Friends star James Michael Tyler battling stage four prostate cancer

One of the break-out stars of Friends has revealed he is battling cancer.

James Michael Tyler, who played coffee shop worker Gunther on the hit sitcom, told of his health issues on Monday’s NBC’s Today show, the Mirror reports.

The 59-year-old told TV host 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 actor – who also featured in Scrubs and Episodes – said doctors were optimistic when he was first diagnosed but the cancer started “mutating” after he missed an appointment and test amid the pandemic.

He said: ‘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.”

Gunther is probably one of the most loved minor characters in Friends and he often starred in scenes with the big names of the show as the barista at Central Perk coffee shop – where the gang would hang out.

James was only originally cast as an extra but ended up with a bigger role as he was the only one who knew how to use the coffee machine.

Despite working with the Friends stars for a decade, James previosly said he lost touch with most of them after the show.

In fact, after the wrap party he didn’t speak to Jennifer Aniston for 15 years.

He told the Daily Star Sunday: “I haven’t seen Jennifer since the wrap party, honestly. It’s been 15 years since it ended.

“That was a time of our lives when we were lucky enough to be able to work together for 10 years and have that sort of chemistry.

“She lives in another city. I’m not going to go and hang outside her house and wait for her to come outside and say hello. That would be kind of weird.

“It’s nothing personal. Actors move on. It’s been a long time. I’m married and other people are married. Things change.”