Paul Reubens, renowned for his portrayal of the Pee-wee Herman character, has passed away at the age of 70 of cancer. The news was reported by Pee-wee Herman’s Facebook page.
“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer, and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy, and belief in the importance of kindness,” the statement read.
According to the statement, Paul Reubens succumbed to cancer after a “brave and private” battle that lasted several years.
“A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit.”
In the early 1980s, Reubens introduced the character Pee-wee in The Pee-wee Herman Show, which quickly gained popularity and amassed a devoted following. This success skyrocketed when Tim Burton directed Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985. Reubens’ charm continued to delight children with Pee-wee’s Playhouse on CBS, despite a less successful sequel called Big Top Pee-wee.
However, in 1991, Reubens faced a setback when he was arrested for indecent exposure in a pornographic movie theater in Florida, which attracted significant media attention and drastically changed public perception of both him and his beloved character. This led to project delays until 1999 when Reubens resurfaced in films like Mystery Men and Blow, giving interviews as himself.
Despite facing challenges, Reubens has since made various cameo appearances since 2006, gracing shows such as Reno 911!, 30 Rock, and Pushing Daisies, and movies including Accidental Love and Mosaic.
In 2010, Reubens found success on Broadway with The Pee-wee Herman Show, captivating audiences once again. In 2016, he collaborated with Netflix for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, reprising his iconic role.
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