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James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk manager Gunther on “Friends,” revealed Monday he has had cancer for three years.
Tyler’s prostate cancer was discovered in 2018, he said NBC’s “Today” show. The advanced stage 4 cancer has since mutated throughout his body and he can no longer walk.
“Eventually it’ll probably get me,” Tyler said.
Tyler was 56 when doctors discovered the cancer during a prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening. He said he wishes he would have received the test sooner and is encouraging others to do so.
“My goal this past year was to see my 59th birthday. I did that,” he said. “My goal now is to help save at least one life.”
The actor appeared in 150 episodes of “Friends” from 1994 to 2004. He said cast members are likely aware of his diagnosis and David Schwimmer, who played Ross, reached out to him on social media.
He said he has taken hormone therapy, which allowed him to go on the “TODAY” show in 2019. Speaking about that 2019 appearance, Tyler said he was “feeling fine” and had no symptoms.
Earlier this month, Tyler appeared via Zoom for a “Friends” reunion special on HBO Max.
“I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities,” Tyler said. “It was bittersweet, honestly. I was very happy to be included. It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn’t wanna bring a downer on it, you know? ... I didn’t want to be like, ‘Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.’”