Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-Wee Herman, has passed away.
The actor’s official Facebook page announced his death at age 70 after a years-long battle with cancer. “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 reads.
“Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit,” the post continues. “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.”
A post written by Herman was also shared, stating, “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.”
Per the Facebook post, Reubens asked that any expressions of sympathy be made in honor of his late parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld, to Stand Up to Cancer or an organization involved in dementia and Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.
Reubens got his start in famed Los Angeles comedy trope the Groundlings before launching the Pee-Wee Herman character in 1982. Feature film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” debuted in 1985 and was directed by Tim Burton. Reubens co-wrote and starred in 2016 film “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday” which premiered on Netflix; the actor also brought the “Pee-Wee Herman Show” to Broadway in 2010.
Josh and Benny Safdie were additionally rumored to be involved in a Pee-Wee Herman film; the duo ended up producing an HBO documentary on Reubens.