Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens dies aged 70 as tributes flood in

Virgin Radio

1 Aug 2023, 08:18

Paul Reubens

Credit: Getty

Tributes are pouring in following the death of Paul Reubens, best known for his children’s character Pee-wee Herman, who died aged 70 on Monday (31st July).

The US actor passed away following a six-year battle with cancer, as confirmed by his team via social media. 

An emotional post to the official Pee-wee Herman social channels 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.”

A separate statement written by Reubens prior to his death said: “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 for my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed marking art for you.”

Reubens first rose to fame in the 1980s as the affable children’s character Pee-wee Herman, first as part of his own stage show, before moving on to feature films. 

He produced and wrote Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985 as well as follow-up Big Top Pee-wee in 1988, helping Ruebens to become a beloved cult future. 

In the 1990s, Reubens brough Pee-wee to the small screen for Saturday morning series, Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Outside of Pee-wee, Reubens also starred in the likes of Mork and Mindy, Everybody Loves Raymond, 30 Rock and What We Do in the Shadows. 

Tributes from across the entertainment have been flooding in following the sad news of Reubens’ death. 

Actor David Hasselhoff shared his connection to the star on Twitter, sharing a photo of the pair together. He wrote: “Paul Reubens was a great, great friend. He gave me the muppets for my birthday and never forgot anyone’s birthday from our class. He was in my class at CalArts and room mates! He was always kind to me and to everyone. He will be missed.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill added: “We loved you right back, Paul... & can't thank you enough for the lifetime of laughter!”

Fellow comedic actor Steve Martin lovingly shared: “Pee Wee got his wish to fly. Thanks Paul Reubens for the brilliant off the wall comedy. Our boy Pee Wee…”

Tim Burton, who worked with Reubens on Pee-wee's Big Adventure, shared a throwback snap from behind the scenes on the film and wrote: "Shocked and saddened. I’ll never forget how Paul helped me at the beginning of my career. It would not have happened without his support. He was a great artist. I’ll miss him."

The thoughts of everyone at Virgin Radio go out to Paul Reubens’ friends and family.