Vale: Paul Reubens

US comedian, actor, writer, producer best known as Pee-wee Herman, has died.

US comedian, actor, writer, producer Paul Reubens, best known as Pee-wee Herman, has died, aged 70.

He died on Sunday night after a private bout of cancer, leaving a statement to be published after his passing.

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

“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,” his estate in the caption. “Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit. 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.”

Reubens created Pee-wee while with the Los Angeles comedy troupe The Groundlings in 1978, then took the character to the stage after failing to land a spot on Saturday Night Live in 1980.

After Cheech & Chong films Next Movie (1980) and Nice Dreams (1981) he made the first of his many bizarre appearances on Late Night With David Letterman — always in character and keeping his real identity a secret.

He starred in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), directed by Tim Burton and a sequel, Big Top Pee-wee (1988).

In the US he scored his own morning children’s program Pee-wee’s Playhouse, for five seasons from 1986-91,  accompanied by such characters as Captain Carl (Phil Hartman), Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne), Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart), Reba the Mail Lady (S. Epatha Merkerson), Jambi the Genie (John Paragon), Pterri the Pterodactyl, Clocky (a clock) and Magic Screen.

But his career suffered a serious setback in 1991 when he was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult cinema in Florida.

Toys R Us removed Pee-wee toys from its shelves, Disney-MGM Studios suspended a video with him from its studio tour, and CBS pulled five remaining episodes of his Playhouse (he said he was through with the show anyway).

He pleaded no contest to the charges doing 75 hours of community service and creating and financed antidrug public-service announcements. In in 2002 he was charged with misdemeanor possession of obscene material improperly depicting a child under the age of 18 in sexual conduct. Those charges were eventually dropped for a lesser obscenity charge.

He also recurred on Murphy Brown as Andrew J. Lansing III, and appeared in Everybody Loves Raymond, Reno 911!, Pushing Daisies, 30 Rock, What We Do in the Shadows, The Blacklist and Portlandia.

More recently he and Judd Apatow then produced a third Pee-wee film, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday for Netflix.

Source: Hollywood Reporter.

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