Some actors simply hate being too closely associated with a single role. James Michael Tyler, who died at the age of 59, was not among them. Over the course of the sitcom’s ten-year run, the waiter and manager at coffee shop Central Perk gradually became a fan favorite.
As the world mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, the popular actor from the Friends television show, here’s something you may not have known about him.
8 Things You Didn’t Know About James Michael Tyler
1. Real Life Barista
Tyler also revealed that when he was cast as Gunther, he was working as a barista at The Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood and that he continued to work there for several years while working on the show. 
2. Never Made Real Coffee
Despite being promoted from general extra to an unnamed coffee guy in the first season due to his knowledge of the real-life coffee serving business. James Michael Tyler never made any real coffee on set.
3. Production Work
Tyler worked as an assistant film editor as well as a production assistant. He began his career as a production assistant for “Fat Man and Little Boy”.
4. Theatre Performer
He earned a two-year degree from Anderson College (now Anderson University) and a geology degree from Clemson University. He was a member of the Clemson Players, a student theatre group, during his time at Clemson. This experience piqued his interest in pursuing a career as an actor.
5. Charity Supporter
Besides being a good actor he is also a good human being. This can be seen through the charity work which he has done for some charities. He donated to the Lili Claire Foundation and the AIDS Project Los Angeles.
6. Visited Shop Replica Of Central Perk
A pop-up shop replica of Central Perk was created in New York City’s Soho for the 20th anniversary of the blockbuster sitcom. Gunther (actor James Michael Tyler) visited the shop and interacted with customers and visitors.
7. Hard Childhood
He didn’t get much time as a child to spend with his parents. His father, a former USAF captain, died when he was 10 years old, and his mother died when he was 11 years old. Tyler then relocated to Anderson, South Carolina, to live with his sister.
8. Death Reason
Tyler was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 but did not publicly disclose his illness until June 2021, shortly after Friends: The Reunion was released. His cancer spread to his spine, forcing him to use a wheelchair. He died of the disease on October 24, 2021, at the age of 59, at his home in Los Angeles.