In a sad turn of events, Paul Reubens, the beloved actor known for his portrayal of the whimsical Pee-Wee Herman in films like “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and “Big-Top Pee-Wee,” has passed away at the age of 70. According to an official statement shared on Facebook, Reubens succumbed to a private battle with cancer on Sunday, July 30.
Paul Reubens left an indelible mark on American entertainment as an actor, comedian, writer, and producer. His iconic character, Pee-Wee Herman, enchanted both children and adults with his infectious positivity and endearing belief in kindness. Throughout the years, Reubens displayed remarkable courage and wit while silently fighting against cancer. His extraordinary talent and prolific contributions to comedy have secured him a cherished place in our hearts as a dear friend and a person of exceptional character and boundless generosity.
Back in 1982, Reubens made a significant breakthrough with his show, “The Pee-Wee Herman Show,” which enjoyed a successful run of five sold-out months. Almost overnight, Pee-Wee became a cult figure, capturing the imaginations of countless fans. For the following decade, Reubens remained devoted to his character, embracing Pee-Wee for all his public appearances and interviews.
The success continued with the 1985 film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” directed by Tim Burton, receiving both critical acclaim and commercial success. Subsequently, from 1986 to 1990, Reubens starred as Pee-Wee in the CBS television show “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” with characters like Cherry, a talking chair, and Jambi, a genie, becoming favorites among the audience.
Additionally, Pee-Wee’s signature dance, made famous in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” to The Champs’ hit song “Tequila,” gained immense popularity. In 1986, rapper Joeski Love even released a song titled “Pee Wee Dance,” further cementing Pee-Wee’s cultural influence.
From 2006 onwards, Reubens made memorable cameos and appearances in various projects, including “Reno 911!” (2006), “30 Rock” (2007), and “Accidental Love” (2015). Moreover, he lent his voice to the character “Pavel” in the Disney XD television series “Tron: Uprising” (2012–2013). More recently, Reubens co-wrote and starred in the 2016 Netflix original film “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” reprising his beloved role as Pee-wee Herman.
Paul Reubens’ untimely departure leaves behind an incredible legacy, celebrated by fans around the world. His unique contributions to entertainment will forever be remembered, making him an unforgettable icon of positivity and joy. Rest in peace, Paul Reubens.