Friends star James Michael Tyler has passed away at the age of 59 at his home in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer for three years.
His rep confirmed his passing to TMZ.
The grieving family of Tyler, who played Gunther on the hit NBC series Friends, said in a statement: “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.”
His family continued: “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.”
It was in 2018 when Tyler was diagnosed with prostate cancer but did not reveal his fight against the condition until earlier this year.
The actor had appeared on 150 episodes of Friends during its run from 1994 to 2004.
He also appeared on shows including Modern Music, Scrubs, Just Shoot Me! And Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Tyler opened up about his battle against cancer last June.
“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” he said.
“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years … It’s stage four. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”
The actor said that he was diagnosed after a 2018 checkup in which he registered “an extraordinarily high number” for a “prostate-specific antigen.”
“I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there,” he said.
“Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”
Tyler said that his cancer spread amid the pandemic. “I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing. So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it’s progressed,” he said.
He is survived by his wife Jennifer Carno.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!