The US actor, James Michael Tyler, who was famous for playing Gunther on the sitcom Friends, has died of cancer, aged 59.
He passed away peacefully at his home in LA on Sunday morning after battling stage four prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.
“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,” his family said in a statement.
“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.”
His manager said: “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 entertainment website, TMZ, said the actor stunned fans earlier this year when he revealed his cancer diagnosis soon after appearing in the Friends reunion special and made no mention of his health difficulties.
Although he had been diagnosed with cancer in 2018, which later spread to his bones, he said later that he didn’t go public with his diagnosis at the time of the reunion because he didn’t want to be a downer for the special moment.
“It was the most memorable 10 years of my life, honestly,” the actor said at the time of the show.
“I could not have imagined just a better experience,” he said.
“All these guys were fantastic and just a joy to work with. It felt very, very special.”
He appeared in several TV shows over the course of his career, including Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Scrubs, Modern Music, and Just Shoot Me but he will be best remembered as the café waiter and manager at the show’s Central Perk, who had a crush on the character, Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston.
And while he didn’t have anywhere n