James Michael Tyler aka Gunther reveals stage 4 prostate cancer
‘Friends’ is a journey of 10 years, of laughter, memories and fun. It’s one of the most watched sitcoms in the history and still running and making fans and followers from all around the world. People have been watching and re-watching it for years and every character becomes familiar to the ones who watch it over time. Similarly, we all know the place where all the characters hung out the most, The Central Perk Coffee House. It is the place where the pilot’s first scene took place. And we all know Gunther too (played by James Michael Tyler) who is the manager of the coffee house. Tyler’s absence was felt by the fans during the FRIENDS reunion that happened last month. Since he was the vital part of the show for 10 years, but the reason of his absence is the saddest one.
The critical stage for James Michael Tyler
The 59-year-old actor revealed to USA TODAY that he is battling stage 4 prostate cancer. (Prostate cancer is cancer that develops after the rapid growth of cells in the prostate gland. Prostate cancer has so much early signs in the beginning but it can be treatable if diagnosed earlier). He said to host Craig Melvin, “In September of 2018, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones,” According to Tyler, doctors discovered his cancer during a routine physical when he was 56. He was treated with hormone therapy.
James was optimistic and said that the “Friends” cast already knew about his illness. Furthermore he said the show’s producers had been aware “for a long time” and that Schwimmer had corresponded with him on Instagram.
Moreover, Tyler added that his disease mutated during the lockdown period of the coronavirus pandemic, causing tumors up and down his spine leaving him bound on the wheelchair as he can no longer walk.
“Of course, it’s stage 4. Late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me,” he said. Fighting back tears, he said earlier detection is key and that he regretted not listening to “my wonderful wife.” Tyler urged viewers to “ask your doctor for a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test” next time they go in for an examination or check-up, adding that “caught early (it is) 99% treatable.”
Let’s all revive some of Gunther’s sassy and funny moments from FRIENDS,
Get well soon Gunther! We love you.