The 59-year-old portrayed the iconic character for 10 years. He was unable to attend the special reunion.
Very sad news for Friends fans! The actor James Michael Tyler, who portrayed the beloved Gunther in the TV series, revealed that he is suffering from stage 4 prostate cancer.
In a recent interview with Today Show, James got candid about his battle against cancer. The 59-year-old actor explained he was diagnosed in September 2018, after a routine exam.
"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."
James also explained why he wasn't able to go to Friends: The Reunion. "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. 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?" he said. "... I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"
Despite the sad news, James wanted to give a message to all men before going to the doctor. "There are other options available to men if they catch it before me. Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly check-up, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. It's easily detectable."
"A lot of men, if they catch this early, it's easily treatable. I don't want people to have to go through what I've been going through. This is not ... an easy process."
"It's made me, personally, just realize how important every moment is, every day. And fighting. Don't give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals," he concluded.