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Actor James Michael Tyler who played coffee shop manager Gunther on the hit sitcom Friends died on Sunday at age 59, US media reported.

Tyler died at his home in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer that he was first diagnosed with in 2018, according to a representative.

“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,” representative Toni Benson said in a statement to US media.

His Friends character appeared in some 150 episodes across all 10 seasons of the beloved 1990s sitcom, sarcastically managing Central Perk – the cafe where the other characters hung out – and pining after Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston.

“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,” Benson said.
Tyler appeared in a number of other roles in series such as Scrubs, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Modern Music.

Warner Bros TV tweeted that it was mourning the loss of “a beloved actor and integral part of our Friends family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans.”

Tyler announced on NBC’s Today show in June that he had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in September 2018, which had spread to his bones. The cancer was discovered during a routine physical.

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