James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk’s Gunther on Friends, has unveiled a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis.

In a new video shared through the Prostate Cancer Foundation, he said, “I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in September of 2018.” He added, “My specific cancer went to the bones before it could be stopped — before I realized I had it.”

He spoke movingly about his time in intensive care, explaining that he “nearly died this past October,” and “the fear of not coming back to see my wife.” He also talked about his mission of saving lives.

“I accept this,” he said. “I know this is what’s happened to me. I’m not sitting here crying all the time. I want to save lives. I want to help.”

According to Tyler, “If there’s one piece of advice I could give men out there to avoid where I am today, specifically, is get tested. Ask for a PSA test.” He continued, “I can tell you, you do not want to go through what I’ve had to go through the past two-and-a-half years… I wish I’d gone in earlier. It’s nobody’s fault, but yeah, if you want to stick around, get tested.”


Tyler appeared in over a hundred episodes of Friends, including the recent reunion special. During his decades-long acting career, he also made appearances on Just Shoot Me, Scrubs, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Check out his statement below.