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'Friends' actor James Michael Tyler dies

The actor is known for his portrayal of Gunther, who would pine for Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston

FILE - American actor James Michael Tyler poses for a portrait on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 in New York. Tyler, the actor known widely for his recurring role as Gunther on “Friends,” died Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at his home in Los Angeles from prostate cancer. He was 59. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP, File) (Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP)

Actor James Michael Tyler who played coffee shop manager Gunther on the hit sitcom "Friends" died Sunday at age 59, US media reported.

Tyler died at his home in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer that he was first diagnosed with in 2018, according to a representative.

"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," representative Toni Benson said in a statement to US media.

His "Friends" character appeared in some 150 episodes across all 10 seasons of the beloved 1990s sitcom, sarcastically managing Central Perk -- the cafe where the other characters hung out -- and pining after Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston.

"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," Benson said.

Tyler appeared in a number of other roles in series such as "Scrubs," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Modern Music."

Warner Bros TV tweeted that it was mourning the loss of "a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans."

Tyler announced on NBC's "Today" show in June that he had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018, which had spread to his bones. The cancer was discovered during a routine physical.


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