“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’s statement continued.
Michael loved live music, rooting for his Clemson Tigers, and finding himself in fun and unexpected adventures.” If you met him once, you made a friend for life.”
“Michael was first diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018,” they shared. “Wanting to help as many people as possible, he bravely shared his story and became a campaigner for those with a prostate to get a first PSA blood test as early as 40 years old.”
“I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen,” Tyler told Craig Melvin earlier this year. “That came back at an extraordinarily high number … So 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.
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.'”
After additional testing, Tyler was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
“A lot of men, if they catch this early, it’s easily treatable,” he stressed. “I don’t want people to have to go through what I’ve been going through. This is not … an easy process.”
Tyler said that throughout the process, he had been surrounded by an “extraordinary” support group with a lot of “people praying” for his health.
“It’s made me, personally, just realize how important every moment is, every day,” he said. “And fighting.
Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals. My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that, May 28th. My goal now is to help save at least one life by coming out with this news.”
His wife, Jennifer Carno, survives Tyler.
n the world of entertainment, icons come and go, leaving behind a legacy that forever resonates with fans and admirers. Recently, we received the sad news of the passing of James Michael Tyler, the talented actor who portrayed Gunther, the lovable barista from the iconic TV show ‘Friends.’ At the age of 59, he bid us farewell, leaving behind cherished memories of his contribution to the world of television.
James Michael Tyler’s portrayal of Gunther was a masterclass in understated comedy. With his unrequited love for Rachel and his unforgettable bleached-blond hair, he became an integral part of the ‘Friends’ ensemble, bringing humor and heart to the Central Perk coffeehouse. His deadpan delivery and unique character added a layer of depth to the show that fans will always treasure.
Beyond the fame of ‘Friends,’ James Michael Tyler’s passing reminds us of the fragility of life and the importance of treasuring the moments we have with our loved ones. His contributions to the world of entertainment will live on through the countless reruns of the show and the smiles he brought to our faces.
As we bid farewell to this talented actor, we reflect on the joy he brought into our lives through his artistry. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and fans as we remember the man behind the coffee counter who made us laugh and feel a part of something special. James Michael Tyler will always hold a special place in the hearts of ‘Friends’ enthusiasts around the world, and his memory will endure through the laughter he shared with us during his time on the show.