Friends’ Star James Michael Tyler Reveals About His Cancer Diagnosis
Actor James Michael Tyler on Monday revealed he is battling stage 4 prostate cancer. He is best known for playing Gunther in Friends.
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“I’m sorry to say that I’m not with you today to announce that there’s going to be a Friends movie. Actually, I’m here to let you know that in September 2018, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” the 59-year-old actor shared on June 21 on Today show. “I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. … It’s stage 4 (now). Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”
He revealed that the rest of the cast is aware of his health issue. He reveals, “I didn’t want it to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer,’ you know what I mean?” David Schwimmer has corresponded with me via Instagram. The producers are aware, they’ve been aware for a long time.”
He also revealed that the cancer was diagnosed during a routine checkup and unfortunately, it was already at stage 4 by the time of his PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test. “I would have gone in earlier, it would have been hopefully caught earlier. Next time you go in for a basic exam or just a checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA checkup,” he said.
“My goal this past year is to see my 59th birthday. I did that,” he shared. “My goal now is to help save at least one life.”
In Friends, Tyler played Gunther, the manager of the coffee shop Central Perk. He was also seen as someone smitten by Rachel. In the reunion special, the actor was seen interacting with the main cast, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry as they revisited some moments from the show.