Paul ‘Pee-wee Herman’ Reubens: After his death, Paul Reubens apologized to his fans for not sharing his cancer journey with them. The comedian, who was best known for his role as Pee-wee Herman, wrote a heartfelt statement on social media, saying,
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” wrote the comedian, who was best known for playing his beloved character Pee-wee Herman, on social media after his death at 70.
He continued, “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.”
On Monday, a representative for Reubens announced his passing and posted a statement on his official Instagram account for Pee-wee. The statement praised Reubens for his bravery and wit in privately fighting cancer for years, and described him as a talented and generous person who will be missed by many.
Reubens first introduced the character of Pee-wee Herman in 1981 at The Groundlings Theatre. He went on to play the character on HBO and in two feature films, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Big Top Pee-wee. Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which ran on CBS for five seasons from 1986 to 1990, earned 22 Emmy Awards, and Reubens himself was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, winning twice.
In a 2016 interview with PEOPLE, Reubens discussed his need for a break from the character of Pee-wee Herman after the peak of his success. Despite this, he expressed his love for the character and the creative control he had over the project, saying, “It’s been fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better adventure.”