Paul Reubens, Man Behind Pee-wee Herman, Dead at 70

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Paul Reubens, an actor and comedian who rose to fame in the ’80s as children’s TV star Pee-wee Herman, has passed away aged 70.

The sad news was confirmed on Monday via representatives on his 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.

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

“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.”

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His death and cancer diagnosis will have come as a shock to fans after Reubens did not disclose his cancer diagnosis publicly.

The announcement of his passing included a statement from Reubens apologizing to fans for not speaking publicly about his illness.

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” he wrote.

“I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters,” he added. “I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”

Have you ever seen a Paul Reubens movie?

Yes: 69% (60 Votes)

No: 31% (27 Votes)

Reubens conceived the character of Pee-wee Herman while working with the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings.

He achieved prominence as the lead in the 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and as the star of the television series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” which aired from 1986 to 1991.

The show, which he not only created but also co-wrote and co-directed, won an impressive 15 Emmy Awards.

In 1991, he was arrested at an adult movie theatre in Sarasota, Florida, for indecent exposure. He plead no contest to the charge.

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As a result of the controversy, he refrained from doing interviews as his character and avoided public reprisals until 2010.

In 2016, he made a comeback by co-writing and starring in “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” exclusively for Netflix.

In a statement announcing his death, his representatives asked that “expressions of sympathy” be made in his parents’ honor to organizations researching diseases including cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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