Paul Reubens, renowned for his portrayal of Pee-wee Herman, passed away following a discreet battle with cancer.
On Sunday, a public statement was posted to the actor’s Instagram account revealing the disheartening news.
“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,” wrote Reubens’ estate in the caption. “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 revelation was accompanied by a statement from Reubens, apologizing for not disclosing his health status sooner.
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” wrote Reubens in the statement. “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.”
In the 1970s, Reubens embarked on his career by becoming a member of the Los Angeles live comedy troupe called the Groundlings, where he honed his skills as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1980, he introduced “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” a stage production centered around a fictional character he had been nurturing over the years. Pee-wee quickly gained a devoted following. Furthermore, Reubens wholeheartedly embraced the Pee-wee persona during interviews and public appearances, further solidifying his connection with the beloved character.
During his illustrious career, Reubens participated in a diverse range of projects, including Kinka Usher’s superhero comedy “Mystery Men” and Ted Demme’s biographical crime drama “Blow.”