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'Friends' Actor James Michael Tyler, 59, Dies After Cancer Battle

Friends fans are devastated following the breaking news of the death of actor James Michael Tyler, who played the beloved barista Gunther on Friends for 10 seasons.

The actor died Sunday morning, as per TMZ.

After a battle with prostate cancer, actor James Michael Tyler has died at age 59.

Fans first learned of Tyler's diagnosis in June after the Friends reunion special on HBO.

While chatting with the TODAY show, the beloved actor revealed the heartbreaking news.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm not appearing with you today to announce that there's going to be a Friends movie," Tyler joked at the time.

"Actually, I'm here to let you know that in September 2018, 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 4 (now). Late stage cancer."

During the emotional interview, Tyler recalled his treatment and how he thought it had "worked amazingly for about a year."

Tyler was previously treated with hormone therapy, and at the time of the interview, was undergoing chemotherapy.

"All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and the night, and boom, life was pretty much normal," he explained.

"I was feeling fine, honestly. I had no symptoms, I didn't feel any symptoms. And it was very easy to regulate."

He explained his cancer spread to his bones during the pandemic and he had begun experiencing paralysis in the lower half of his body.

Speaking of the "Friends" reunion special, the 59-year-old explained the original plan.

"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," he revealed.

He continued: "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 explained.

"... I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"

The actor then urged fans to get tested early for prostate cancer.

"There are other options available to men if they catch it before me. 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.”

Now, it has been revealed that the beloved actor died Sunday morning after a nearly four-year battle.

TMZ was the first to break the devastating news, revealing Tyler had died "peacefully Sunday morning at his home in L.A."

In a statement to TMZ, the actor's family remembered him.

"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."

The statement concluded:

"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."

We're keeping James' family and friends in our thoughts during this difficult time.

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