James Michael Tyler, the actor who famously played Rachel’s boss Gunther in Friends, has revealed that he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

In a new interview with Today, the actor discussed his 2018 diagnosis of prostate cancer and explained that since the cancer wasn’t caught early on, it spread to other parts of his body.

“I was 56 years old at the time, and they screen for PSA, which is prostate-specific antigen,” he shared. “That came back at an extraordinarily high number...So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there. Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”


The illness was determined to be genetic, Tyler shares, and seeing the stage it is currently in, he says “it’s gonna probably get me.” The actor added that hormone therapy “worked amazingly for about a year,” but the cancer spread to his bones and spine and led to paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower body.

Tyler is now undergoing chemotherapy but he explained to Today that screening and early diagnosis can often lead to better results.

“There are other options available to men if they catch it before me,” Tyler said. “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.”