Beloved 'Friends' actor who played Gunther dies at age 59

Beloved 'Friends' actor who played Gunther dies at age 59

James Michael Tyler lost his life following a long battle with cancer.

Gunther from Friends
C. Patrick Gendusa Facebook

If you are a friend of the sitcom, 'Friends', you will remember the manager of Central Perk, Gunther. He was known as the "seventh friend" by most. 

His manager Toni Benson confirmed his passing with varying new outlets

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"Michael's loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband. 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 actor lost his battle with prostate cancer. He had earlier in the year revealed on NBC's 'Today Show' that his fight against the illness had left his lower body paralysed, which is why he could not participate in the recent HBO Max 'Friends' reunion in person.  

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Tyler told 'Today' that the cancer was at Stage 4, and had spread to his bones. "So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," he said.

"Friends" producer Kevin Bright announced on Twitter that he passed on Saturday. 

A heartfelt tribute was also posted on the official 'Friends' Twitter account sharing, 

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"I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing," he explained. "So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it's progressed." 

He shared this about the cancer getting worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I believe the whole like 'Gunther's unrequited love for Rachel' was only supposed to be about one or two episodes, but they kept that story arc for 10 years, which I'm very grateful for," he said.

And truly, everyone fell in love with his character.

Tributes have been pouring in for the 'Friends' actor. 

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Rest peacefully, Gunther, our friend. 

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Main Image Courtesy: C. Patrick Gendusa

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