Paul Reubens, the US actor and comedian whose character Pee-wee Herman became a cultural phenomenon through films and TV shows, has died.
Reubens, 70, died on Sunday night after a six-year struggle with cancer that he did not make public, his publicist said in a statement.
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” Reubens said in a statement released with the announcement of his death on Monday.
“I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
The character with his too-tight gray suit, white chunky loafers and red bow tie was best known for the film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and the TV series Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
Reubens created Pee-wee when he was part of the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings in the late 1970s.
The live Pee-wee Herman Show debuted at a theatre in Los Angeles, California in the United States in 1981 and was a success with both kids during matinees and adults at a midnight show. HBO would air the show as a special.
Reubens took Pee-wee to the big screen in 1985’s, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.