Watch CBS News

Paul Reubens, aka 'Pee-wee Herman,' dead at 70

Actor-comedian Paul Reubens dies at 70
Actor-comedian Paul Reubens dies at 70 01:26

Actor, writer and comedian Paul Reubens, best known for his role as "Pee-wee Herman," died Sunday, his family has confirmed. Reubens died from complications of cancer, according to a statement.

Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved...

Posted by Pee-wee Herman on Monday, July 31, 2023

"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 starred in the 1985 film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure"; on the television show "Pee-wee's Playhouse," which ran from 1986 to 1990; and in the 1988 film sequel "Big Top Pee-wee." He performed as a voice actor on several other TV shows. Reubens was also a stand-up comedian.

"Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing for the last six years. I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fan and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you," Reubens said in a statement that was published on Instagram and Facebook Monday morning by family members.

"Paul asked that any expressions of sympathy be made in his honor of his late parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld, to Stand Up to Cancer or organizations involved in Dementia and Alzheimer's care, support and research," the family said.

Reubens was arrested in Sarasota, Florida in 1991 on a charge of indecent exposure, and his career suffered, but he returned to acting years later and continued working until 2021.

In 2015, Reubens teamed with Judd Apatow to produce the third Pee-wee film, "Pee-wee's Big Holiday.The Netflix movie was written by Reubens and Paul Rust, and co-starred Joe Manganiello.  

Reubens recently penned the first draft of his memoir, the finishing touches on two more Pee-wee movie scripts and was developing projects for television, including a variety show and a western called "Fancypants." Pee-wee Herman's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame was awarded in 1988 and is located at 6562 Hollywood Boulevard.  

At 2 p.m. Monday, flowers will be placed on his Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.