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Friends fans left in shock as Gunther star, James Michael Tyler, reveals devastating cancer news

Our thoughts are with the actor

Rebecca Lewis

Friends fans have been left devastated after James Michael Tyler, who starred as show favorite Gunther, has revealed he has stage 4 cancer.

The actor, who played Central Perk barista in over 50 episodes, revealed he had his diagnosis in 2018 but that in the past year it has spread to his bones.

Speaking on NBC's Today show on Monday, the 59-year-old shared: "My specific prognosis is stage 4. Late-stage cancer, so eventually, you know, it’s probably going to get me."

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WATCH: Friends star James Michael Tyler reveals cancer diagnosis

The cancer was discovered in his prostate three years ago and he shared that at the time "life was pretty much normal". He visited the Today studio in 2019 and he said at the time he was "feeling fine."

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But early in 2020 the cancer mutated and it has now spread to his bones and spine, causing fractures and tumors. He is no loner able to walk.

James is undergoing chemotherapy but urged fans to ask for screenings from their doctors.

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James shared his news on Today

“Next time you go in for just a basic exam or your yearly checkup, please ask your doctor for a PSA test,” he said. "Caught early, it 99% treatable."

"James, will be praying for you," tweeted one fan, adding: "Thanks for all the laughs you gave us over the years. God Bless You."

"This is so sad," shared another. "Wishing you the best! You made Gunther a legend!!"

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He revealed David had been in touch 

James starred in the show for its entire run, and became a cult character who was in love with Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green. He appear in the recent Friends reunion, which aired on HBO Max, via Zoom, and shared that David Schwimmer has corresponded with him over Instagram direct messages.

Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt Le Blanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer all appeared together for the first time since the show ended in 2004 to reminisce about the hugely-popular series, and perform table reads of special episodes.

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