James Michael Tyler, Friends' actor, dies at 59

Friends' Gunther was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018

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James Michael Tyler, Friends actor, dies at 59

James Michael Tyler, who shot to fame with his role as Gunther in the hit US TV sitcom Friends, breathed his last on Sunday at the age of 59.

The US actor, who was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018, passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles, a statement from his manager said.

"If you met him once you made a friend for life," it said. "[He] is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno, the love of his life."

Tyler was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018 which later spread to his bones.

"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," his manager said.

Gunther was and remains a popular figure among fans due to his outstanding performance even though he did not command the same amount of screen time as the six main Friends characters. 

Gunther worked as a waiter and manager in the show's coffee house, Central Perk. He had a crush on Jennifer Anniston's character Rachel throughout the series, who also worked there as a waitress in the show's early seasons.

"The world knew him as Gunther (the seventh Friend)... but Michael's loved ones knew him as an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband", his manager said.