Paul Reubens AKA Pee-Wee Herman Dead At 70

Paul Ruebens, the comedic actor known for his role as "Pee-Wee Herman" has died at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer.
Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman (via official Facebook)

Paul Ruebens, the comedic actor best known for his role as “Pee-Wee Herman” has died at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer.

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” Reubens said in a posthumous statement shared on his social media. “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,” read the statement in closing.

Paul Reubens AKA Pee-Wee Herman Dead At 70
(via Instagram)

The social media post was accompanied by this from Reubens’ estate:

“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.”

“Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit. 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.”

From Entertainment Weekly:

He rose to prominence for his role as the childlike Pee-wee Herman, first introduced in his 1981 stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show. The success led to an HBO special, three feature films (1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, 1988’s Big Top Pee-wee, and 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday), and a weekend-morning program that ran on CBS between 1986 and 1990.

The star’s career was briefly derailed after he was arrested in 1991 for indecent exposure at an adult theater in Sarasota, Fla. He pleaded no contest and was fined and sentenced to community service.

In 2002, Reubens was charged with possession of materials depicting children under the age of 18 engaged in sexual conduct. The charges were dropped in 2004 after Reubens, a self-proclaimed collector of erotica, agreed to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor obscenity charge.

In 2016, he brought Pee-Wee back to celluloid life with Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday for Netflix.

In 2020, he launched a national tour celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which included a screening of the film followed by anecdotes of the making of the film.

Rest in peace Paul Reubens.