Friends star James Michael Tyler reveals cancer has moved to his spine

James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk barista Gunter on Friends, has revealed he’s been undergoing chemotherapy for three years for Stage Four prostate cancer.

The 59-year-old revealed his diagnosis for the first time this week on Today, explaining he was first diagnosed in September 2018.

“I’ve been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years,” the fan favourite said. “It’s Stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer. So eventually, you know, it’s gonna probably get me.”

James Michael Tyler
James Michael Tyler as Gunther. (NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Tyler continued, explaining that the cancer has “progressed” through his body and into his spine, leaving his lower body paralysed.

However, despite this, his manager and friend Toni Benson says he’s remaining “positive”.

READ MORE: Friends actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, reveals Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis

“He’s going to fight this,” she told People. “Lately he’s been having amazing days. He’s done his second round of chemo and so far he is doing really well. And he’s hopeful it will be effective.”

“He has the most amazing attitude,” Benson continued. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere for a long time.”

READ MORE: Co-stars Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer make shock admission on Friends reunion special

“Just finished chemo round 2 last week!” Tyler wrote in an Instagram post, echoing Benson’s sentiments. “Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support. It means the world to me.”

Tyler urged men to get regular check-ups, saying prostate cancer is “easily treatable” if caught early.

“I don’t want people to have to go through what I’ve been going through,” he said. “This is not … an easy process.”

RELATED: Friends: The Reunion director says this big moment was almost spoiled

“It’s made me, personally, just realise how important every moment is, every day,” he reflected. “And fighting. Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals.”

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Friends cast: Then and now

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