Friends star James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on the hit show, has died, aged 59.
The actor passed away peacefully on Sunday morning at his home in LA following a battle with prostate cancer.
His family released a statement and said those who met him felt like they ‘made a friend for life’.
It reads: “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.”
The actor revealed his cancer diagnosis earlier this year, shortly after appearing on the Friends reunion show.
At the time, he said: “I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones. I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years… it’s stage four. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”
Tyler continued: “I was 56 years old at the time and they screen for PSA, which is a prostate-specific antigen. That came back at an extraordinarily high number.
“So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there. Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.”
The Friends star encouraged other men to ‘catch’ their cancer diagnosis in the early days.
“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” he stressed. “Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. It’s easily detectable. … If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with.”
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