'Friends' Alum dies after cancer | MCU Times

‘Friends’ Alum dies after cancer

Friends star James Michael Tyler Dead 59

James Michael Tyler. Ken McKay / ITV / Shutterstock

Rest in peace. James Michael Tyler, best known for his role as Gunther on Friends died Sunday, Oct. 24, after battling stage 4 prostate cancer. He was 59.

The actor died in his own home Sunday morning, his representative confirmed to TMZ.

News of Tyler’s death comes after the actor talked about his condition during an episode in June 2021 of Today. “I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” he said. “I have been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the last three years. … It is stage 4 [now]. Late stage cancer. So in the end, you know, it’s probably going to get me. ”

That Friends fanfavorit revealed that he received a screening for a “prostate-specific antigen” during a routine checkup in September 2018. “It came back with an extraordinarily high number,” he explained. “So I knew right away when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was clearly something completely wrong there. Almost immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect you may have a pretty serious problem with your prostate.’ “

After further testing, Tyler was diagnosed and referred to a specialist at UCLA. He quickly began hormone therapy, which “worked great for about a year” and allowed him to “get on with life regularly”, he revealed at the time.

His early treatment was relatively successful until the cancer spread below the height of the coronavirus pandemic. He found that the disease had spread to his bones, causing paralysis in the lower half of his body.

“I missed going to a test, which was not a good thing,” Tyler added. “So the cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and it has progressed. … The next time you go for a basic exam or your annual checkup, ask your doctor for a PSA test. It is easily detectable. … If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be much more difficult to deal with. ”

The former Scrubs guest star started chemotherapy to “aggressively” fight the disease after it spread.

Due to his treatment, Tyler was unable to attend the recording of HBO Max Friends reunion, which debuted in May 2021, personally. Instead, he showed up via Zoom and called the experience “bittersweet.”

“I wanted to be a part of it, and in the first place I had to at least be on stage with them and be able to attend all the festivities,” he said. Today hosts in June. “I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of it physically and to perform at Zoom, basically because I did not want to bring it down, you know? … I would not be like: ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.’ “

The Missouri native was known for playing Central Perk manager Gunther on the popular sitcom. According to an interview in April 2018 with Insider, Gunther was created because Tyler was the only extra on the set who knew how to use the espresso machine. His character went from being an unnamed barista in the background to the beloved snarky coffee bar boss who had a massive infatuation with Rachel (played by Jennifer Aniston).

“I learned so much just by being around them and our crew and cast – everyone was definitely a master of the game,” Tyler said. Insider about his experience on the New York-based sitcom. “I just observed how well TV is made.”

He also appeared in episodes of Sabrina Teenage Witch, Scrubs, Section and Modern music.

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