Friends‘ star James Michael Tyler has sadly passed at the age of 59 following a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer.
The star, who played Gunther on Friends, passed early Sunday morning. He opened up publicly about his cancer diagnosis for the first time in June, about three years after his treatment began in 2018.
James Michael Tyler was a crucial and hilarious character on Friends, famously starring alongside Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry. He played the role of Gunter on the NBC sitcom for ten years and starred in 150 episodes.
“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. … It’s stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me,” Tyler shared on Today in June. At the time, he explained that he was placed on a hormone therapy that “worked amazingly” for a year or so, but around the time the pandemic hit, the cancer progressed and spread, causing paralysis in the lower half of his body.
Leading up to his pass, James Michael Tyler was an advocate for spreading awareness about prostate cancer and emphasized the importance of catching it early. He emphasized on the Today show that the illness is “easily treatable” if it’s caught early and added that he hopes to “help save at least one life by coming out with this news.”