We've Already Lost Too Many Friends Actors

According to "Still Friends" author Saul Austerlitz, NBC decided to take a chance on "Friends" because of the success of "Seinfeld." What the network couldn't possibly have predicted is that co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman's sitcom would surpass "Seinfeld" on its way to becoming a genuine phenomenon, a series that encapsulated the late '90s/early '00s period like no other.

Fans fell in love with 20-somethings Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), who have each other's backs as they traverse life in New York City. While the success of "Friends" made the cast undoubtedly rich, the show has also been said to have "changed our idea of family" by the BBC, and there's nothing quite as painful as losing a family member.

It still seems too soon to be talking about "Friends" actors we've lost, but the show celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019 and several cast members weren't around to help mark the milestone. From prolific character actors and cult B-movie stars to Oscar-winning Hollywood icons, the following "Friends" actors left us way too soon.

Ron Leibman was Rachel's overbearing father

Award-winning actor Ron Leibman, who appeared as Rachel's cardiologist father, Dr. Leonard Green, in four memorable episodes of "Friends," died in 2019, his agent told the Associated Press. The cause of death was pneumonia, a family insider confirmed. He was 82.

A native of New York, Leibman was 3 years old when he saw his first ever Broadway show. He went on to a distinguished career on the stage, but made his mark in television first, earning a leading actor Emmy for his performance in 1979's "Kaz." He received a Golden Globe nomination for the 1986 TV movie "Christmas Eve," and, in 1993, he won a Tony Award for his turn as McCarthy-era lawyer Roy Cohn in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," which was Leibman's tenth performance on the Great White Way. Three years later, he made his debut as Rachel's overbearing dad.

Dr. Green first shows up in the Season 2 episode, "The One with the Two Parties," surprising Rachel on her birthday. He reappeared in Season 3, and popped up again in Seasons 8 and 10, when the heart doctor suffers a heart attack. Ross is by his side when he wakes up in hospital, but that doesn't soften his opinion of him one bit. "So what's new with you, Geller?" he asks. "Knocked up any more of my daughters lately?"

Ron Glass was Ross' busy divorce attorney on Friends

Emmy-nominated actor and devout Buddhist Ron Glass, who was kept busy as Ross' divorce attorney on "Friends," died of respiratory failure in 2016. "Ron was a private, gentle and caring man," his agent, Jeffrey Leavitt, confirmed to NBC. "He was an absolute delight to watch on screen. Words cannot adequately express my sorrow." He was 71.

The Indiana native played perpetually exasperated lawyer Russell in two Season 6 episodes of "Friends," debuting in "The One Where Ross Hugs Rachel" and showing up again in "The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance." He's called into action when Ross promises Rachel that he'll get their impromptu Vegas nuptials annulled, only to secretly change his mind when the reality of another failed marriage hits home. When Russell later informs Rachel that she and Ross are still married, she storms into one of his lectures and calls the paleontologist out in front of his students.

Away from "Friends," Glass had a long and distinguished career. He was nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for his turn as New York detective Ron Harris in "Barney Miller," and later became known for his part in "Firefly." He played spiritual guide Shepherd Derrial Book in all 14 episodes of the Joss Whedon show, and would reprise the role in the sequel movie "Serenity," released in 2005.

Conchata Ferrell denied Ross and Rachel their annulment

Beloved character actress Conchata Ferrell, who played the unimpressed judge presiding over Ross and Rachel's annulment case, died at the age of 77 "of complications following a cardiac arrest" in 2020, Deadline confirmed. 

In "Friends," it was Ferrell who had to decide whether or not to void Ross and Rachel's shotgun wedding. She appears in the Season 6 episode, "The One with Joey's Porsche" and, after discovering that everything in their application is a total lie, tells them that their only option is divorce. An irate Ross and Rachel tell Ferrell's judge that they won't leave until she annuls their marriage, but they quickly change their stance when she fires back with: "Would you like to spend the night in jail?"

Ferrell already had around a hundred credits to her name by the time she popped up on "Friends" in 1999. She was nominated for an Emmy for her 20-episode stint on "L.A. Law" in 1992, but it took another decade before she achieved mainstream recognition. In her most famous role, the West Virginia native played Berta the housekeeper on Chuck Lorre's sitcom "Two and a Half Men," appearing in over 200 episodes and picking up a further two Emmy nods along the way. "Through it all she was a rock," Lorre said in a statement (via Deadline). "One of the greats. I was privileged to call her a friend."

