Where the supporting cast of Friends are now as James Michael Tyler dies aged 59 – from Fun Bobby to Janice and baby Ben
THERE was an outpouring of grief from Friends fans yesterday when the news broke that James Michael Taylor had sadly died.
The actor, who played lovable coffee shop manager Gunther, passed away at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 59 after his battle with cancer.
His co-stars were quick to pay tribute, including Jennifer Aniston – whose character Rachel was the apple of Gunther's eye.
When Friends ended, Gunther travelled the world making appearances and opening replica Central Perks.
He also won roles on other sitcoms such as Scrubs, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Modern Music and Anger Management – and even teamed up with Matt Le Blanc in 2012 for his show Episodes.
James revealed he'd been battling stage 4 prostate cancer since 2018 in June, after doctors discovered the disease during a routine physical exam.
During an appearance on the Today show, he mentioned that the cancer had started "mutating" at the beginning of the pandemic, and had spread to his bones and spine, paralysing his lower body.
James' character Gunther was part of a big supporting cast in Friends, from Chandler's annoying girlfriend Janice to Ross' lesbian ex-wife Carol.
While some have gone on to Hollywood fame, others have retreated from the limelight.
Here we reveal what some of the most memorable characters are up to now.
Famous for her catchphrase "Oh. My. God.", Janice, played by Maggie Wheeler was the annoying ex-girlfriend of Chandler.
After Friends left screens, Maggie, now 60, stayed in TV and made appearances in shows such as ER, Will & Grace and How I Met Your Mother.
She also had a recurring role on Archer as well as a one-episode stint as Dr. Renton in Disney’s Kim Possible.
She has been married to husband Daniel for over 30 years, and the pair have two children together.
Today Maggie shared a post saying she was "so grateful" to have known James, whom she described as "kind and gentle".
Before Ross got together with Rachel in the final episode, she hired young, inexperienced Tag as her personal assistant.
Tag, played by Eddie Cahill, then dated Rachel but she decided to end the relationship due to the age difference.
After appearing in the show, Eddie, 43, went on to star in shows such as CSI:NY, Law and Order, Dawson's Creek and NCIS.
His most recent main role was as District Attorney Conner Wallace in Conviction.
He married former model and make-up artist Nikki Uberti in 2009 and the pair later welcomed a son, Henry.
She was the lesbian ex-wife of Ross and mum to his cute young son Ben.
And Carol, played by Jane Sibbett, also appeared in almost every season of the show alongside her wife Susan.
After Friends ended, the mum-of-three became a theatre director, but still made appearances in front of the camera.
She’s had film roles in Once Upon a Christmas, Legacy, Jessica Darling’s It List and Winter Wedding.
Jane, 58 – who's been married to screenwriter husband Karl Fink since 1992, with whom she shares three children – also works for a charity in Los Angeles supporting veterans and the homeless, and is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence.
She recently filmed a pilot for Manopause which is currently in development.
Frank Buffay Junior
The third season of Friends saw Phoebe's half-brother Frank Buffay Junior introduced to the show.
Played by Giovanni Ribisi, 46, Frank was in love with his teacher Alice and became a dad to triplets that Phoebe acted as a surrogate for.
Since Friends, Giovanni's career has gone from strength to strength – after appearing in movies such as Selma, Avatar, Saving Private Ryan Ted and Gangster Squad.
Between 2012 and 2015, he was married to the British model Agyness Deyn and is said to be an active Scientologist.
He plays Parker Selfridge in the upcoming Avatar 2 and 3 movies and played John in A Million Little Pieces.
Giovanni has also continued to star on the small screen, most recently as Jerry in On the Verge.
Fun Bobby, played by Vincent Ventresca, 55, first appeared in the Season 1 episode The One With The Monkey, showing up at the gang's New Year's Eve party.
Sadly he didn't quite live up to his nickname, as he revealed his grandfather had died, burst into floods of tears and remained inconsolable all evening.
He returned in Season 2, where it transpired he had developed a drinking problem.
Monica managed to get him to give up alcohol but without the booze, Fun Bobby wasn't so fun.
Chandler went so far as to rename him Ridiculously Dull Bobby, and Monica resorted to knocking back drinks around him in an attempt to have a better time.
These days hunky actor Vincent Ventresca is still a TV regular in the US, with roles in hit shows like Nashville, Wicked City, Psych, The Invisible Man and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Not long after Friends he had a supporting role alongside ex co-star Lisa Kudrow in Romy And Michele's High School Reunion.
