Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) Dies At Age 70 -
Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman

Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman

Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) Dies At Age 70

by Paul Cashmere on August 1, 2023

in News

Paul Reubens, best known for the character Pee-wee Herman, has died at the age of 70.

Reubens died from cancer after being diagnosed six years ago. He kept his illness from the public, with a post on his socials today saying “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 for my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you”.

An official statement about his passing at his Facebook page reads:

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.

Paul Rubenfield was born in New York in 1952. He performed in comedy clubs in the 70s where he developed the Pee-wee Herman character but it wasn’t until 1980 when he scored a small part as a waiter in ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie.

Reubens auditioned for Saturday Night Live’s 1980 season but lost the job to Gilbert Gottfried. It was then that he started to expand the Pee-wee Herman character into his main act in live theatre. HBO filmed a show for a TV special and the character took momentum.

Meanwhile, Paul was also offered small roles in two Cheech and Chong movies, 1980’s ‘Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie’ and ‘Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams’. He became a regular guest for David Letterman’s show and by 1984 The Pee-wee Herman Show was playing Carnegie Hall.

Next came the Pee-wee Herman film ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ in 1985 and then a children’s TV show ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’. The TV show ran from 1986 to 1990 and earned 15 Emmy Awards.

In 1989, Reubens was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the 90s Reubens had roles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Matilda and also played The Penguin’s father in ‘Batman Returns’. Paul was also a regular on the hit TV sitcom ‘Murphy Brown’.

In 2001 he played a drug dealer in ‘Blow’ alongside Johnny Depp and also featured in Elton John’s ‘The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ video.

In 2007 he appeared in The Raconteurs video ‘Steady, As She Goes’.

In 2015, Netflix picked up the script for ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ and made the movie with Judd Apatow. It was his final movie.

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