Max Wright was the original boss of Central Perk

Detroit born actor Max Wright, who was the manager at Central Perk during the first two seasons of "Friends," died at age 75 in 2019. "We're told Max had battled cancer for years," TMZ, which broke the news, reported. 

Born George Edward Wright, he studied acting at the National Theater School of Canada and then returned to the States to launch a Broadway career. He shared the stage with Al Pacino in 1979's "King Richard III" and was nominated for a Tony Award for his work in the 1997 adaptation of the classic Russian play "Ivanov." By this point in time, he was known to "Friends" fans as Terry, the original boss of the iconic Central Perk.

We first meet Terry in the Season 1 episode, "The One Where Underdog Gets Away." He returns with a bang in Season 2's "The One with the Baby On The Bus," firing Phoebe from her singing job at the coffee house. "It's not that your friend is bad," he tells Rachel, "it's that she's so bad, she makes me want to put my finger through my eye into my brain and swirl it around." The latter episode is notable for being the debut of Phoebe's song "Smelly Cat." Wright appeared in dozens of well-known shows outside of "Friends," most notably "ALF." He played suburban dad Willie Tanner in all four seasons of the quirky '80s sitcom.

Joel Beeson was Joey's cowboy rival

North Carolina native Joel Beeson, who played Todd the Hombre Man in a standout Season 2 episode of "Friends," reportedly died at 51 years old while waiting for a liver transplant in 2017.  Beeson made his first television appearances in the late 1980s when he was a contestant on "The New Hollywood Squares." His acting career began in 1992 when he played the part of Lisle's bodyguard in Robert Zemeckis' black comedy "Death Becomes Her." He went on to land roles in rom-com "The Favour" and action flick "Ballistic" (also known as "Fist of Justice"), but Beeson was always best known as Todd, Joey's rival cologne spritzer in "The One with the Breast Milk."

To help pay the bills, soap actor Joey gets a job in a department store fragrance section. Things are going well until the hunky Todd, dressed as a cowboy and offering a manly cologne known as "Hombre," starts encroaching on his territory. Not to be outdone in front of co-worker Annabel, Joey gets himself a white cowboy costume and triggers an impromptu spritzing duel, which he wins by default — Todd loses his cool sprays a customer directly in the eyes.

Stan Kirsch brought the ick factor to Friends

Actor and respected teacher Stan Kirsch, who lied to Monica about his age in Season 1 of "Friends," died by suicide at age 51 in 2020, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed (via Deadline).

Kirsch got his first taste of the industry when he appeared in commercials as a kid. He returned to acting as an adult and became known for his role on the "Highlander" TV series, playing street kid-turned-immortal Richie Ryan in over 100 episodes of the popular '90s show. He went on to appear in two episodes of the legal drama "JAG," and later featured in the low budget horror film "Shallow Ground" as well as the sci-fi thriller "Deep Rescue," but he was popularly known for playing high schooler Ethan in an episode of "Friends" that makes us cringe today. In the appropriately named "The One with the Ick Factor," Ethan tells Monica that he's "a senior," leading her to believe he's in his last year of college. After they sleep together, he reveals that he's actually a senior in high school. Needless to say, she calls the whole thing off.

Kirsch went on to establish himself as an acting coach, founding Stan Kirsch Studios with his wife, Kristyn Green.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Robin Williams made a guest appearance on Friends alongside Billy Crystal

Comedic juggernaut Robin Williams, who appeared alongside Billy Crystal in a "Friends" Season 3 guest spot, died by suicide in 2014. In the last years of Williams' life, he had unknowingly been living with Lewy body disease, a degenerative condition that affects both physical and mental health. "I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life," his widow, Susan Schneider Williams, told Neurology of her late husband, who died was 63.

The Chicago-born, Juilliard-trained Williams rose through the stand-up comedy ranks before transitioning into one of Hollywood's most beloved actors. He voiced the Genie in Disney's "Aladdin," fooled his family in "Mrs. Doubtfire," outran stampedes in "Jumanji" and played Theodore Roosevelt in the "Night at the Museum" films, though he deftly handled a number of serious roles, too. He was thrice nominated for Best Actor for his stellar work in "Good Morning, Vietnam," "Dead Poets Society" and "The Fisher King," and he later won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his memorable turn opposite Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting."

