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'Friends' Fan Favorite James Michael Tyler Announces He Has Stage 4 Prostate Cancer

Gunther the Central Perk barista is, without a doubt, my favorite character from Friends. His bleach blonde hair. His tacky shirts. His monotone delivery of every single line. It's all wonderful and part of what made Friends one of the best sitcoms of all time!

Now, fans of the iconic series are sending love to James Michael Tyler, who has recently announced he has stage four cancer.

While chatting with the TODAY show, the beloved *Friends* actor revealed the heartbreaking news.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm not appearing with you today to announce that there's going to be a Friends movie," James joked. "Actually, I'm here to let you know that in September 2018, 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."

During the emotional interview, Michael recalled his treatment and how he thought it had "worked amazingly for about a year."

He was previously treated with hormone therapy and is now undergoing chemotherapy.

"All I had to do was take a pill in the morning and the night, and boom, life was pretty much normal," he explained.

"I was feeling fine, honestly. I had no symptoms, I didn't feel any symptoms. And it was very easy to regulate."

He explained his cancer spread to his bones during the pandemic and he is now experiencing paralysis in the lower half of his body.

Of the *Friends* reunion, James explained the original plan.

Instagram | @lisakudrow

"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."

He continued: "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 explained. "... I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"

The actor urged fans to get tested early.

"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 checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test. It's easily detectable. If it spreads beyond the prostate to the bones, which is most prevalent in my form, it can be a lot more difficult to deal with.”

"It's made me, personally, just realize how important every moment is, every day," he explained.

"And fighting. Don't give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals."

Friends fans around the world are sending their support and love to the actor.