Friends cast pay tribute to Gunther actor James Michael Tyler who has died aged 59

(Image credit: Getty Images / David Westing / Stringer)

James Michael Tyler, beloved for his role as Gunther in Friends has died after battling stage 4 prostate cancer, aged 59.

The actor delighted fans with his cameo in the Friends Reunion earlier this year, but has now passed away following his cancer diagnosis back in 2018. 

James' agent confirmed the sad news, sharing that the star had died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday.

Now, the cast of Friends have paid tribute to their former co-star.

Actor James Michael Tyler attends the Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of "Friends" on September 16, 2014 in New York City.

Jennifer, who played Rachel Green and Gunther’s crush in the iconic TV franchise, took to social media to share a touching clip of their last scene together in the Friends finale, during which Gunther confesses his love for Rachel because she is moving to Paris.

Jennifer captioned the post 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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Meanwhile, Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller, posted a picture of James to her Instagram feed, with the caption, 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. ♥️’

Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffet, shared the same picture of James and simply wrote, "James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler."

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And Matt Le Blanc, who played Joey Tribbiani, shared a still from one of his scenes with James and sweetly captioned the post with, "We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend."

James first learned of his cancer diagnosis back in 2018. Earlier this year he told NBC’s Today Show, "My specific prognosis is stage 4. Late-stage cancer, so eventually, you know, it’s probably going to get me."

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He also shared that cancer has spread to his bones and spine, leaving him unable to walk.

His representatives confirmed the news of his passing to TMZ today, and his family said, ‘The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh "Friend"), from the hit series Friends, but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband."

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for and My Imperfect Life.