Paul Reubens Passes Away At The Age Of 70

Variety reports that Paul Reubens has passed away at the age of 70 following a private battle with cancer. A note from the now-late actor and comedian was posted to his Instagram page following the announcement.

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” he began. “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.”

For decades, Reubens brought his brand of alternative comedy to the masses. Honing his craft as a famous Groundlings comedy ensemble member, in 1982, he began toying around publicly with a character he had been working on, Pee-wee Herman. What followed was a series of sold-out stage shows, an HBO special, two movies, and eventually, the iconic Pee-Wee’s Playhouse that reigned supreme in the late-80s.

Following a tumultuous start to the 1990s centered around an indecent exposure arrest at an adult theater, Reubens rebounded following an MTV Video Music Awards appearance, asking the crowd, “Heard any good jokes lately.” The joke landed and began to ease his reintroduction to Hollywood, including beloved performances in films like Blow and Mystery Men.

Reubens’ cartoonish nature made him a perfect fit for the world of pro wrestling, which is why it comes as no surprise that, at two different times, he found himself in the WWE mix. In November 2010, Reubens, as Pee-wee Herman, served as the guest host of WWE Monday Night Raw, for which he won the Guest Star Shining Moment Slammy Award, and also appeared alongside The Rock in a backstage vignette at WWE WrestleMania 27.

Reubens’ final film was Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which he wrote and produced. It was released in 2016 and can be found on Netflix.

Haus of Wrestling sends its condolences to Reubens’ fans, friends, and family. May he rest in power.