The Friends Cast Paid Tribute to Late Co-star James Michael Tyler
The Friends cast is honoring late co-star James Michael Tyler after news that he has passed away following a battle with prostate cancer.
The actor, who played Gunther on the show, has died at the age of 59. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and began treatment in 2018. Earlier this summer, he revealed his diagnosis for the first time after the Friends reunion special aired.
"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, adding at the time that he was undergoing chemotherapy.
In Instagram posts on Sunday night, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer honored Tyler and spoke of their memories of him.
"Friends would not have been the same without you," Aniston wrote alongside a clip of a scene they shared. "Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed."
Tyler, whose character became known as the seventh "Friend," appeared virtually for the reunion, and said that he withheld his diagnosis until after the special because "I didn't wanna bring a downer on it."
"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 told Today. "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.' "
During his appearance on Today, he advocated for greater awareness and education regarding prostate cancer, and added that he hoped to "help save at least one life by coming out with this news."
His obituary states that he is survived by wife Jennifer Carno, "ever united in good times, in sickness, and for eternity."