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Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens has died aged 70

Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens has died aged 70

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

Paul Reubens, the actor who became famous playing Pee-wee Herman, has died at the age of 70.

The sad news was announced on the actor’s official Instagram page in a statement that read: “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 went on to confirm that his cause of death was cancer.

It continued: “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.”

Reubens and his creation Pee-wee Herman shot to fame in the 1980s, with a subversive and often utterly bizarre TV show called Pee-wee’s Playhouse running from 1986 to 1990.

Paul Reubens.
D Dupasupil/Getty Images

Reubens often returned to the character - known for his unusual laugh and strange dress sense - in the years that followed, with several films being made.

His most recent effort – after a long time out – was 2016’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which was released on Netflix.

Reubens also got to play the character on Broadway, which was filmed by HBO.

The Pee-wee Herman Show earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special.

But, the childlike comic character wasn’t the only role that Reubens played over the years, flexing his acting muscles with roles in several notable TV programmes such as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, and The Blacklist.

Reubens kept his cancer diagnosis and subsequent health problems private, and addressed the fans that have shown their appreciation for him over the years in that final Instagram statement.

Reubens said: “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.”

Reuben as Pee-wee Herman.
Warner Bros.

Reubens also had his issues, with several arrests for a variety of sexual crimes, including a 1991 arrest for indecent exposure in Florida.

In 2002, police raided his home and found images that were characterized at the time as child pornography initially, although those latter charges were dropped after Reubens plead guilty to a lesser obscenity charge.

In his final statement, Reubens requested that donations be made to Stand Up To Cancer or organisations that support people with dementia and Alzheimers, in honor of his parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld.

Featured Image Credit: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Topics: US News, Celebrity, Film and TV