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Friends Actor James Michael Tyler Has Died After Battle With Cancer

Stewart Perrie

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Friends Actor James Michael Tyler Has Died After Battle With Cancer

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Actor James Michael Tyler has died after a battle with prostate cancer, aged 59.

He was most notably known for playing Central Perk's Gunther in the hit sitcom Friends.

In a statement, his family said: "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.

"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."

He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018 and was noticeably absent from this year's huge Friends reunion on HBO.

Tyler explained to The Today Show how much he wished he could have been there with the show's stars however he had to stay safe.

"I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities," he said.

"It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn't wanna bring a downer on it, you know?

"I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"

He wanted to go public with his battle to raise awareness for the disease as he knew he didn't have long on this earth.

He said: "I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones. I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years... it's stage 4. Late stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."

"I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen. That came back at an extraordinarily high number.

"So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there.

"Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, 'Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.'"

RIP James, you will be sorely missed.

Topics: Entertainment, Celebrity, Friends

Stewart Perrie
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