|Famous Role||'Gunther' in the superhit American television sitcom 'Friends' (1994-2004)
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
|Debut||Short Film: The Roommate (1992) as 'Bar Patron'
Feature Film: Motel Blue (1997) as 'Oscar Bevins'
TV: Just Shoot Me! (2000) as a doctor
|Date of Birth||May 28, 1962 (Monday)|
|Birthplace||Greenwood, Mississippi, US|
|Date of Death||October 24, 2021|
|Place of Death||He died at his home in Los Angeles.|
|Age (at the time of death)||59 Years|
|Death Cause||He passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles.
Note: He had been battling advanced prostate cancer since 2018. BBC
|Hometown||Winona, Mississippi, US|
|School||T.L. Hanna High School, Anderson, US|
|College/University||• Anderson University (then Anderson College)
• Clemson University
• University of Georgia
|Educational Qualification(s)||• A two-year degree from Anderson University (1982)
• A degree in Geology from Clemson University (1984) James Michael Tyler - Instagram
• MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Acting from University of Georgia MovieWeb
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Marriage Date||First Marriage: Year 1995|
|Divorce Date||First Marriage: Year 2014|
|Wife/Spouse||• First Wife: Barbara Chadsey
• Second Wife: Jennifer Carno
|Parents||Father- Dewitt Eugene Tyler (Air Force Pilot in World War II, Sheriff of Anderson County, Sales Manager of J. A. Olson Company for Eighteen years, and Sales Representative for Illinois Molding Company)
Mother- Mary Sue Pullen
|Siblings||Brother- Captain John Dewitt Tyler Tommy Tyler (Columbus Air Force Base; died in 2019)
Sister(s)- Linda Clark & Brenda Keenan
|Actress(es)||Connie Stevens, Sylvia Sidney|
|Video Game||Rocket League|
|Band||Three Mile Pilot|
|Baseball Team||Chicago Cubs|
Some Lesser Known Facts About James Michael Tyler
- James Michael Tyler was an American actor who is best known for playing ‘Gunther’ in the renowned American television sitcom ‘Friends’ (1994-2004).
- James Michael’s name was derived from his uncle’s name.
- When he was ten years old, his father succumbed to injuries in an auto accident (on April 13, 1973). When he was eleven, his mother died due to breast cancer (on November 28, 1973). After his parents’ death, he moved with his sister (Linda) to Anderson, South Carolina.
- In 1988, James moved to Los Angeles to start his career in the entertainment industry. Before acting, he was employed as an assistant film editor. He was also employed as a production assistant in the American film ‘Fat Man and Little Boy’ (1989).
- Before starting his career in acting, James was selling cars in Olympia, Washington, US. After moving to Hollywood, to make ends meet, he worked in the service and entertainment industries at the same time. In Hollywood, he worked as a bar-back at the Hollywood Palace, a keyboard seller at the Guitar Center, and a barista at the Bourgeois Pig.
- He bagged the recurring role of ‘Gunther’ in the American television sitcom ‘Friends’ (1994-2004). In the TV series, Gunther is a barista at Central Perk covertly in love with Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston). In many interviews, he said that he bagged the role of ‘Gunther’ due to his previous experience as a barista at a club. He was initially cast as an extra by the show makers, and he accepted it due to financial constraints. As the popularity of the show grew, his character also became popular, which added prominence to his character in the latter half of the show. Talking about his selection for the role in an interview, he said,
I was actually working in L.A. as a barista at the Bourgeois Pig. He (assistant director of Friends) knew I was working there, and that there was the coffee shop set, Central Perk, so he called me and asked if I would like to come in, because they had an espresso machine on the set. Of course, I never had to make any real espressos in those 10 years, because it’s so loud, but I did have experience before that.”
- James’ blond hair in Friends (for which he is remembered) was actually accidental. The day before auditions for the show, the hairstyle was experimented on him by one of his acquaintances, who was studying to become a hairdresser. In the auditions, the hair was liked by the makers of the show, and they decided to keep the look for Gunther’s character throughout the show.
- James acted in the American feature films The Disturbance at Dinner (1998), Foreign Correspondents (1999), and Jason’s Big Problem (2009).
- In 2001, he was seen in the television series ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’
- James made appearances in the American TV series Scrubs (2005) and Episodes (2012).
- James also acted in the American short films Live with It (2008), Processing (2020), and The Gesture and The Word (2020).
- In 2013, he portrayed his first main role as ‘Chad Levitz’ in the American TV series ‘Modern Music.’
- In 2005, he dubbed many characters in the video game ‘Friends: The One with All the Trivia.’
- In 2007, James was seen in the British musician Chicane’s music video of ‘Come Tommorow.’
- In 2009, on Friends’ 15th anniversary, Tyler created a temporary Central Perk replica in London, opened from September to October for two weeks. The fans would go there and take tickets to have free coffee and see memorabilia from the show. In 2014, on Friends’ 20th anniversary, Tyler appeared at the replica of Central Perk in SoHo, Manhattan.
- James, along with Keith King, was a founding member of the collaborative improvisational band Red Felt Pig.
- James often used to say that he liked being called by his middle name, Michael.
- He was a philanthropist and shows his support to Lili Claire Foundation, a charitable organization providing programs and services to children suffering from neurogenic birth conditions. He also promoted and supported AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit HIV service organizations in the United States.
- In 2020, Tyler was awarded the Best Actor Male for his performance in the short film ‘The Gesture and The Word’ at the Birmingham Film Festival.
- In 2021, he appeared as a guest in the TV special ‘Friends: The Reunion,’ which saw the main cast of Friends revisiting the sets of the original show, meeting with guests, doing table reads, and re-enacting Friends’ episodes.
- In 2021, he made a public announcement, revealing that he was suffering from metastatic prostate cancer. In 2018, he was diagnosed with the disease and went for hormone therapy that worked out well for a year. However, with time, cancer spread to his bones and spine, leading to paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body). Talking about it in an interview, he said,
I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones. 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.”
- In his free time, James loved to travel, play video games, record music, and do photography.
- Tyler was an avid animal lover and owned a pet dog and pet cat.