In his singular "Friends" appearance, "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion," Williams appears alongside Crystal in the opening scene as Tomas and Tim, a pair of Central Perk customers that squeeze onto the gang's regular sofa. Monica abandons her story and they all begin to eavesdrop when Tim reveals he's sleeping with Tomas's wife.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Shelley Berman did a guest spot as Rachel's gassy boss

Comedian and actor Shelley Berman, who played Rachel's boss at Fortuna Fashions in two consecutive episodes of "Friends," died in 2017. The cause of death was complications from Alzheimer's disease, Variety confirmed through Berman's publicist. He was 92.

Berman was a comedy star on the nightclub circuit during the 1960s, but the former Navy man almost lost it all when a documentary crew filmed him on an explosive rant backstage. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he threatened to "pull the damn phones out of the wall" when his routine was interrupted by a call. "I got a reputation for causing trouble, maybe because I am passionate about things," he admitted during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "But I did not deserve the things that were said about me. I was never just a troublemaker." Berman proved just that, pivoting to acting and enjoying a long career onscreen.

He's perhaps best known for his Emmy-nominated turn as Nat David, Larry David's father on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," but "Friends" fans will remember him as Mr. Kaplan Jr., Rachel's boss for a short spell during Season 3. She soon realizes that she's only there to untangle coat hangers and make coffee (which, to make matters worse, gives Berman's character bad gas), though luckily she's tipped off about an opening at upscale department store Bloomingdales, where she becomes a personal shopper.

Audra Lindley was Phoebe's grandmother and flatmate

Two-time Golden Globe nominee Audra Lindley, who played Phoebe's adoptive grandmother and longtime flatmate, Frances, died at age 79 due to complications from leukemia in 1997, the Los Angeles Times confirmed. Speaking to the newspaper a decade earlier, Lindley revealed that she had always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her actor parents. "From the first time I can remember, maybe 4 years old, I dreamed of being a movie star," she said. 

After appearing in a number of uncredited film roles in the early 1940s, Lindley's onscreen career began in earnest the following decade when she became a regular on American television screens. She attained TV stardom in the 1970s when she played wealthy mother Amy Fitzgerald on "Bridget Loves Bernie" and then landlady Helen Roper on "Three's Company," her most famous role. She was nominated in the supporting comedy actress category at the Golden Globes for her work on both of those shows, the latter of which spawned a spin-off series, "The Ropers."

Her role in the "Friends" Season 2 episode, "The One with Phoebe's Dad," was one of her last, airing two years before her death. Frances only appeared in a single episode, but she continued to live with Phoebe until her offscreen death in Season 5.

Kellie Waymire's character took Chandler to task

Ohio native Kellie Waymire, who played an adoptive mother in a memorable Season 10 episode of "Friends," died suddenly in 2003. "She collapsed in her home from an undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia likely related to mitral valve prolapse, a condition she was diagnosed with as a teenager," the official website of "Star Trek," in which she also featured, confirmed. She was just 36 years old.

Despite her life being cut so tragically short, Waymire had almost 40 onscreen credits on her resume. She made her TV debut in a mid-90s episode of ABC's long running soap "One Life to Live," and she had scored parts on both "Seinfeld" and "Ally McBeal" before the decade was done. She joined the "Star Trek" family in 2000 when she played alien actress Layna in an episode of "Voyager," but Trekkies know her best as exobiologist Elizabeth Cutler, a crewman on "Enterprise." She made her final appearance as Cutler in 2002, and appeared on "Friends" the following year.

In "The One Where Ross Is Fine," Phoebe introduces Monica and Chandler to Waymire's Colleen, a friend of hers who has an adopted son. As they're considering adoption themselves, Monica and Chandler take the opportunity to quiz Colleen and her husband about the process. It's all running smoothly until Chandler runs into little Owen and mentions that he's adopted, which is news to him.

Beverly Garland taught the Friends girls how to play poker

B-movie star Beverly Garland, who played Monica's aunt Iris in the Season 1 episode, "The One with All The Poker," died in 2008 at the age of 82. Her career took off in the 1950s when she starred in a string of low-budget films, five of them directed by Roger Corman. Garland appeared in "Gunslinger," "It Conquered the World," "Naked Paradise," "Not of This Earth" and "Swamp Women," which went on to earn cult status. "Swamp Women" co-star Mike Connors called her "a terrific actress" when he spoke with the Los Angeles Times, adding, "She was one of those special gals who was fun to work with."

