Actor James Michael Tyler, best known for his role as coffee shop manager Gunther on NBC's sitcom “Friends,” died on Sunday at age 59, the New York Times reported. NBC is owned by Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
What Happened: Tyler died at his home in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer, which was diagnosed in September 2018, as per the report that cited Tyler’s manager Toni Benson.
Following his diagnosis, Tyler publicly disclosed his illness earlier this year and encouraged others to get screened for prostate cancer as early as 40.
The official “Friends” Twitter account posted a tweet from Warner Bros. Television Studios, mourning the loss of Tyler. Warner Bros. is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.’s (NYSE:T) WarnerMedia.
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. pic.twitter.com/9coGnT5BHz— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) October 24, 2021
Why It Matters: Tyler played Gunther on “Friends” from 1994 to 2004, managing the Central Perk café where other characters of the series hung out. His character appeared in nearly 150 episodes of the sitcom that lasted ten seasons.
“Friends” had an ensemble cast, starring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.
The show revolved around six friends who live in Manhattan, New York City. Gunther was not the main character but was widely considered to be “the seventh friend” in the show.
Tyler appeared in several other roles in series such as “Just Shoot Me”, “Scrubs,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Modern Music.”
Tyler is survived by his wife Jennifer Carno.
Photo: Courtesy of William Warby on Flickr