Gunther’s First Line In Friends Didn’t Come Until The 33rd Episode

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 25 Oct 2021 13:30
Gunther's First Line in Friends - Alamy Alamy

Gunther’s first line in the hit US sitcom may not have come until the 33rd episode, but actor James Michael Tyler has left an impact on all those he worked with on the Friends set.

Tyler, who played the role of Central Perk’s barista and manager, passed away on the morning of Sunday, October 24 aged 59. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, which spread to his bones.


Friends cast members have since flooded to social media to pay their respects to the actor and his family.

Jennifer Aniston Michael Tyler Tribute - AlamyAlamy

Gunther, despite his late arrival to the show, was the character who made the most appearances in the series after the six main stars, BBC reports.

Tyler’s character appeared in 185 episodes, and despite not always having a speaking role in them all, he could be seen in the background attending to the coffee machine. It is reported that he even first got offered the job on the production on the basis of being able to use one.


However, due to his talent and performance, Tyler acquired even more of a role in the series after he first entered in the second episode of the first season, titled The One With The Sonogram, and has left a mark on all who crossed his path.

Fellow co-star Jennifer Aniston took to her Instagram to share a poignant clip of her character, Rachel, in a scene with Gunther in which he professes his love for her.

Other stars of the show, including Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer also posted tributes to Instagram.


Schwimmer stated:

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. You will be missed, buddy. #JamesMichaelTyler

Tyler was in attendance at the Friends reunion, which took place earlier in the year. However, due to his battle with cancer, he was unable to be there in person and so appeared via Zoom. He told host James Corden how the show had been the ‘most memorable 10 years of [his] life, honestly’.


The late actor said, ‘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.’

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Topics: News, Friends, Jennifer Aniston, Now


  1. BBC

    James Michael Tyler: 11 of Gunther's funniest Friends moments