James Michael Tyler, beloved Central Perk manager Gunther on 'Friends', is dead at 59

James Michael Tyler, an actor most well-known for his role as Central Perk manager Gunther in Friends, passed away on Sunday morning. He was 59 years of age.
Tyler's passing brings an end to his long battle with cancer. In June, Tyler revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate carcinoma in September 2018. He revealed the news on The Today Show in June. He said that hormone therapy treatments had worked for some time, but things changed during the heights of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

He was left partially paralysed from the waist after his cancer had mutated. Tyler was unable to attend the blockbuster Friends reunion, which took place on HBO Max in May. He stated that Ross actor David Schwimmer was aware of his appearance on Today a month later, and that the producers also knew this, but it was deliberately left out of the reunion.

"It wasn't like Gunther has cancer. You know what I mean?" During the interview, he stated.

Tyler was part of 148 Friends episodes over a period of 10 years from 1994 to 2004. This is more than half the 236 episodes that were made. Gunther was the manager at Central Perk, where most of the cast spent their time. Gunther was a regular guest on the show, and he informed many of the longer-term story arcs including his unrequited love with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston).

Jennifer Carno, Tyler's wife, is his survivor. They were married in 2017.