By Angie

10th May 2019

Remember Gunther (Friends)? This Is What He Looks Like Now!

In spite of being a secondary character, Gunther (Friends) quickly became a fan favourite in hit American comedy series Friends (starring David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow) which ran for a decade from 1994-2004.

He was known for being the quirky manager of Central Perk who was hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with Rachel but what do really know about James Michael Tyler, the man behind the bright white hair and kooky ties?

Actor James Michael Tyler returned for the Friends’ 20th anniversary in 2014 and appeared at the Central Perk replica in SoHo, London.

With a net worth of $500,000, the bumbling barista has been on quite the journey…

Image Source: /Nicki Swift

1962 – James Michael Tyler Is Born In Greenwood, Mississipi

In 1962, James Michael Tyler is born in Mississippi.

gunther friends yellow t-shirt

Image Source: /Daily Express

Aged 11 – He Becomes An Orphan

He becomes an orphan at the age of eleven years old when his mother passes away just one year after his father.


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Sadly, going home today! Wish I could stay longer. Thank you London, @warnerbrostv @warnerbrosuk @comedycentraluk !!! #Friendsfest

A post shared by James Michael Tyler (@slate_michael) on

Image Source: /Instagram @slate_michael

Aged 12 – He Moves To South Carolina To Live With His Sister

After the death of his parents, James moves to Anderson in South Carolina to live with his sister.

gunther friends phoebe buffay

Image Source: /The Cheat Sheet

Aged 21 – He Discovers A Love Of Acting After Joining A Theatre Group At University

Whilst at Clemson University, James discovers a love of acting after becoming part of the student theatre group: the Clemson Players.

gunther friends cat

Image Source: /ScoopWhoop

Aged 22 – He Graduates With A Degree In Geology

In 1984, James graduates with a degree in Geology from Clemson University.


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#instalike #love #karma

A post shared by James Michael Tyler (@slate_michael) on

Image Source: /Instagram @slate_michael

Aged 24 – He Receives A Master Of Fine Arts Degree

He graduates with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1987.


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#philsolem and me reuniting at #birdshollywood #rembrandts

A post shared by James Michael Tyler (@slate_michael) on

Image Source: /Instagram @slate_michael

Aged 25 – He Becomes A Production Assistant For Fat Man and Little Boy

After moving to Los Angeles, James becomes a production assistant and film editor on Fat Man and Little Boy.

Image Source: /Instagram @slate_michael

Aged 32 – James Lands The Role Of Gunther On Sitcom Friends

James lands his first on-screen role as coffee shop worker Gunther. He plays the role from 1994-2004, the entire duration on the show.

Fun fact: He was cast because he was the only extra who knew how to use an espresso machine! James had previously worked in coffee shops and it looks like this was FINALLY about to pay off.

gunther friends ross

Image Source: /Bustle

Why Did We Love Gunther?

Now that we have a big of background about James Michael Tyler – the force behind the goofy Gunther – why did this character have so much of an effect on people? Here are some of the top reasons why we love Gunther.

1. We Could All Relate To Him

Gunther was pretty unlucky in life; stuck in a dead end job lusting after a woman who barely acknowledged his existence…we couldn’t help but feel sorry for him!

And also, incredibly sad that most of us have been/are in the exact same position…

We can all relate to Gunther one way or another!

Video Source: /YouTube

2. His Love For Rachel Warmed Our Hearts

Even though Gunther’s love for Rachel was sadly unrequited, it still showed what a true romantic Gunther was in the fact that he would do anything for her.

He even bought her hairless cat in spite of not really knowing what it was, just because she needed to get rid of it.

Now, that’s love.

Video Source: /YouTube

3. He Never Failed To Surprise Us

Gunther didn’t have many opportunities to shine on the series but when he did, he had our attention! For instance, when we discover that he used to be on a soap opera like Joey.

gunther friends 20th anniversary

Image Source: /Parade

Since his time on Friends, James has gone on to appear on several tv shows over the years.

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