The actor and comedian Paul Reubens, who created and portrayed the iconic character Pee-wee Herman, Paul Reubens has died at the age of 70, after a long battle with cancer.
When Did Paul Reubens’ Died
Reubens died on Sunday night at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by his family and friends, according to a statement posted on his official website and social media accounts.
Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens,” the statement read. “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.”
Cause of Paul Reubens Death
“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.”
How Did Paul Reubens Become Famous
Reubens entered the world as Paul Ruben Feld in Peekskill, New York, on August 27, 1952. He moved to Sarasota, Florida, with his parents Judy and Milton Ruben Feld, a former World War II pilot and founding member of the Israeli Air Force.
He developed a passion for theater and comedy at an early age, and joined the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings in the 1970s, where he created the character of Pee-wee Herman, a childlike man in a gray suit and red bow tie.
Pee-wee became a cult sensation with his stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show, which was filmed for HBO in 1981. He also appeared in several movies, such as Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980) and Nice Dreams (1981), and made frequent appearances on Late Night with David Letterman.
In 1985, he starred in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, directed by Tim Burton, which was a critical and commercial success. He followed it with Big Top Pee-wee (1988), and a hit TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse (1986-1990), which won 15 Emmy Awards.
The Rise, Fall and Comeback of Paul Reubens
Reubens faced a career setback in 1991, when he got arrested for exposing himself in a Sarasota adult theater.
He retreated from the spotlight for several years, until he made a comeback in movies such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Batman Returns (1992), Matilda (1996), Mystery Men (1999) and Blow (2001).
He also faced another scandal in 2002, when he was arrested for possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of obscenity and received probation. He later claimed that the material was part of his vintage erotica collection.
The Creator of Pee-wee Herman
Reubens revived his Pee-wee character in 2010 with a Broadway show The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also co-wrote and starred in the Netflix film Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016), directed by John Lee.
Reubens never married or had children. He is survived by his sister Abby Ruben Feld, a civil rights attorney.
He will be remembered as one of the most original and influential comedians of his generation, who brought joy and laughter to millions of people with his quirky and lovable character Pee-wee Herman.