LOS ANGELES — Actor James Michael Tyler, beloved for his portrayal of recurring “Friends” character Gunther, died Sunday morning following a three-year battle with prostate cancer, multiple media outlets reported.
He was 59.
Tyler’s manager confirmed his death to Variety.
“Michael’s loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate and loving husband,” Tyler’s manager said in a prepared 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.”
Tyler, whom his manager said died peacefully at his Los Angeles home, disclosed his Stage 4 prostate cancer status earlier this year during an interview on the “Today” show.
Tyler, who played Central Perk barista Gunther on the hit show, held the distinction as the hit show’s most frequent recurring guest star throughout its 10-year run, People magazine reported.
In addition to “Friends,” Tyler had various guest-starring roles on TV shows, including “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Scrubs,” while also playing the lead character in the series “Modern Music,” the entertainment news magazine reported.
According to People, Tyer also starred in two short films, “The Gesture and the Word” and “Processing,” while undergoing treatment, earning best actor nods at “multiple film festivals” for the roles.
Earlier this year, Tyler’s spoken word performance of Stephan Kalinich’s poem “If You Knew” was adapted into a short video to help raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Variety reported.
Tyler is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.
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