Friends star James Michael Tyler has terminal cancer

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Friends fans were saddened to learn that show favourite James Michael Tyler, who played Central Perk's barista Gunther is battling stage four prostate cancer, but his manager has stressed how much the actor "wants to live".

Talking about her client's diagnosis, Toni Benson said James has been "through some rough times" but that "he is going to fight this" in regards to his diagnosis.

Speaking to People, Benson said: "Lately he's been having amazing days. He's done his second round of chemo and so far he is doing really well. And he's hopeful it will be effective."

Although James is "wheelchair bound," Toni assured fans that the star has "the most amazing attitude" adding "I don't think he's going anywhere for a long time".

The actor – who is best known for playing coffee shop worker Gunther on the sitcom – spoke about his devastating health issues on Monday's NBC's Today show.

Gunther actor from Friends is battling prostate cancer

He 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 TV actor said that doctors were optimistic when he was first diagnosed but the cancer started "mutating" after he missed an appointment and test amid the pandemic.

The actor has been undergoing chemotherapy

He explained: 'I missed going in for a test, which was not a good thing.

He continued: "The cancer decided to mutate at the time of the pandemic and so it's progressed."

Tyler emphasised that prostate cancer is "easily treatable" if it's caught early.

"I don't want people to have to go through what I've been going through," he said. "This is not … an easy process."

He later added: "It's made me, personally, just realise how important every moment is, every day. And fighting. Don't give up. Keep fighting. Keep yourself as light as possible. And have goals. Set goals."

James played everyone's favourite barista Gunther

James announced on his Instagram account that he had "finished" his second round of chemotherapy.

In the photo, the star gave a thumbs-up as he received his latest treatment.

In the caption of his post, James wrote: "Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support. It means the world to me.

"Early detection can make all the difference."

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 Michael Taylor has been diagnosed with terminal cancer

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 previously 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.

James played loveable barista Gunther who worked in Central Perk
(Image: NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

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.”

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