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James Michael Tyler, Who Played Gunther in ‘Friends’, Dies at 59!

A Sad Day For Fans Of The NBC Comedy Show FRIENDS As The Actor Who Plays Gunther Sadly Dies From Prostate Cancer, Aged 59.

James Michael Tyler Death

James Michael Tyler Death - (Image Credit: instagram.com/friends/)


It is such sad news for the family, friends, and fans of the hit TV sitcom FRIENDS as we learn that James Michael Tyler, who played the barista with the dry humor in Central Perk coffee house, has sadly passed away, aged just 59.

James Michael Tyler openly shared his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2021 when it was at a time that he had come to terms with his time being almost up in this world. He shared the information freely to raise awareness of the importance of having routine PSA Testing for the early detection and immediate prevention of prostate cancer.

James received his initial and devastating diagnosis back in September 2018 during a routine check-up. He was offered the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen). His results returned abnormally high, indicating a problem. What followed was an official diagnosis of Stage 4 Prostate Cancer.

This diagnosis detected that his cancer had spread to other parts of his body before it was detected.

How Did James Michael Tyler Die?

James Michael Tyler

Image Credit: thewrap.com

Friends actor James Michael Tyler is reported to have passed away peacefully from stage 4 prostate cancer at his Home in Los Angeles with his wife, Jennifer Carno, being left behind as his one true love and now, sadly, his widow.

Who Exactly Is James Michael Tyler?

Born on May 28th in Winona, Mississippi, to a homemaker mother and a retired air force captain father, James Michael Tyler was the youngest of 5 children. He never had any children himself from either of his 2 marriages. He studied Geology at a university in Georgia before heading to LA to see where his career would take him.

Originally only cast as an extra in the hit show, James played Gunther’s much-loved ‘seventh friend’ character in the NBC Comedy Show FRIENDS for almost 150 episodes in the 10 years the sitcom aired from 1994-2004.

The Actor, Best Known for Playing Gunther on Friends

James Michael Tyler was best known for playing the Coffee shop manager of Central Perk coffee shop in the hit TV sitcom Friends, which aired for 10 years.

He was the manager and barista who always held a torch of affection for the character Rachael, played by Jennifer Anniston, which always went unrequited.

His character, Gunther, did not appear in every episode of the hit show. Still, when he did, his character was full of dry wit and cutting lines, which made his character one of the favorites of the Friends fans, who claim him to be the ‘seventh friend.’

Other Notable Works of James Michael Tyler

The unique actor, who is best known worldwide for playing Gunther on Friends, will remember him fondly as playing the barista who was forever struck with unrequited love.

However, he was also an accomplished musician, loving husband, and a great actor who appeared in many cameo roles in hit shows such as Scrubs.

His cameo roles include hit shows such as ‘Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,’ ‘Scrubs,’ and ‘Just Shoot Me.’ He also had a leading appearance in a music video that accompanied the track “Come Tomorrow” by the dance artist Chicane.

As well as starring as himself in the Friends reunion show in 2021, where he appeared via zoom due to poor health, he also took part in the reality cooking show Iron Chef America as himself.

James Michael Tyler Shared His Prostate Cancer Diagnosis In 2021

James Michael Tyler openly shared his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2021, shortly after his appearance via zoom in Friends – The Reunion.

He was initially diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer in 2018. Still, it was during this year that his health started to take a downturn, and he had come to terms with his time being almost up in this world.

He shared the information freely to publicly raise awareness of the importance of having routine PSA Testing for the early detection and immediate prevention of prostate cancer.

James Said His Cancer Mutated During the Pandemic

James said himself that he believed that his cancer had mutated during the pandemic. He openly admitted to missing a check-up.

He believed that was something that he should not have missed as it initially had already rapidly metastasized to his bones; it had the potential to do the same in other parts of his body and progress the disease further.

How Jennifer Carno (wife of James Michael Tyler) Helped Him

Jennifer Carno, James’s second wife, has been described as “the love of his life” since they wed in 2017. Although there is not much reported around James Michael Tyler’s last days before his death, and rightly so, however, we would like to think that his wife was right there with him at every moment before he passed.

What Exactly Is Prostate Cancer?

James michael tyler dies

Image Credit: Hindustantimes.com

Prostate cancer is a collection of cancerous cells that multiply within the structure of the prostate. The cancer is diagnosed from multiple tests carried out routinely, including the Prostate-Specific Antigen, which can detect abnormalities so further testing for diagnosis or clearance can be given. Prostate cancer, similarly to most other cancers, is diagnosed in stages depending on the aggressiveness of the disease.

James Michael Tyler prostate cancer diagnosis was given in 2018 as a stage 4, which is considered to be “end-stage cancer.” This diagnosis changed his life and years following the initial check-up, and he became a strong advocate for cancer awareness during his secret battle and chemotherapy treatment.

PSA Testing and Biopsies

PSA Testing is offered to men aged 50-59 in the United States, as this is when the disease may be detected at its most prevalent. It involved having a sample of your blood taken to see the level of proteins present. 

The levels of these proteins are measured against researched standards of diagnosis and are as follows:

  • PSA level is 3 ng/mL or higher. You should discuss a biopsy of the prostate.
  • PSA level is between 1 and 3 ng/mL. You should be referred to the doctor for another PSA test every two to four years.

Biopsies of the suspected cancerous prostate growth can be taken when the PSA level is 3 ng/mL or higher. A biopsy test involves removing a small sample of the tissue from the potentially cancerous entity for further laboratory investigations.

Of course, cancer can be diagnosed from exceptionally high levels of PSA, as was the case for friends actor James Michael Tyler. In that case, a biopsy is crucial to confirm the primary diagnosis.

The Need for PHI

Protected Health Information is essential for this and in any case where medical intervention is required. It is sometimes referred to as Public Health Information. This is any medical-related information that is held by authorities about an individual, including James Michael Tyler.

PHI is needed to make sure that the care of the individual is identifiable, appropriate, and applicable at the time that any medical intervention is required. The patient’s data will provide the basis of the care. The medical information that is collected about every individual throughout their lives and medical care will be addressed accordingly concerning that data and individual care needs.

PHI can ensure that the individual’s medical needs are catered for appropriately and in a uniquely identifiable way.

We offer all of our deepest and sincerest condolences to all of James’s family, friends, and colleagues, especially his wife. Through the natural sadness of loss, we give thanks that James Michael Tyler has raised immediate awareness of prostate cancer’s medical urgency and healthcare needs, all while fighting his own secret battle.

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