James Michael Tyler: 'Friends' Stars Lead Tributes to Gunther Actor

Jennifer Anniston and Courtney Cox have led tributes to their Friends co-star James Michael Tyler today after the actor, who played Gunther on the show, died aged 59.

Tyler's longtime friend and manager Toni Benson confirmed the news of his death from prostate cancer on Sunday.

The actor was best known for playing the show's lovable Central Perk barista, who was in love with Aniston's character on the show, Rachel Greene.

"Friends would not have been the same without you," Aniston wrote on Instagram alongside a clip of her and Tyler on the beloved sitcom.

"Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed."

Courtney Cox, who played Monica in the show, also shared an emotional tribute to the late actor, whom she praised for being great to work with on set.

"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," she wrote.

Tyler announced on the Today show earlier this year that he had stage 4 prostate cancer that had spread to his bones.

Following news of his death, Benson said of Tyler: "If you met him once you made a friend for life."

"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," Benson added.

"Michael loved live music, cheering on his Clemson Tigers, and would often find himself in fun and unplanned adventures."

Joey and Phoebe stars Matt Le Blanc and Lisa Kudrow have also taken to their respective social media accounts to remember the late actor.

"James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler," Kudrow wrote on her Instagram.

While Le Blanc added: "We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend," along with a screenshot of Gunther and Joey at Central Perk.

James Michael Taylor
Actor James Michael Tyler attends the Central Perk Pop-Up Celebrating The 20th Anniversary Of "Friends" on September 16, 2014 in New York City. Getty Images/Paul Zimmerman

Meanwhile, Friends co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane also shared an emotional tribute to James in a joint statement.

"James was a genuinely kind, sweet man," they said in a joint statement, per The Hollywood Reporter. "When he started as an extra on Friends, his unique spirit caught our eye and we knew we had to make him a character.

"He made Gunther's unrequited love incredibly relatable. Our heart goes out to his wife, Jennifer Carno."