Garland found mainstream success in the late '60s when she debuted as Barbara Harper Douglas on the sitcom "My Three Sons," though she wasn't exactly fond of the overnight attention. "The only thing that bothers me is that everybody loves this character so much," Garland said at the time. "I don't remember anybody loving me all that much." She played Douglas in 74 episodes of the long-running show and would take on a wide variety of roles in the decades that followed, including professional poker player.

In her "Friends" appearance, Garland teaches the girls how to play poker so they can have a better chance against the boys. It comes down to a head-to-head between Ross and Rachel at the end of the night, with the latter coming out on top.

Taylor Negron gave Monica a job after she criticized his restaurant

Veteran comedian and actor Taylor Negron, who showed up at Monica's place to shout at her after she wrote a scathing review of his restaurant, Allesandro's, died in 2015. The cause of death was liver cancer, his mother told the Los Angeles Times. He was 57.

Born in California, Negron made a name for himself on the comedy circuit before transitioning to the screen. At the age of 19, he became an assistant to Lucille Ball, who taught him "that you never get what you really want and you have to be flexible" in Hollywood (per Deadline). He made his movie debut in 1982, appearing in the comedy "Young Doctors in Love," and, later that year, he showed up as the pizza guy in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." He went on to play the blond-haired villain, Milo, in Bruce Willis' 1991 actioner "The Last Boy Scout," though he soon become best known for his TV work.

Negron played Gwillem on NBC's "Hope & Gloria" between 1995 and 1996, and he was cast as Allesandro on "Friends" the following year. In the Season 4 episode, "The One Where They're Going To Party," he ends up offering Monica the role of chef at his restaurant when his angry visit to her apartment turns into a taste test. Monica takes the job, and remains at Allesandro's until Season 9.

Mary Pat Gleason played a scary ER nurse on Friends

TV stalwart Mary Pat Gleason, who played obnoxious ER receptionist Nurse Sizemore in the Season 1 episode, "The One with George Stephanopoulos," died of cancer in 2020 at age 70, her family confirmed (via The New York Times).

A veteran of the industry with almost 200 credits to her name by the time of her death, Gleason played small roles in films, including "The Crucible," "Intolerable Cruelty," "A Cinderella Story," and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," but she was usually found on television. She made her debut on NBC's "Texas," playing the character Doris Hodges in the episode of the same name, and then joined the cast of long-running soap "Guiding Light" as Jane Hogan. The ever-reliable character actress went on to appear in everything from "ER" and "Grey's Anatomy" to "Sex and the City," "Shameless" and "Desperate Housewives," on which she recurred as school teacher Elenora Butters.

Gleason could do both scary and funny, and she brought both to her "Friends" character. Ross comes to her emergency room after being struck in the face with a puck at a hockey game and has to wait while she finishes up an important call — a complaint to a candy bar company. He gets his own back when he has to wrestle the puck away from a kid and accidentally sends it flying in the nurse's direction.

Fred Willard lied to Ross about his monkey

Five-time Emmy nominee Fred Willard, who played San Diego Zoo administrator Dean Lipson in a Season 2 episode of "Friends," died of natural causes in 2020, his daughter confirmed (per Variety). "He kept moving, working and making us happy until the very end," Hope Mulbarger said. "We loved him so very much." He was 86.

After fine-tuning his skills with Chicago improv group The Second City, Willard made a career out of playing dense but endearing types. He worked with mockumentary filmmaker Christopher Guest on numerous occasions (most notably on the critically-acclaimed "Best in Show," in which he played color commentator Buck Laughlin), but that was just one facet of his fascinating career. Willard accumulated an incredible 312 acting credits during his five decades in show business, and he made many famous fans along the way. Steve Carell, who starred with Willard in the "Anchorman" films, called him "the funniest person that [he's] ever worked with" in a tribute tweet, adding, "He was a sweet, wonderful man."

Willard brought his patented brand of comedy to "Friends" when he appeared in "The One After The Superbowl, Part 1," telling Ross in rather blunt fashion that his former pet monkey, Marcel, is dead. It turns out he didn't die, but was stolen "along with a snowy egret, a two-toed sloth, and three hooded sweatshirts from the zoo gift shop," a disgruntled employee later reveals.

