(UnitedVoice.com) – Millennials and Generation X might remember Paul Reubens for his famous character “Pee-Wee Herman.” His name became synonymous with the character, but he had a long career outside of the popular television show. Sadly, he has now lost his battle with cancer.
On July 30, 70-year-old Paul Reubens passed away in Los Angeles, California. According to a message on social media, the actor, comedian, producer, and writer “bravely and privately fought cancer” for six years. The star reportedly wrote a message to his fans before he died and apologized to them. He asked them to “[p]lease accept [his] apology for not going public” with his cancer battle. He said that he had “always felt a huge amount of love and respect” for his fans and supporters. He told them all that he loved them and said he “enjoyed making art for” them.
Paul Reubens wrote a message before he passed away last night. pic.twitter.com/FH8E8M4AI3
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 31, 2023
Reubens was born “Paul Rubenfeld” in New York in 1952. His family moved to Sarasota, Florida, where he grew up. He began his career in entertainment in 1977. From 1981 to 1984, he hosted “The Pee-Wee Herman Show.” Then in 1985, he toned down his alter ego to make him more kid-appropriate and made the movie “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” That paved the way for his hit television show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” which won 15 Emmys.
In 1991, Reubens was in Sarasota at an adult movie theater when he was suddenly arrested. The star was allegedly caught pleasuring himself. He went on to plead no contest to avoid a trial. The arrest turned the comedian into a joke, and he retired his alter ego for a time. Over the years, he continued his acting and comedy career, even performing as Pee-Wee on occasion.
Hollywood stars mourned the actor when they learned of his death. Jimmy Kimmel called him a “brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time.” He went on to say that both he and his family would miss him.
Paul Reubens was like no one else – a brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time. He never forgot a birthday and shared his genuine delight for silliness with everyone he met. My family and I will miss him.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) July 31, 2023
Saturday Night Live posted a skit involving Reubens as his character Pee-Wee Herman.
Andy and Pee-wee's Night Out
Paul Reubens ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wVgfu0zfl1
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) August 1, 2023
Filmmaker Paul Feig called Reubens’ death “devastating.”
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