One of Friends breakout stars has revealed he’s battling cancer.
James Michael Tyler, who played coffee shop employee Gunther on the hit sitcom, shared his health problems on NBC’s Today show on Monday. the mirror reports.
The 59-year-old told TV host Craig Melvin, “I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer that had spread to my bones.
“I’ve been dealing with this diagnosis for almost three years. It’s stage 4 (now). Late-stage cancer. So at some point, you know, I’ll probably get it.”
The actor – who also starred in Scrubs and Episodes – said doctors were optimistic when he was first diagnosed, but the cancer began to “mutate” after missing an appointment and test amid the pandemic .
He said, “I missed going to a test which wasn’t good. Cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic, and so it has advanced. “
Probably one of the most popular supporting characters in Friends, Gunther often starred in scenes with the show’s big names as a barista at the Central Perk Coffee Shop – where the gang hung out.
James was originally only cast as an extra, but got a bigger role because he was the only one who knew how to operate the coffee machine.
Despite working with the Friends stars for a decade, James previously said he lost touch with most of them after the show.
In fact, he didn’t speak to Jennifer Aniston for 15 years after the graduation party.
He told the Daily Star Sunday, “I honestly haven’t seen Jennifer since the graduation party. The end was 15 years ago.
“That was a time in our lives when we were fortunate enough to work together for 10 years and have this chemistry.
“She lives in another city. I’m not going to hang out in front of her house and wait for her to come outside and say hello. That would be kind of strange.
“It’s not personal. Actors move on. It’s been a long time. I’m married and others are married. Things change.”