New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Actor James Michael Tyler, who essayed the role of Gunther in the hit sitcom FRIENDS, died on Sunday, at age of 59. He died at his house in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer, US media reported.

"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," representative Toni Benson said in a statement to US media.

Tyler's character as Gunther in FRIENDS was widely loved by the audience. He appeared in around 150 episodes across all 10 seasons. He was the manager of a coffee shop where the other lead characters Rachel, Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey and Chandler, used to hang out.

To remember James Michael Tyler and the character he played, here are some of Gunther's best moments:

Gunther's love for Rachel

Gunther became the one-sided lover of Rachel, who didn't have the courage to express his feelings and often, we heard his inner monologue as a voiceover. In one of the episodes, he yells "You Idiot" at Joshua for turning down Rachel's marriage proposal. In another episode, we hear him rehearsing his lines before asking out Rachel for the movie. "Say Rachel, I was wondering if you'd like to go to a movie with me sometime... as my lover." However, he drops the decision, "Nah, too out there."

Gunther calls Ross 'ezel'

In one of the episodes, we saw Ross learning Dutch to impress the landlord and in wake to practice, he uses some lines on Gunther, not knowing that he was fluent in that language. During the conversation, Gunther called Ross 'ezel' after he cut the conversation rudely. Being called ezel, Ross looked into his dictionary only to be found that Gunther called him Donkey. This didn't go down well with him, and he gave Gunther back by calling him ezel. Well, Gunther was smart, and replied, "Jij hebt s*ks met ezels (You have s*x with donkeys)," leaving Ross speechless.

No Smoking

The scene opened with Gunther telling Chandler to not smoke in Central Perk, "Oh, no, no, there's none of that in here."

To this, Chandler replied, "Oh, come on, at least let me finish this last one."

Gunther thought and offered a compromise, "Okay, but only if you give me a drag." To this, he agreed, and when Gunther inhaled a cigarette, he delivered one of the most memorable lines, "Oh oh, dark mother. Once again I suckle at your smoky teat."

Saying 'goodbye' to Rachel

It was towards the end of the FRIENDS' final season when Rachel was leaving for Paris, and before that she visited Central Perk for the one last time. Gunther mustered the courage and confessed his feelings for Rachel, and said, "I know you're leaving tonight, but I just have to tell you. I love you. I... I don't know if that changes your plans at all? But I thought you should know."

On hearing this, emotional Rachel replied, Gunther. "Oh, I love you too. Probably not in the same way, but I do. And when I'm in a café, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I'll think of you."


It will always be one of the best treats to their fans when makers decided to have a reunion. Apart from all six lead characters, Tyler was also invited to the reunion, but due to his illness, he was allowed to attend the event via Zoom. He said, "It was the most memorable 10 years of my life, honestly," he told host James Corden. "I could not have imagined a better experience. All these guys were fantastic. It was a joy to work with them. I felt very, very special."

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv