Actor James Michael Tyler, best known as Gunther on Friends, has died aged 59. The actor suffered from prostate cancer. “Once you met him, you made a lifelong friend,” his family wrote in a statement. “He is survived by his wife Jennifer Carno, the love of his life.”

The actor passed away yesterday morning at his Los Angeles home. “The world knew him as Gunther from the Friends series, but Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer awareness and loving husband,” his family said in a statement. 

“Michael loved live music, he often cheered on the Clemson Tigers, and he often found himself in fun and unexpected adventures,” the family writes.

coffee shop

Tyler became widely known for his role Gunther in the popular series Friends. The character worked in the coffee shop where the “friends” Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler used to drink coffee. All the while, he was in love with the character Rachel (Jennifer Aniston).

It wasn’t until the very last episode of the television series that he declared his love to Rachel. “I love you too,” she replied. “Probably not in the same way, but when I’m having coffee in a cafe and I see a man with hair blonder than the sun, I think of you.”

‘Unforgettable years’

When Friends hosted a reunion earlier this year, Tyler briefly appeared on Zoom. “It was ten unforgettable years of my life,” the actor said at the time about his participation in the television series. He was featured in nearly 150 episodes of Friends, which aired on NBC between 1994 and 2004.