Paul Gleason played Phoebe's boss in an alternate reality

Miami-born actor Paul Gleason, who played Phoebe's boss in a two-part alternate universe episode titled, "The One That Could Have Been," died from a rare type of lung cancer at age 67 in 2006, his wife told The New York Times.

Gleason was a minor league baseball player before he turned his attention to acting. He started training with world-renowned coach Lee Strasberg in the 1960s, and by the end of that decade had made appearances on "The Green Hornet" and "The F.B.I," an ABC police procedural that ran until the mid 1970s. He became best known for playing irate high school principal Richard Vernon in John Hughes '80s classic "The Breakfast Club," but keen-eyed fans of "Friends" will no doubt recognize him as Jack, who fires Phoebe from her job as an investment banker after she loses his company millions of dollars. This triggers her second heart attack of the episode (in this version of reality, Phoebe is a chain-smoking workaholic).

While he did the majority of his notable feature length work in the '80s — on top of "The Breakfast Club" he appeared in "Trading Places" and "Die Hard," in which he played stubborn LAPD deputy Dwayne T. Robinson — Gleason remained active into the '00s, popping up in comedies including "Not Another Teen Movie" and Ryan Reynolds' "Van Wilder: Party Liaison."

Phil Leeds was a 'funny old man' on Friends

Like many of the guest stars on "Friends," Phil Leeds was a veteran character actor, and has credits in a host of popular movies and shows, including "Ghost," "Rosemary's Baby," and "Boy Meets World." He once described himself to the Los Angeles Times as the actor many casting agents called "when they want a funny old man." That was certainly the role Leeds played in "Friends." He appeared in the Season 2 episode, "The One With the Lesbian Wedding," as Mr. Adleman, a sweet old man who accompanied Phoebe — and the spirit of his dead wife — to Carol and Susan's nuptials.

Leeds sadly died of pneumonia on August 16, 1998, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he was being treated. He was 82 years old, but was still busy acting at the time. Three years earlier, he publicly vowed never to retire. "Time doesn't hang heavily on my hands. I'm very comfortable. I don't need the money, but as they say, you gotta use it or lose it. I keep the blood flowing," he told the Los Angeles Times.

One of his last roles before his death was playing Uncle Mel in the popular comedy, "Everybody Loves Raymond." He recurred on the show from 1996 to 1998. His final appearance as the recurring character, Judge Dennis "Happy" Boyle, on "Ally McBeal" aired posthumously, as did his role in the 1999 film "Lost & Found" as one half of an elderly couple.

Danny Dayton delivered some deadly news to the gang

Danny Dayton made a brief but memorable appearance on "Friends." He played Buddy Doyle, Mr. Heckles's lawyer, who was tasked with telling the gang that their unfriendly neighbor had died. He then unceremoniously read Heckles's will, which revealed that he left all his belongings to "the noisy girls upstairs" — aka Monica and Rachel. In the episode, which comes at the beginning of Season 2, they spend days sorting out the junk in his apartment, but by the end of it, the group, especially Chandler, are seeing Heckles in a whole different light, marking a bittersweet ending for the character.

Unfortunately, for Dayton, it would also be one of the last roles in his prolific career. He died four years after his appearance on the sitcom at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on February 1999, due to emphysema. Dayton was 75 years old.

Dayton came to "Friends" with credits in "The Facts of Life," "M*A*S*H," "Columbo," and the popular musical crime-comedy "Guys and Dolls." He was also a director, having directed episodes of "Occasional Wife," "Good Morning World," and "Here's Lucy." While he continued working for the next few years until his death, it was in bit roles in series like "Mike Hammer, Private Eye," "The Naked Truth," and "The Nanny."

Gretchen Wyler was the widow who wouldn't pay

In the Season 4 episode "The One With the Dirty Girl," Monica takes on some catering work and ends up cornering the New York funeral circuit — at least for a couple of days. While business is booming, she enlists Phoebe's help, but the duo hit a roadblock when the widow Mrs. Burkart — played by actor Gretchen Wyler — tries to get out of paying them what she owes. Her time on the show comes to an end with Phoebe interrupting the funeral festivities and yelling at her until she writes them a check.

Wyler's other TV credits included guest appearances on shows like "Judging Amy" and "Providence," and series regular roles on "Dallas" and CBS's "On Our Own." However, she was best known for her Broadway theater career, which saw her performing in the original "Guys and Dolls," "Silk Stockings," "Damn Yankees," "Bye Bye Birdie," and "Sly Fox" with George C. Scott.

