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24th Oct 2021

Friends actor James Michael Tyler has died, aged 59

He passed away following a stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis.

Friends actor James Michael Tyler has passed away, aged 59.

The actor, who is best known for playing the role of Gunther in the popular sitcom, died early Sunday morning.

His manager confirmed his passing, stating that the actor died peacefully in his Los Angeles home. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.

“If you met him once you made a friend for life,” a statement said. “[He] is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno, the love of his life.

“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 blood test as early as 40-years-old.

“The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend)… but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband.”

Tyler shared his diagnosis earlier this year ahead of the long anticipated Friends reunion.

“I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” he said at the time.

“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years […] It’s stage 4. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.

“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me. Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly check-up, please ask your doctor for a PSA test.

“It’s easily detectable. If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with.”

The actor said that he was apprehensive about sharing his diagnosis during the reunion, but that the cast were aware of his condition.

“I didn’t want to be like oh by the way Gunther has cancer. You know what I mean?” he told the Today Show.

“David Schwimmer has corresponded with me via Instagram. The producers (of Friends) are aware, they’ve been aware for a long time.”