Birthplace: Greenwood, Mississippi, U.S.
James Michael Tyler (born May 28, 1962) is an American actor best known for his role as Gunther on the NBC sitcom Friends.James Michael Tyler was born the youngest of five children on May 28, 1962 in Greenwood, Mississippi. He was named after his grandfather, James George Tyler. Tyler's hometown was Winona, Mississippi. When he was 10 years old his father died, and when he was 11 years old, his mother died. At age 12, Tyler moved to Anderson, South Carolina to live with his sister. He graduated from Anderson College (now Anderson University) with a two- year degree in 1982 and Clemson University with a degree in geology in 1984. During his time at Clemson, he was a member of a student theatre group, the Clemson Players. This experience sparked his interest in becoming an actor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia in 1987.
In 1988 he moved to Los Angeles and became a production assistant for Fat Man and Little Boy and an assistant film editor. He supports the Lili Claire Foundation and AIDS Project L.A charities. Tyler currently lives in Hollywood.
Tyler married in 1995 to Barbara Chadsey. They separated in 2003, but Tyler only filed for divorce in 2014, citing "Irreconcilable differences".
From 1994 to 2004, James Michael Tyler played Gunther on the sitcom Friends. Gunther was a coffee shop worker at Central Perk who had unrequited love for Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston. This led to a ten-year career with appearances in 148 of Friends' 236 episodes; he is the show's most-frequently-appearing guest star.
In honor of Friends' 15th anniversary in 2009, Tyler opened to the public a Central Perk replica in Carnaby Street, London, open for two weeks from September to October. He appeared in the unaired pilot satire sitcom Nobody's Watching, playing himself as a present from the studio executives on the set of Central Perk.
In honor of Friends' 20th anniversary in 2014, Tyler made appearances at a Central Perk replica in SoHo.
Tyler appeared in the BBC/Showtime sitcom Episodes (Series 2, Episode 6) as himself playing an ice hockey coach, when Matt LeBlanc tries unsuccessfully to get the other main stars from Friends to appear in the promotional video for the fictional television show Pucks. Matt LeBlanc is crestfallen when he learns Tyler still hangs out with David Schwimmer and texts with Courteney Cox (both of whom no longer speak to him) and when he learns Tyler has Jennifer Aniston's phone number but won't give it to him, he curses at Tyler and storms away.