James Michael Tyler
|Died||October 24, 2021 (aged 59)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Gunther in Friends (1994–2004)|
(m. 1995, divorced)
James Michael Tyler (May 28, 1962 – October 24, 2021) was an American actor best known for his role as Gunther on the NBC sitcom Friends. Prior to acting, Tyler was an assistant film editor and production assistant. His early works included being the production assistant for Fat Man and Little Boy. He also portrayed Oscar Bevins in the 1997 thriller film Motel Blue.
When he was 10 years old, his father, a former USAF captain, died and when he was 11 years old, his mother died. Afterwards, Tyler moved to Anderson, South Carolina to live with his sister. Tyler graduated from T.L. Hanna High School in 1980.
He graduated from Anderson College (now Anderson University) with a two-year degree in 1982 and Clemson University with a degree in geology in 1984. During his time at Clemson, he was a member of a student theatre group, the Clemson Players. This experience sparked his interest in becoming an actor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1987.
In 1988, he moved to Los Angeles and became an assistant film editor and production assistant. The same year, he was a production assistant on the film Fat Man and Little Boy. In L.A., he also worked at Guitar Center and the Bourgeois Pig.
From 1994 to 2004, James Michael Tyler played Gunther on the sitcom Friends. Gunther was a coffee shop worker at Central Perk who had unrequited love for Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston. This led to a ten-year career with appearances in 148 of Friends' 236 episodes; he is the show's most-frequently-appearing recurring character actor.
In honor of Friends' 15th anniversary in 2009, Tyler officially opened the temporary Central Perk pop up replica in London. It was open for two weeks from September to October and fans could apply for tickets to receive a free coffee and see memorabilia from the show. He appeared in the unaired pilot satire sitcom Nobody's Watching, playing himself on the set of Central Perk.
Tyler appeared in the BBC/Showtime sitcom Episodes (Series 2, Episode 6) as himself playing an ice hockey coach, when Matt LeBlanc tries unsuccessfully to get the other main stars from Friends to appear in the promotional video for the fictional television show Pucks.
Tyler was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, but did not publicly disclose his illness until June 2021, shortly after the release of Friends: The Reunion. The cancer metastasized to his spine, leading him to use a wheelchair. He died from the disease at his home in Los Angeles on October 24, 2021, at the age of 59.
|1992||The Roommate||Bar Patron||First credited role, short film|
|1997||Motel Blue||Oscar Bevins|
|1997||The Disturbance at Dinner||Wilson Pomade|
|2009||Jason's Big Problem||Blane|
|2020||Processing||Frank Brandt||Short film|
|2020||The Gesture and The Word||Gilbert||Short film|
|1994–2004||Friends||Gunther||Recurring role, 148 episodes|
|2000||Just Shoot Me!||Doctor||Episode: "Donnie Returns"|
|2001||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Ethan||Episode: "My Best Shot"|
|2004||Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters||Judge||Episode: Morimoto/Flay VS. Sakai/Batali|
|2005||Scrubs||Therapist||Episode: "My Faith in Humanity"|
|2005||Nobody's Watching||Himself||Unaired pilot|
|2010||Keeping up with the Downs||Chase||Made for TV short film|
|2012||Episodes||Himself||Episode Six, Season Two|
|2013||Modern Music||Chad Levitz||Main role, 5 episodes (Web series)|
|2021||Friends: The Reunion||Himself||HBO Max Special|
In July 2021, producers Al Gomes and Connie Watrous of Big Noise, along with Tim Labonte and Alan Boyd, conceptualized and created a short film for Tyler's spoken word performance entitled If You Knew.
Tyler's recording had been featured on a 2016 tribute album to The Beach Boys' lyricist Stephen Kalinich called Be Still that Gomes, Watrous, and Boyd had also produced. The Recording Academy placed the collection on the Official Ballot for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Album, however, it didn't win. Tyler also composed the music for the recording. 
The new video for If You Knew was produced to honor Tyler and also create a fundraiser for the organization that was working closely with him, the Prostate Cancer Foundation. All the streaming proceeds of the video, and Tyler's original recording, are being donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-11-04 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=986945