as possible, he bravely shared his story and became a campaigner for those with a prostate to get a… blood test as early as 40-years-old.”
David Crane who was the director and co-creator of Friends told the BBC that Tyler delivered his work diligently and with the littlest opportunity, he created an indelible character.
In May, the actor made a brief appearance on the Friends reunion through a zoom meeting and said, “It was the most memorable 10 years of my life, honestly,” the actor said at the time. I could not have imagined just a better experience. All these guys were fantastic and just a joy to work with. It felt very, very special.”