Pee-wee Herman Actor Paul Reubens Dead at 70

He had been privately coping with cancer for the past six years

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jul 31, 2023

Paul Reubens — the American actor, comedian, writer and producer best known for his beloved Pee-wee Herman character — has died. He was 70.

Reubens was reportedly coping with cancer for the past six years, which he chose to keep private. "Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing for the last six years," he said in a statement released posthumously. "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."

The news of the actor's death last night (July 30) was shared across the Pee-wee Herman social media channels. He is remembered as "a gifted and prolific talent" who will "forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit."

In 2004, Reubens pleaded guilty for a misdemeanour charge of obscenity — reduced from child pornography in a plea deal — involving photographs seized from his erotica collection.
Reubens's Pee-wee's Playhouse co-star John Paragon passed away in 2021.

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