Comedian James Michael Tyler died on October 24, 2021. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer since 2018, he was 59 years old. The general public knew him for his role as Gunther in the series “Friends”, the manager of the Central Perk café.
The Friends are in mourning. The actor James Michael Tyler, unforgettable Gunther, bartender of the Central Perk of the cult series and secret lover of Rachel, succumbed to prostate cancer which had been diagnosed to him in 2018. If his illness had prevented him from participating in the set at the reunion broadcast this year, he wanted to deliver a short video message, wearing a Central Perk cap. Beyond his status of “seventh Friend”, his relatives have made a point of saluting the “actor, musician and activist in the fight against cancer”, swept away at the age of 59 this Sunday in Los Angeles.
Before playing the Central Perk server, James michael tyler was a bartender in a cafe. More precisely within an establishment answering to the name of Bourgeois Pig and located in Los Angeles. A position he will keep in parallel during the first four seasons of Friends.
Indeed, his character was initially only to be a small role. If he was chosen for the role of Gunther, it was because he was the only one of the extras who knew how to properly operate the Central Perk coffee machine. A quality for which the American will be damn well rewarded: Gunther is, behind the six main heroes, the only character to appear in more than 100 episodes of the series. 150 to be precise.
After Friends will be more complicated for the actor. After an appearance in Scrubs (2005), he shoots a few episodes of the comedy Modern Music in 2013. In cinema, we can see it in Jason’s Big Problem (2011), which does not cross the Atlantic.