Paul Reubens, the actor known to millions for his portrayal of Pee-wee Herman, has died, according to a July 31 post on his official Facebook page. He was 70.
“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,” the post said.
“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 went on to create, co-write and co-direct the series “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” on CBS, where the series earned 22 Emmy Awards during its run from 1986 to 1991. Reubens was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards during his career, winning twice.
Reubens’ image as a beloved childhood hero was tarnished when, in 1991, he was arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater in Sarasota, Fla. At the center of a national sex scandal, Reubens backed away from Pee-wee and began doing press as himself.