Outside of her work, Wyler was also a keen animal rights activist. After she died in May 2007 at age 75 from complications related to breast cancer, Humane Society president and CEO Wayne Pacelle paid special tribute to her. "The humane movement has lost one of its brightest stars. Gretchen Wyler devoted 40 intense years to protecting animals, and the cause gained so much ground during that time because of her extraordinary achievements and advocacy," he recounted, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Charlton Heston shot a movie with Joey

"Friends" welcomed countless celebrity guest stars throughout its 10-year run. Legendary actor Charlton Heston appeared in the show — hilariously playing himself — during the Season 4 episode, "The One with Joey's Dirty Day." The actor was shooting a movie with Joey, who ends up using Heston's private shower to wash off the smell of a three-day fishing trip. When he's caught, Joey explains he did so because he stinks, but the movie star believes he's speaking in metaphors and offers him some words of wisdom about his acting career.

Of course, with Heston's acting prowess, his guest appearance on "Friends" was only a small addition to his impressive filmography. Heston has done it all, from TV, film, and stage. He played Moses in "The Ten Commandments," starred in "Planet of the Apes," and won several Golden Globes and the Academy Award for Best Actor in "Ben-Hur." The actor was even bestowed with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 for his achievements in entertainment.

Sadly, Heston died on April 5, 2008, at 84 years old in his Beverly Hills home from complications related to late-stage Alzheimer's disease. In a statement (via People), Heston's family celebrated the star. "We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor," they reminisced. "He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved."

Lilyan Chauvin was Joey's doting grandma

Lilyan Chauvin was born in Paris, but quickly set her sights on Hollywood. She started out acting in the '50s, taking on small, often unnamed roles until she guest-starred as Madame Claudile in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and Selena in "Fantasy Island," in the '60s and '70s, respectively. Soon after, Chauvin began demonstrating her acting range, appearing in dramas such as "The Bold and the Beautiful," soap operas like "Days of Our Lives," and a variety of sitcoms, including "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life." She also was a recurring character on "The Young and Restless" in 1990 and earned an Emmy nomination for her part.

Over the course over her decades-long career, Chauvin racked up over 150 acting credits. Her last role was as family matriarch Rebecca Naibert in "The Passing," which premiered three years after her death. Playing Grandma Tribbiani was certainly not her biggest role, but it was very memorable for "Friends" fans. Her appearance was yet another illustration of Joey's character — particularly his kind, considerate nature and family loyalty — as he films his own TV scene just to make her happy after his own scene is cut.

Chauvin sadly died in June 2008 due to congestive heart disease, which was a complication of a breast cancer diagnosis she had received 40 years earlier. She was 82 years old.

Peter Dennis' character seriously upset Chandler

The second episode of "Friends'" third season, "The One Where No One's Ready," shows Ross trying to usher his friends out of the apartment for an event, but they each get distracted by different things around them. For Chandler, it was other people sitting in his seat which resulted in a full-blown argument between himself and Joey that involved an unnecessary amount of clothes. They eventually work it out, but Chandler loses it again when they're at the museum event and Sherman Whitfield — played by actor Peter Dennis — steals his chair to talk to Ross.

The British actor's small role in the sitcom was comedy gold, but Dennis was actually better known for his dramatic roles. He has acted in everything from the crime series, "Prime Suspect," to the popular British soap "EastEnders." Alongside these TV parts, Dennis primarily made his living from voice acting, nabbing roles in films like "Eragon" and "Shrek," in which he played an Ogre Hunter. Dennis's passion was touring around Europe and the United States, performing A. A. Milne's beloved "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories to audiences. He fell in love with Milne's tales as an adult, but found them very relatable and told The Tampa Tribune (via the Los Angeles Times) in 1997 that "Pooh and his friends in the forest show the whole of humanity."

Dennis sadly died on April 18, 2009, at home from cancer at age 75. He was survived by his wife of 30 years, Diane Dennis.

Alaina Reed Hall was a sassy hospital nurse in Season 1

Alaina Reed Hall was best known for playing Olivia Robinson, a professional photographer, in "Sesame Street" and its various spin-offs. She joined the show in 1976 and continued on until 1993, appearing in over 200 episodes of the classic children's series. In her 2004 interview with the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun (via the Los Angeles Times), Hall called "Sesame Street" the best job she ever had. "It dawned on me. I have a big responsibility. I was in their house every day," she said after realizing how many fans she had from the show.

