Mr. Tyler’s path to the show was fortuitous. While working as a barista in a real cafe, he was asked if he would be interested in being an extra on “Friends”. For the first season, his character was known as “Coffee Guy”.
“At the time, I was also working as a barista for a place called the Bourgeois Pig, one of the last independent cafes in Los Angeles,” Mr. Tyler told the New York Times in 2012. In his second season, he got a line of dialogue: “Yeah,” he said, when Mr. Schwimmer’s character Ross asked him if his apartment had stairs.
Marta Kauffman and David Crane, the co-creators of the series, recalled Mr. Tyler’s running debut in the series.
“When he started out as an extra on Friends, his unique spirit caught our attention and we knew we had to make him a character,” they said in a statement Sunday night. “He made Gunther’s unrequited love incredibly accessible. “
In the series finale, Gunther, known for his bleached hair, finally found the courage to confess his love to Rachel, who heartily let him down.