Stars and fans are expressing their condolences for the loss of James Michael Tyler, the actor best known as Gunther the barista on the hit '90s sitcom Friends.
The 59-year-old passed away on Sunday in California, from stage 4 prostate cancer. In a statement to TMZ, a representative for 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."
Every member of Friends ensemble cast took to their social media to say their goodbyes to the beloved actor, who was a real life barista before he started acting and got his start on the show as an extra.
“Friends would not have been the same without you,” Aniston, 52, wrote on an Instagram post of a clip of Tyler’s character professing his love to her character, Rachel Green. “Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed.”
“James Michael Tyler, we will miss you,” Lisa Kudrow wrote. “Thank you for being there for us all.”
“The size of gratitude you brought into the room and showed every day on set is the size of the gratitude I hold for having known you,” wrote Courtney Cox on Instagram.
“We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend,” Matt LeBlanc shared on Instagram.
David Schwimmer remembered Tyler as a “gentleman and all around mensch off screen.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Perry took to Twitter to remember his “good Friend”.
We lost a good Friend yesterday in James Michael Tyler. Gunther, you will be missed. Read in Peace.
— matthew perry (@MatthewPerry) October 25, 2021
The actor, who started on the show as an extra, appeared in 150 episodes of the long-running hit series as the barista in the friends’ local coffee shop, Central Perk. He was known for his shock of blond hair and undying love for Jennifer Aniston’s character, Rachel. He appeared via Zoom at the Friends reunion back in May.
Fans from all over the world also took to social media to express their feelings about the actor.
James Michael Tyler was an actual barista at The Bourgeois Pig on Franklin in Hollywood before he was cast as a barista on Friends. Kind, soft spoken and in those days kinda hip artsy with platinum hair. He invited me to sit with him at his table one Saturday morn at the 1/2 https://t.co/LuQ4511Pvx
— Jane Lynch (@janemarielynch) October 25, 2021
Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans. ❤️☕️ pic.twitter.com/9coGnT5BHz
— FRIENDS (@FriendsTV) October 24, 2021
The last round of coffee ☕️
Gunter from “Friends” is no more. He has died at age 59.
James Michael Tyler played Gunter of Central Perk, the meeting place for Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe and Rachel
Back when we binge watched tapes#RIPJamesMichaelTyler #RIPGunther pic.twitter.com/T4GeMJP0Nf
— Jay (@RewindMzansi) October 25, 2021
James Michael Tyler was always kind and made a point to interact with me and my sister when we were on set. He remembered our names, and encouraged us to sit up at the Central Perk counter in between takes. I’m so sad to hear about his passing. pic.twitter.com/F8aixnFgcK
— Leo Grierson (@nonbinarybutler) October 25, 2021
I am so happy James Michael Tyler got to be part of the Friends Reunion in May. Thank you for all the laughs, JMT. Gunther will be forever loved and missed. pic.twitter.com/KH5a3zTZ0E
— Maree 🏴 (@chndlerz) October 24, 2021
James Michael Tyler as Gunther in Friends was truly an integral part of the show.
Rest in peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/apkgofj1Ed
— E (@E80453849) October 24, 2021
James Michael Tyler passed away yesterday.This is a very sad moment for all #Friends lovers he has truly brought us great joy during the last 27years.This also reminded me how long has it been,what if one day the six of them no longer can have a real reunion😭can’t think about it pic.twitter.com/G4iUocfSID
— Stella🇨🇳 (@StellaHe11) October 24, 2021