James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on ‘Friends’, died battling cancer at the 4th stage this Sunday.
James Michael Tyler, 54, was battling the deadly illness and died at stage 4 – People confirmed the news on Sunday.
Tyler, who already discovered his illness and was under treatment since June 2018, publicly talked about his sufferings in June 2021. During his time in the popular sitcom that NBC broadcasted, he played alongside famous stars, including Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, in the entire 150 episodes.
In 2019, during the LEGO set, Tyler, who is famously known as Gunther, was invited as the seventh Friend at the iconic coffee shop set.
In June, Tyler stated to Today, amidst his cancer treatment, “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,”
He told the news outlet that he was doing fine when the star was put on hormone therapy as it “worked amazingly” for him for almost a year. However, last year, “right at the time of the pandemic,” cancer spread to his spine, affected his entire body, and eventually led to lower body paralysis.
The next day after the interview, Tyler’s manager, Toni Benson, revealed to People how optimistic Tyler was throughout his treatment. Despite going “through some rough times,” he fought for his life and wished to live longer.
She said, “Though he’s wheelchair bound, he’s very mobile, he has the most amazing attitude.”
The cancer news broke when the Friends Reunion happened in May 2021. The fan-favorite star joined the show virtually and expressed how he still wanted to be a part of the reunion, even if that means only virtually.
“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. 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?” he told Today. “… I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.’ “
While he was fighting prostate cancer, Tyler kept spreading awareness about the disease, saying, its “easily treatable if it’s caught early“.