Paul Reubens, best known for his role as Pee-Wee Herman on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, has passed at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer.
The death of Paul Reubens was confirmed dead to PEOPLE early on Monday morning by his representative. The confirmation came with the revelation that Reubens had been battling cancer for years before his death, a fact largely hidden from the public.
“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,” read the statement.
“Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit,” it continued. “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.”
Paul Reubens was best known for the character of Pee-Wee Herman, a role which he portrayed for three years on The Pee-Wee Herman Show and five years on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, along with multiple films and revivals based on the character. While Reubens’ career largely slowed following the success of Pee-Wee Herman as a character, he continued to be a prolific voice actor on projects such as DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Minecraft: Story Mode, and his final role on Bob’s Burgers.
Heroic Hollywood extends our heartfelt condolences out to Paul Reuben’s family and friends.