Friends star James Michael Tyler has announced that he's battling prostate cancer.
The 59-year-old actor, who is best known for playing Gunther in US sitcom Friends, opened up about his health battle on Monday's NBC's Today show.
He told Craig Melvin: "‘I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, which had spread to my bones.
"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."
The TV personality said doctors were optimistic when he was first diagnosed but the cancer started "mutating" at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
He explained: 'I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing.
'"The cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic and so it's progressed."
James embarked on hormone therapy, which he said "worked amazingly for about a year," allowing him to "go about life regularly" while taking a regimen of three drugs.
He is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
From 1994 to 2004, James played coffee shop worker Gunther on the sitcom Friends who had unrequited love for Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston.
This led to a ten-year career with appearances in 148 of Friends' 236 episodes. He is the show's most-frequently-appearing guest star.
In honour of Friends' 15th anniversary in 2009, Tyler officially opened the temporary Central Perk pop up replica in London.
It was open for two weeks from September to October and fans could apply for tickets to receive a free coffee and see memorabilia from the show.
He appeared in the unaired pilot satire sitcom Nobody's Watching, playing himself on the set of Central Perk.
The star made appearances at a Central Perk replica in Soho In honour of Friends' 20th anniversary in 2014.
James appeared in the BBC/Showtime sitcom Episodes as himself playing an ice hockey coach, when his Friends co-star Matt LeBlanc tried unsuccessfully to get the other main stars from the popular to appear in the promotional video for the fictional television show, Pucks.
He said that the illness kept him from appearing in person at the Friends reunion that aired on HBO Max in late May. Instead, he appeared on Zoom.
"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," he said on NBC Today.
"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'."
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