His most recent role was on a 2020 episode of Criminal Minds.
The first kid to arrive in the lives of the sixsome was Ben Geller, Ross’s son from ex-wife Carol, who appeared in 16 episodes of the series.
Ben would now be 25 years old, which may make many devotees feel a little on the ancient side.
In fact, the mischievous lad was played by four different actors, starting with Michael Gunderson as baby Ben in season two then twin toddlers Charles Thomas Allen and John Christopher Allen.
While they chose not to pursue an acting career after leaving the show, the final Ben, Cole Sprouse, is still at it.
Cole – who was in the role at Ben’s prankster best – went on to star in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Suite Life on Deck alongside his twin brother Dylan.
In 2017, Cole – who was nine when he started playing Ben – admitted he had a crush on his Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston.
"I had a really, really hard time working with Aniston because I was so in love with her,” he told the New York Post.
“I was infatuated. I was speechless — I’d get all bubbly and forget my lines and completely blank… It was so difficult.”
For the last four years Cole, now 29 and seriously hot, has starred in the US drama.
He split from co-star Lili Reinhart in January 2020, after three years, and was linked to Canadian model Reina Silva.
Rachel and Ross’s baby Emma was initially played by twins Elizabeth and Genevieve Davidson, followed by Alexandra and Athina Conley.
But from 2004, twins Cali and Noelle Sheldon played her as a toddler.
Now 19, the twins have continued acting, appearing together in short films like 2012's Agorable and 2016's Rougarou, and the 2007 pilot episode of the Damian Lewis drama Life.
Last year, they also appeared in psychological horror film Us, playing doppelgängers.
The pair regularly post throwback pictures of their time on the Friends set – which are super cute.
Phoebe acted as a surrogate for her brother, Frank, and his partner, Alice – and ended up carrying triplets.
The three newborns used initially were not credited but by season six, they appeared as toddlers when Phoebe, Monica and Chandler tried their hand at babysitting.
The trio were actually played by quadruplets – Alexis, Cole, Justin and Paul Cimoch.
Alexis has now become a viral sensation on TikTok after revealing her former role on the popular show, posting pictures of herself as a little 'un being cradled by Chandler (Matthew Perry) and babysat by Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow).
The clip, which was posted last month, has racked up an enormous 2.7 million views.
The older triplets reappeared in season ten, with Dante Pastula playing Frank, Sierra Marcoux as Chandler, and Allisyn Ashley Arm playing Leslie.
Dante, now 24, went on to star in The Polar Express in 2004, before giving up acting, and Sierra has kept a low profile ever since her child star days.
Allisyn, now 25, went on to star in children's TV show Sonny with a Chance and more recently starred in the long-running series Astrid Clover and A.P. Bio.
A child star before his guest appearance in Friends – when Chandler accidentally revealed he was adopted – Daryl Sabara had already played a lead in the hit movie Spy Kids.
He went on to star in The World’s Greatest Dad, with Robin Williams, and the 2009 adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Still acting, he was a Broadaway hit opposite Chloe Moritz in the play The Library, in 2014 and he voices the character of Heatblast in the Ben 10 series.
He is also husband to pop sensation Meghan Trainor, who he wed in 2018, and they have a young son, Riley.
Dakota appeared in season ten as Mackenzie, the slightly creepy little girl living in the house that Monica and Chandler wanted to buy.
Chandler was initially convinced she was a ghost.
By then the accomplished child star had already become the youngest person to receive a Screen Actors Guild nomination, at seven, for her role in the 2001 movie I Am Sam.
Since her Friends appearance, in 2004, Dakota has had huge Hollywood success appearing in films such as War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and Ocean’s 8.
She also stars with sister Elle Fanning in The Nightingale, which is due for release in 2022.
Mae Whitman’s appearance in Friends was short-lived but memorable as her character Sarah, a Brownie, got her leg broken by Ross, who then had to complete her charity cookie sale.
Since appearing in Friends, Mae went on to enjoy success in shows such as Arrested Development, Good Girls and Parenthood.
She's also appeared in films like The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Kyla Pratt appeared in season three as Sarah's pal Charla Nichols, who got into a spat with Ross after the leg-breaking incident.
Kyla went on to star in many TV shows such as One on One, The Proud Family and the Dr Dolittle films opposite Eddie Murphy.
She is engaged to longterm love Danny Kirkpatrick and they have two daughters, Lyric and Liyah.
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