Over the weekend, the entertainment industry learned that beloved Friends star James Michael Tyler (Gunther) had based away from his battle with cancer. Now, the stars of the classic NBC sitcom have taken to social media to honor their friend and co-star. Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc took to Instagram to pay their respects while Matthew Perry expressed his feelings via Twitter.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, Tyler revealed over the summer that the "late-stage cancer" had spread to his bones and spine, resulting in paralysis of his lower body. The actor passed away peacefully at his Los Angeles home on Sunday at the age of 59 and is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno. Considered by millions of fans as the unofficial "Seventh 'Friend'," Tyler first appeared as the Central Perk barista with the crush on Aniston's Rachel in 1994. He would go on to appear in 50+ episodes through the 2004 series finale and returned this past May to make a virtual appearance at HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion. "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," Cox wrote in her Instagram post. "Rest in peace, James." Here's a look at the cast's posts honoring Tyler's life and his time on the show:
"James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all."
"Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed."
"James, thank you for playing such a wonderful, unforgettable role in 'Friends' and for being such a big-hearted gentleman and all-around mensch off-screen. You will be missed, buddy."
"We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend."
"We lost a good Friend yesterday in James Michael Tyler. Gunther, you will be missed. Read in Peace."
Back in 2019, Tyler was asked about his five favorite "Gunther" moments from the classic sitcom. "This was David Schwimmer's idea in the spur of the moment, actually," Tyler says of this classic coffee house moment in "The One Where Emma Cries" where Ross accidentally punches a pole instead of Joey. "The way the camera was set up, I was in the background and originally, I was expressing 'Oh, what just happened?' shock. Then David turned to me and said, 'Oh my gosh, you should grin ear-to-ear because you hate me.' I thought it was brilliant." Here's a look at the official tweet from the Friends account confirming Tyler's passing.