Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Pay Tribute to 'Friends' Co-Star James Michael Tyler After Death at 59

Friends stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox paid tribute to the late James Michael Tyler on Sunday, hours after his death at age 59 on Sunday. Taylor died after a battle with stage 4 prostate cancer. He did not reveal his diagnosis until a June interview with the Today Show when he explained why he missed the HBO Max reunion. Taylor starred as Gunther on Friends, appearing in 150 episodes as the Central Perk café manager.

"Friends would not have been the same without you. Thank you for the laughter you brought to the show and to all of our lives. You will be so missed," Aniston wrote on Instagram. She included the scene from the Friends finale when Gunther professed his love to Aniston's Rachel just before she left New York for Paris. Cox also shared a tribute on Instagram, alongside a photo of Tyler from the final season. "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. Rest In peace James," Cox wrote.

Warner Bros. Television, which produced Friends for NBC, also posted a statement on the official Friends Twitter account. "Warner Bros. Television mourns the loss of James Michael Tyler, a beloved actor and integral part of our FRIENDS family. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and fans," the studio's tribute read.

Tyler was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in September 2018 but kept his battle private until June. He did appear in the Friends reunion special for HBO Max, but only via Zoom. He told the Today Show he didn't go to the studio to be with his former co-stars because he didn't want to change the mood of the special by talking about his cancer diagnosis at that time. "It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included," Tyler said in June. "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? I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"

In announcing Tyler's death, his family noted that while many knew him as Gunther, they knew him as "an actor, musician, cancer-awareness advocate, and loving husband." Tyler "loved live music, cheering on his Clemson Tigers, and would often find himself in fun and unplanned adventures. If you met him once you made a friend for life," the statement continued. His manager told Variety he died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Carno.