Paul Reubens, best known for his hilarious Pee-Wee Herman character, has died at the age of 70. The actor’s death was revealed in a statement posted to his official Instagram account on Monday, July 31, with Reubens’ long-term cancer battle named as the cause of death.
- “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.
- Reubens never wanted people to know that he was dealing with cancer. And in fact, the public was entirely unaware up until now. “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,” the statement continued.
- The post also included some words written by Paul Reubens himself to be posted after his death. “Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years. 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,” he said.
- Reubens began his comedy career back in the ‘70s. After joining the Groundlings comedy troupe in LA, he found success in the ’80s and early ‘90s with his Pee-Wee Herman character. It became so popular that it spawned a TV series “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” which ran from 1986 to 1990, as well as a live Broadway show and even a Netflix movie, among other things.
- He was more than just Pee-Wee Herman. Reubens had roles in other projects including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Gotham,” among others. Most recently, he led his voice to the animated series, “The Tom and Jerry Show” and also voiced the character of Oliver in the animated short, “The Crown with a Shadow.”
RIP to the legendary Paul Reubens. This scene will never not be hilarious. pic.twitter.com/0Pmi9K6rWa
— Eli Pinkerman (@eli_pinkerman) July 31, 2023
RIP legend — Paul Reubens, Pee Wee Herman’s Tequila dance pic.twitter.com/bnK5MWT3d8
— Elegiac (@Argo_Panoptes__) July 31, 2023
Throw back to Paul Reubens dying in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. RIP pee-wee Herman pic.twitter.com/HZ2DHl5cb2
— Danny (@dannywontmiss) July 31, 2023
I take comfort knowing Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman are together again. pic.twitter.com/n27YWZDiJr
— Kate DeWeese (@kateymac) July 31, 2023
Lots of talk about Paul Reubens as Pee Wee (and rightfully so) but his turn as an adult Habsburg child on 30 Rock still remains one of the funniest episodes of television I've ever seen. RIP to a legend. pic.twitter.com/M4ED28taeY
— Dan Sheehan (@ItsDanSheehan) July 31, 2023
I’m absolutely gutted.
PeeWee Herman showed me it was okay to be weird. He got me through my childhood. Rest in peace, Paul Reubens. 😭😩 pic.twitter.com/218cYZOZkj
— docstache (@HollidaysStache) July 31, 2023
Love you so much, Paul. One in all time. Thank you for my career & your forever friendship all these years & for teaching us what a true original is. ♥️♥️💔 #PaulReubens #PeeWeeHerman ♥️ pic.twitter.com/GMcBaEgWix
— natasha lyonne (@nlyonne) July 31, 2023
this is the final scene of The Pee-wee Herman Show, the 1980 stage production that came before the Pee-wee movies and the Playhouse TV show
it's so funny and, after his passing today, also becomes sort of a perfect Pee-wee Herman farewell
RIP Paul Reubens pic.twitter.com/eKws6AbN8M
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) July 31, 2023