Paul Reubens, the actor and comedian who delighted audiences as Pee-wee Herman, passed away at 70 after a private battle with cancer.
In a tragic turn of events, Paul Reubens, the iconic American actor, comedian, writer, and producer best known for his character Pee-wee Herman, passed away at 70 after a private battle with cancer. Reubens’ death was announced on his social media platforms, revealing his years-long fight against the disease for the first time.
Reubens’ character, Pee-wee Herman, was a beacon of positivity and whimsy, delighting generations of children and adults alike. His unique comedic style and commitment to the character, both on and off the screen, made him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. His death marks the end of an era, one that people young and old will indeed feel.
Reubens began his career in the 1970s as an improvisational comedian and stage actor with the Los Angeles live comedy troupe, the Groundlings. It was here that he developed the character of Pee-wee Herman, which would eventually become a cult figure. The character’s popularity led to the launch of The Pee-wee Herman Show, a stage production that ran for five sold-out months and landed him a special at HBO.
In 1985, Reubens teamed up with Tim Burton for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, the character’s feature film debut, which was a critical and commercial success. The character transitioned to television from 1986 to 1990, on CBS’ weekend morning show Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Despite a few legal troubles, Reubens’ career continued to flourish. He won critical acclaim for playing a drug-dealing hairdresser in the 2001 movie Blow, alongside Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp. His TV credits included appearances on 30 Rock, The Blacklist, and Gotham.
Reubens’ death has been met with an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans and fellow entertainers alike. Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel said in a statement, “Paul Reubens was like no one else — a brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time. He never forgot a birthday and shared his genuine delight for silliness with everyone he met. My family and I will miss him.”
In a heartfelt note, Reubens apologized for not going public with his cancer diagnosis sooner, stating, “I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans, and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.” His legacy will continue to live on through his work, forever etched in the annals of comedy history.