James Michael Tyler was diagnosed in 2018 with prostate cancer and has since become a cancer awareness advocate.

Tyler, 59, died on Sunday.

Tyler is best remembered for his role as Gunther in the American sitcom “Friends” from 1994 to 2004.

The Associated Press reported that James Michael Tyler, an actor best known for his role in the hit American sitcom “Friends”, died Sunday of prostate cancer at the age of 59.

Toni Benson was Tyler’s manager and wrote that the world knew him as Gunther, the seventh Friend, from the hit series Friends. But Michael’s loved ones knew him more as an actor, musician who is a cancer-awareness advocate and loving husband.” AP received a statement from Toni Benson. “Michael enjoyed live music and cheering for his Clemson Tigers. He was often found in unplanned and fun adventures.”

James Michael Tyler

According to the Associated Press, Tyler was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and became a cancer awareness advocate. Tyler has also been seen in many other TV and film shows, such as “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Just Shoot Me!” According to his IMDb page, Tyler also appeared in “Scrubs”

Tyler was born in Mississippi and lived in South Carolina, Georgia, and California before moving to California. He was hired in Hollywood as a production assistant and eventually landed the role of “Friends” on IMDb in 1994.

Tyler’s wife Jennifer Carno is his survivor.

Warner Bros. Television released a statement saying that it “mourns” the loss of James Michael Tyler. Tyler was a beloved actor who was an integral part of its ‘Friends family. We are thinking of his family, friends and colleagues.

James Michael Tyler Biography

James Michael Tyler was the youngest of five siblings. He was born May 28, 1962 in Winona (Mississippi), USA to a retired Air Force Captain and a homemaker. James was 11 years old when his parents passed away. He moved to Anderson, South Carolina with his sister. He attended Clemson University, where he graduated with a degree as a Geologist. However, he also received his Masters of Fine Arts (Acting) from the University of Georgia. He was also a member the Clemson Player, a student theatre group. He was inspired by this experience to become an actor.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1988 and became a production assistant at “Fat Man and Little Boy” and a trainee film editor. He supports the Lili Claire Foundation as well as AIDS Project L.A charities.

James is married to Barbara, a personal trainer. They currently live in Hollywood. Tyler writes music and plays the piano in his home studio. He enjoys tennis, golf, and running.

Tyler disclosed that he had stage 4 prostate cancer in June 2021. He was diagnosed in 2018. Tyler was unable, therefore, to attend the Friends reunion in person.

James Michael Tyler plays “Gunther”

From 1994 to 2004, James Michael Tyler was Gunther in the hit NBC sitcom Friends. Gunther, a Central Perk coffee shop worker, had a crush Rachel Greene (played by Jennifer Aniston).

Tyler was in 93 episodes of Friends. Tyler is the actor who appeared in the most episodes of Friends, other than the six main cast members.

Tyler was an extra and was cast as Gunther. He was the only one who could operate an espresso machine. Tyler worked in many coffee shops before he became an actor. Gunther’s semi-recurring speaking role was a result of this casting behind the coffee shop.

Tyler’s peroxide blonde hair is actually an accident. One of Tyler’s friends, who was studying to be a hairdresser and experimented with his hair the day before the Friends audition. The producer loved Tyler’s hair so much that they allowed him to keep it until the audition. Tyler had to maintain his new color on a regular basis.

Tyler, like Gunther in Friends, is a cigarette-smoker.

James Michael Tyler Early life

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James Michael Tyler was the youngest of five siblings and was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, on May 28, 1962. He was named after an uncle. Tyler was born in Winona, Mississippi.

His father, a former USAF Captain, died when Tyler was 10, and his mother died at 11. Tyler, at the age of 12, moved to Anderson in South Carolina with his sister.

Anderson College (now Anderson University), where he received a two year degree in 1982, and Clemson University in 1984 with a geology degree. He was also a member the Clemson Players, a student theatre group. He became interested in acting after this experience. In 1987, he received his Master of Fine Art degree from the University of Georgia.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1988 and became a production assistant for the film Fat Man and Little Boy. Later, he became an assistant film editor.

He was a supporter of the Lili Claire Foundation as well as AIDS Project L.A charities. Tyler lived in Hollywood from the time he died.

James Michael Tyler Career

From 1994 to 2004, James Michael Tyler was Gunther in Friends. Gunther was a Central Perk coffee shop worker who fell in love with Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston). This led to a ten-year career with appearances in 148 of Friends’ 236 episodes; he is the show’s most-frequently-appearing recurring character actor.

Tyler opened the temporary Central Perk replica in London in honor of Friends’ 15th Anniversary in 2009. The temporary Central Perk pop up replica was open from September to October. Fans could apply to get tickets and receive a free cup of coffee. They also had the opportunity to see memorabilia and collectibles from the show. He was seen on the set at Central Perk in the pilot, satire sitcom Nobody’s Watching.

Tyler appeared at a Central Perk replica located in SoHo in honor of Friends’ 20th Anniversary in 2014.

Tyler was seen as a coach for ice hockey in Episodes of BBC/Showtime’s BBC/Showtime sitcom Episodes (Series 2 Episode 6), when Matt LeBlanc attempts unsuccessfully to get other Friends stars to appear in the promo video for Pucks.

James Michael Tyler Personal life

James Michael Tyler with wife

James Michael Tyler with wife

In 1995, Tyler married Barbara Chadsey. In 2003, Tyler and Barbara divorced. He filed for divorce in 2014. He married Jennifer Carno in 2017.

James Michael Tyler Filmography


  • The Disturbance at Dinner as Wilson Pomade (1998)
  • Foreign Correspondents as Randy (1999)
  • Motel Blue as Oscar Bevins (1999)
  • Shaving Ryan’s Privates as Tom Spanks (2003)
  • Live With It as Andrew (2008)


  • Friends as Gunther (1994-2004)


  • Just Shoot Me! as a Doctor (2000)
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch as Ethan (2001)
  • Scrubs as Therapist (2005)
  • He appeared in the unaired pilot satire sitcom Nobody’s Watching, playing himself as a present from the studio executives on the set of Central Perk
  • He starred in the music video for Chicane’s dance track ‘Come Tomorrow’, playing the part of a postman, miming the lyrics throughout the video
  • He appeared as a judge on Iron Chef America – Morimoto/Flay VS. Sakai/Batali
  • He appeared on the UK BBC series and in the US Showtime series “Episodes” (S02E06) in the final scene. The storyline of the episode being that LeBlanc (as himself) is called to get a former cast member from Friends.