From 1985 to 1990, Hall also starred on "227" as Rose Lee Holloway, appearing in 155 episodes of comedy. The rest of her career was largely characterized by guest appearances, and that's where her "Friends" role came in. Hall played the sassy hospital admissions nurse "The One with Two Parts: Part 2," who called Monica and Rachel "stupid" more than once. She played a nurse a few times more, once alongside Dean Cain and Terri Hatcher in "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," and again in the cult-classic romantic drama "Cruel Intentions." Hall tragically died on December 17, 2009, at the age of 63 from complications related to breast cancer after receiving a diagnosis two years earlier.

Gary Collins hosted a PBS show on Friends

In "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS," struggling actor Joey is desperate to get on TV. He thought he bagged himself a role hosting a PBS telethon and shows up in a tux only to discover that Gary Collins was the show's frontman. He ends up off-camera working the phones, but when Phoebe's donation gets him some attention, he ends up speaking with Collins, who praised him as one of PBS's best-dressed volunteers.

Collins's role on the sitcom mirrored his real life career. He was a prolific TV host, helming "Hour Magazine" — for which he won an Emmy in 1983 — as well as "The Home Show" and "Pillsbury Bake-Off." He received a further five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Talk Show Host and was immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when he received his star in 1985. He was also a natural film star and had a role in 1970's "Airport." Collins also portrayed an American astronaut involved in a UFO coverup in "Hangar 18" in 1980. He also guest starred on successful shows such as "Perry Mason," "The Six Million Dollar Man," and the original "Charlie's Angels."

In 2012, Collins died of natural causes at the age of 74. He was survived by his three children.

Alexis Arquette had multiple guest roles on Friends

Alexis Arquette's first appearance on "Friends" was in Season 6 when she appeared as a customer in Central Perk. She then returned in Season 7 to play a server at Chandler's dad's show in Las Vegas, appearing opposite her then-sister-in-law Courteney Cox.

Upon her death, the Arquette family released a statement (via BBC) written by her sister, Patricia. "Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical," the tribute to the actor read. Her friend, Sham Ibrahim, also spoke about her to The Hollywood Reporter, affirming that Arquette was a talented actor who should have been afforded more notoriety and success in her career. One of the biggest roles Arquette booked was in "The Wedding Singer," which saw her play a Boy George impersonator. After her death, the British musician paid tribute to her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, saying a "bright light" had left the world far too soon.

Later in her life, she documented her transition in her 2007 film, "Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother." She also shared the screen with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore when she played Georgina in 2014's "Blended." However, this was one of her last acting credits. In 2016, she contracted a liver infection which quickly spread throughout her body and caused her to fall into a coma. Arquette sadly died on September 11, 2016.

James Michael Tyler was Rachel's not-so-secret admirer

James Michael Tyler's Gunther was often referred to as the honorary "seventh friend" and — outside of Monica, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey — was the face most often seen in the gang's favorite coffee house. Alongside more than 150 appearances in "Friends," Tyler appeared in TV shows like "Scrubs" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." He took on his last acting credit in the 2020 short film, "The Gesture and the Word," in which he starred as Gilbert the postman. But it seems Tyler related to his "Friends" character the most. Like Gunther, he worked in a coffee shop for years before and during "Friends," except it was in Hollywood, not New York.

Tyler revisited the role of Gunther in the 2021 "Friends" reunion, but appeared via Zoom because of health concerns. The actor had previously revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and sadly died from the disease on October 21 of that year at 59 years old.

In a joint statement celebrating the life of the actor, "Friends" co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane revealed that the small role of Gunther became much bigger thanks to Tyler. "When he started as an extra on Friends, his unique spirit caught our eye and we knew we had to make him a character. He made Gunther's unrequited love incredibly relatable," they said. Jennifer Aniston also shared a special message about Tyler saying "Friends" would not have been the same without him.

