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Paul Reubens, actor who played Pee-wee Herman, dead at 70

Reubens had been quietly battling cancer for the last six years, but continued to perform in comedic roles later in life.
Paul Reubens
Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-31 15:18:27-04

Paul Reubens, the actor who played Pee-wee Herman, died late Sunday at the age of 70, according to a post from his official Facebook page. 

The post revealed that Reubens had been quietly battling cancer for the last six years. Reubens left a message for fans prior to his death. 

"Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing the last six years," he said. "I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you."

Although Reubens had a prolific acting career, he was best known for his portrayal of Herman. The character appealed to children and adults alike through shows like "The Pee-wee Herman Show," "Pee-wee's Playhouse," and the movie, "Pee-wee's Big Adventure."

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But his career took a hit in 1991 when he was reportedly arrested for exposing himself while attending a pornographic film. 

"It was kind of like a mortifying kind of situation, where I felt like you know people are laughing at me," Reubens said in a 2004 interview with NBC News."I'm a professional comedian. I've never claimed to be able to take it as good as a dish it out, ever. I mean I'm just sensitive.”

Although he never regained his popularity before his arrest, Reubens continued acting in several comedic rules, including occasional portrayals of Herman. 

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