What We Know About James Michael Tyler's Failed First Marriage

"Friends" actor James Michael Tyler was only supposed to have a bit part on the hit TV series, but he quietly made his way into fans' hearts and stuck around for all 10 seasons. Tyler, who played beloved (if awkward) Central Perk manager Gunther, told Digital Spy in 2012 that he wasn't sure why his character had such longevity — not that he was complaining. "I think they just had him there for throwaway lines, then for whatever reason the writers and creators decided to develop the obsession that Gunther had with Rachel," he shared. "I'm very happy that they did that and I think that it made a good foil for Ross and Rachel."

One major reason was certainly his charm and likability, and so when Tyler shared his tragic health diagnosis in 2021, fans were heartbroken. Speaking with Today, the actor revealed he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018. "It's stage 4," he told the morning show. "Eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me." As the disease progressed, it became the sad reason he chose to skip the "Friends" reunion, and in October 2021, at just 59 years old, Tyler tragically died. The news hit his "Friends" co-stars and fans hard and sparked increased interest in all aspects of his life, including the romantic. Here's everything we know about Tyler's love life, including his failed first marriage.

Inside James Michael Tyler's first marriage

To say the mid-90s were life-changing for James Michael Tyler would be an understatement. In 1994, the actor, who only had a handful of cameos to his name at the time, snagged his career-defining role as Gunther on "Friends." While it started out as a background part, it soon turned into a series staple, and Tyler would reprise the role in a whopping 159 episodes. At the same time that his acting was taking off, he hit another major milestone, this one off-screen, when he married Barbara Chadsey in 1995.

While little is known about Tyler's first wife, including her career and how the couple met, what we do know is that their union only lasted eight years. Ironically, just like his personal and professional worlds took off at the same time, they also collapsed in tandem. Tyler and Chadsey called it quits and separated in 2003, just a year before "Friends" went off the air for good. However, their split wasn't finalized for over a decade, as Tyler waited to officially file for divorce for 11 years. Yes, years. It wasn't until March 2014 that the small screen star finally decided to pull the trigger and submit the necessary paperwork, citing irreconcilable differences, per TMZ.

James Michael Tyler found his true love later in life

A few years after his divorce was finalized, James Michael Tyler tied the knot for a second time. It was 2017 and he said "I do" to Jennifer Carno, a script coordinator and consultant who's worked on films like "You, Me and Dupree" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." According to her IMDb, she's also held gigs as a production assistant and even has one writing credit to her name. But despite their shared Hollywood connection, Carno didn't know much about Tyler's small-screen success when they first got together. Speaking with Express in 2019, Tyler shared how he and Carno were binging "Friends" because "she never really watched the show during its run and wasn't familiar with it even when we started dating." Indeed, he recalled an incident in which Carno first told her best friend about Tyler, and it was her BFF who instantly recognized him as Gunther. "I guess that's good, she didn't marry into the Gunther fame!" he joked.

While Tyler wasn't super active on social media, he did share various sweet snaps of himself with Carno on Instagram, including a shot of them attending 2015 Friendsfest in London, England. One particularly sweet but sad post showed that Carno was right by his side to the very end as he battled prostate cancer. When Tyler eventually died in 2021, his manager, Toni Benson, called Carno (via NBC News) "the love of his life, ever united in good times, in sickness, and for eternity."