Richard Roat read Ross the riot act for dating his student

Richard Roat appeared on "Friends" during Season 6 as Ross's colleague, Burt. At this point, Ross was on his third divorce and decided to widen the dating pool by starting a romantic relationship with one of his students, which was obviously a big no-no. As a result, he had to hide his relationship from everyone at the university, but he runs into Burt several times while they're together. In the episode — aptly titled "The One Where Ross Dates a Student" — Burt seemingly follows Ross around New York City as he pops up multiple times in the episode and randomly runs into him on the street and at Central Perk, each time wearing the same beret-style hat. Eventually, Ross stands up for his relationship and Burt tells him frankly that he'll be fired if it continues.

Roat's over 40-year-long acting career also included a recurring role in the original series of "Dynasty." He was well known for his regular role in the daytime soap opera "The Doctors," playing Dr. Jerry Chandler, and he played a doctor in "Seinfeld." Alongside acting, Roat worked steadily as an entertainment tax preparer for over 50 years. He retired from acting in 2009, enjoying his remaining years with his wife, Kathy Roat, before he died on August 5, 2022, at 89 years old.

Mike Hagerty was Joey's ballroom dance partner, Mr. Treeger

Mike Hagerty has over 100 acting credits to his name, but "Friends" fans will remember him best as Monica, Rachel, Joey, and Chandler's gruff building manager, Mr. Treeger. Despite his hard shell exterior making Rachel cry, Treeger's shining episode, "The One With the Ballroom Dancing," reveals his kind-hearted nature and Joey even ends up having fun hanging out with him.

Alongside his memorable appearances in "Friends," the Chicago-born character actor has appearances in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ally McBeal," and "Seinfeld" under his belt. His later TV credits included popular shows like "Community," "Grey's Anatomy," "Glee," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and "Shameless." At the time of his death, Hagerty was filming the second season of the TV dramedy "Somebody Somewhere." He previously admitted to Collider that he filmed his self-tape audition for the show on his iPad. "I don't think it looked very good, but they liked it, and they bought it. That's how I came to it," he said, adding that he was very happy with how his portrayal of the character turned out.

Hagerty suddenly died on May 5, 2022 at age 67. He was suffering from an infection in his leg which hadn't fully healed, and he was taken to the hospital ahead of filming, but had a severe adverse reaction to antibiotics while being treated. This caused him to have a seizure and go into a coma before passing away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Paxton Whitehead was Emily's forgotten uncle

"Friends" fans will recall that British actor Paxton Whitehead recurred on the sitcom as Mr. Waltham, Rachel's boss in the personal shopping section of Bloomingdales. He's instrumental in introducing his niece, Emily — Ross's future fiancée — to the series, but then makes an abrupt departure. Emily never mentions him again, and he doesn't make it back to the U.K. for her wedding to Ross.

Although the reason for his disappearance may never be known, it could have been due to Whitehead's busy acting schedule. His passion for theater brought him to New York in 1960 and he never looked back. Over the years, he appeared on Broadway 17 times and earned a Tony Award nomination for his various performances, which saw him star opposite several acting legends. "I seem to get on with most people ... I was intimidated working with Maggie Smith because she was such a major talent," he admitted to Pillow Talking in 2017. "You were nervous about it, but it was a wonderful experience. She was delightful. Same with Richard Burton on Camelot. They were just charming people. No temperament at all."

Whitehead continued acting in movies and TV shows up until 2011, too, notably playing Graham Hainsworth in the third season of "Desperate Housewives" and Helford in "The Drew Carey Show." After a couple of years of retirement, Whitehead died on June 16, 2023, after a fall at age 85.

Matthew Perry was the funniest friend

Matthew Perry needs no introduction. The world knows him as Chandler Bing, the show's "funny man," and he definitely brought a lot of laughter to "Friends" fans. And they all went into mourning on October 28, 2023, when the news of his death was announced after he was allegedly found unconscious in his home's hot tub.

Perry enjoyed more success after "Friends" with roles in movies like "Birds of America" and "17 Again," before returning to TV to play Mike Kresteva in "The Good Wife" and its spin-off "The Good Fight." From 2015 to 2017, he had a starring role in "The Odd Couple" playing Oscar Madison opposite Thomas Lennon.

In an interview with US Weekly (via Deadline), Perry commented, "I really lived life to its fullest, and that got me in trouble from time to time." He was referring to his addiction, which he chronicled in his 2022 memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing." In it, he shared how Jennifer Aniston was a big support to him during that time in his life. Aniston and the remaining "Friends" co-stars put out a joint statement (via People) in honor of Perry. "We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew." The brief statement asked for time and space to process their grief. "For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty's family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world," they concluded.