'Friends' ' Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and More Share Tributes to Late Costar James Michael Tyler

"Thank you for being there for us all," Lisa Kudrow wrote in a social media tribute to the actor, who died Sunday following a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer

James Michael Tyler is being remembered by his former Friends costars after he died following a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer on Sunday. He was 59.

Shortly after news of Tyler's death was made public, Jennifer Aniston paid tribute to the late actor — who played Central Perk barista Gunther on the hit show — with a sweet message on Instagram.

"Friends would not have been the same without you," the actress wrote, posting a scene from an episode of Friends, as well as a headshot of Tyler's character on the series. "Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed #JamesMichaelTyler 💔."

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The clip that Aniston, 52, shared came from Friends' series finale, where Tyler's Gunter confessed his love for Aniston's Rachel, bringing an end to the long-running gag about his crush on her that was featured throughout the show.

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Courteney Cox also honored Tyler, sharing the same headshot of him from the set of Friends alongside a kind message. "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. "Rest In peace James. ♥️."

Fellow Friends stars Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer also paid tribute to Tyler with sentimental posts on social media as well.

James Michael Tyler
James Michael Tyler on Friends. Warner Bros. /Everett

Sharing the same headshot photo as Cox, 57, and Aniston on Instagram, Kudrow, 58, wrote: "James Michael Tyler, we will miss you. Thank you for being there for us all. #jamesmichealtyler."

In his own remembrance, LeBlanc, 54, said, "We had a lot of laughs buddy. You will be missed. RIP my friend," alongside two shots — including one of him conversing with Tyler on the set of the popular NBC sitcom series.

Schwimmer, 54, meanwhile, also shared the same headshot of Tyler as his former castmates. "James, thank you for playing such a wonderful, unforgettable role in Friends and for being such a big hearted gentleman and all around mensch off screen," he wrote alongside the post. "You will be missed, buddy. #JamesMichaelTyler."

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Tyler, who famously starred on Friends for ten years across 150 episodes — and whose character was even included as the seventh Friend in the 2019 LEGO set that featured the iconic coffee shop where he worked — revealed his cancer diagnosis for the first time in mid-June, about three years after his treatment began in 2018.

"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. ... It's stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," Tyler shared on Today, noting at the time that he was undergoing chemotherapy.

James Michael Tyler
James Michael Tyler. Anthony Harvey/Getty

Tyler also explained that he was placed on a hormone therapy that "worked amazingly" for a year or so, but "right at the time of the pandemic" last year the cancer "progressed" and spread throughout his body, affecting his spine, which led to paralysis of his lower body.

Up until his death, Tyler advocated for greater awareness and education regarding prostate cancer, emphasizing on Today that the illness is "easily treatable" if it's caught early. He said he hopes to "help save at least one life by coming out with this news" and encouraged people to get a PSA screening, which is a prostate-specific antigen test, to detect the disease early on.

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The news of his diagnosis came after Tyler appeared virtually on the HBO Max Friends reunion special, which premiered in May. The fan-favorite said he still wanted to be part of the event, even if not in-person.

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

In addition to Friends, Tyler had various guest-starring roles on TV shows, including Sabrina the Teenage Witch in 2001 and Scrubs in 2005.

In 2013, he played the main lead in the series Modern Music. Despite undergoing treatment, the actor also starred in two short films — The Gesture and the Word and Processing — where he won best actor awards at multiple film festivals.

Per his official obituary, Tyler is survived by the love of his life, wife Jennifer Carno, "ever united in good times, in sickness, and for eternity."

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