James Michael Tyler, most known to “Friends” fans as the Central Perk barista Gunther, has recently passed away.
The news was announced by his friend and manager Toni Benson, who revealed that Tyler died after a battle with prostate cancer.
Many of his colleagues on the said show had since taken to social media to mourn the loss, including Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, who wrote, “James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all.”
Jennifer Aniston, who had the most scenes with Tyler on the show, posted a scene from when Gunther expressed his love for Rachel, and Rachel responded, “When I’m in a cafe drinking coffee or when I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I’ll think of you.”
She wrote, “Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed.”
Matt Le Blanc, whose character Joey also had once worked with Gunther in the cafe, posted a photo of him and the actor, writing, “We had a lot of laughs, buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend.”
As for David Schwimmer who played Ross, wrote, “James, thank you for playing such a wonderful, unforgettable role in Friends and for being such a big-hearted gentleman and all-around mensch off screen. You will be missed, buddy”, while Courteney Cox, who played Ross’ sister Monica, posted, “The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you. Rest In peace James.”
Tyler announced his stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis back in June, stating that the cancer had spread to his bones.
“My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that,” he said, as he campaigned for everybody to do medical checkups. “My goal now is to at least save one life.”
Tyler’s involvement in “Friends” started when he worked as a barista at the Bourgeois Pig coffee shop on Franklin Avenue near Hollywood. He was only asked to stand in the background and work the levers of the Central Perk espresso machine on the NBC sitcom at first, before he finally became a part of the said series for ten seasons.
He was 59.