Paul Rubens, best known for his role as Pee-wee Herman has passed away at the age of 70.
A statement issued to People on Monday by his rep read, “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.”
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.”
Reubens rose to fame in the 1980s when he brought his iconic charter Pee-wee Herman to television. He premiered The Pee-wee Herman show at The Groundlings Theatre in 1981, and it was eventually picked up by HBO.
The character was then in the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, directed by Tim Burton in 1985. In 1986 CBS cast Reubens as Pee-wee in Pee-wee’s Playhouse which ran from 1986 to 1990.
The show earned 22 Emmy Awards during its run. Reubens won 2 of 14 Emmy nominations for the show.
In 1988, Pee-wee once again graced the big screen in Big Top Pee-wee. In 2015 Netflix produced Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Pee-wee even went to Broadway in the early 2010s for a revival of The Pee-wee Herman show.
Reubens said of the character, “If anyone would have told me I’d be doing this 30 years later, I would have laughed. But now, I plan on doing it 30 years from now, when I’m 140.”
Reubens and his iconic character will be missed.