Friends star James Michael Tyler reveals he has stage four prostate cancer

21 June 2021, 15:08

James Michael Tyler has stage four prostate cancer which has left him unable to walk
James Michael Tyler has stage four prostate cancer which has left him unable to walk. Picture: Getty/Today
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther in hit series Friends, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.

Friends actor James Michael Tyler, 59, has revealed the tragic news he has stage four prostate cancer.

The actor, who played coffee house worker Gunther on the hit series, shared the news on the Today show, telling the hosts he had been battling the illness since 2018.

Appearing via video link on the show, James said: "In September of 2018, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones."

James recently appeared in the Friends Reunion episode, when the public was unaware of his illness.

James Michael Tyler was emotional as he told the show about his three year battle
James Michael Tyler was emotional as he told the show about his three year battle. Picture: Today

However, he revealed that the cast members of the show know about his prostate cancer, before adding that he had been corresponding with Ross actor David Schwimmer via Instagram.

He went on to add: "I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years.

"It's stage 4. Late stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me."

James can no longer walk after his cancer mutated during the pandemic, causing fractures in his bones and tumours up and down his spine.

When asked what he would have done differently, he said he would have listened to his wife, who he says has been his "strength" throughout the battle.

James said on the show, while wiping away tears, that he would have gone in earlier, when it could have been caught earlier.

James Michael Tyler played Gunther in the hit TV series Friends
James Michael Tyler played Gunther in the hit TV series Friends. Picture: Getty

He explained that he is sharing his story to encourage people to ask for a PSA test from their doctors as the cancer, when caught early, is almost always cured.

He told the show: "My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday, I did that. My goal now, is to help save at least one life."