His representative Tony Benson said that Tyler, best known for playing Gunther — Central Perk manager and Rachel Green fan — in the hit ’90s sitcom for 10 seasons, was on his way to Los Angeles on Sunday. Died peacefully at home.
Benson said he passed away after a battle with prostate cancer, which was first diagnosed in 2018. He was 59 years old.
After news of her death broke, Aniston — who starred as Rachel — paid tribute to her with an Instagram post acknowledging her contribution to the show’s success.
“‘Friends’ wouldn’t be the same without you,” she wrote. “Thank you for the laughs you brought to the show and all of us in our lives. You will miss #JamesMichaelTyler very much.”
Her post included a clip from the 2004 series finale when Gunther finally mustered up the courage to tell Rachel that he loves her as he prepares to leave New York for a new life in Paris.
Rachel gently let him down by saying that she always thought of him whenever she saw a man with “hair brighter than the sun” – a reference to Gunther’s iconic bleached blonde look.
Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller on the show, remembered Tyler as a generous person.
“You bring the shape of gratitude to the room and show every day on set that I hold the shape of gratitude for knowing you. Rest in Peace James,” Cox wrote on her Instagram page along with a photo of her.
Joey Tribiani actor Matt LeBlanc also shared a heartfelt message, saying: “We had a lot of laughs friends. You will be missed. Rip my friend.”
Lisa Kudrow, best known for portraying quirky masseuse Phoebe Buffet in “Friends,” thanked Tyler for “being there for all of us.”
David Schwimmer, who played paleontologist Ross Geller, thanked Tyler for “playing such a wonderful, unforgettable role” and “for being a gentleman with such a big heart and mensch around the screen”.
“Friends” co-creators Marta Kaufman and David Crane told CNN in a statement that Tyler was a “truly kind, lovely man.”
During the TV special, the actor said, “To be honest, it was the most memorable 10 years of my life.”
“I just couldn’t imagine a better experience. These people were all wonderful. It was a pleasure to work with them. I felt very, very special.”