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“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens,” a statement on the official Pee-wee Herman Facebook page this afternoon begins, announcing the passing of the beloved performer.

The statement continues, “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.”

An actor, comedian, writer and producer, Paul Reubens is best known for playing the character Pee-wee Herman, which began with a live stage show titled “The Pee-wee Herman Show” in the early 1980s. The popularity of the show led to the Tim Burton-directed feature film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985, which spawned a follow-up movie (Big Top Pee-wee in 1988) as well as the Saturday morning TV show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” from 1986 through 1990. Reubens reprised the role one final time for Netflix movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday in 2016.

Outside of the Pee-wee character that made him a household name across generations, Paul Reubens has over 100 acting credits on his resume, including stops in the horror genre in the films Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Batman Returns (1992), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Tripper (2006), and TV series “What We Do in the Shadows.”

Paul Reubens also appeared in the films Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Meatballs Part II, Flight of the Navigator, Moonwalker, Dunston Checks In, Doctor Doolittle, Mystery Men, Blow, and The Smurfs, as well as television shows including “Mork & Mindy,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Reno 911!” “30 Rock,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” and “Gotham.”

Behind the camera, Paul Reubens directed 32 episodes of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” and he also wrote much of his own material including the feature film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Today’s statement from the official Pee-wee Herman Facebook page also shares some final words from Paul Reubens himself. Reubens tells his fans, “Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years. 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.”

The page also notes, “Paul has asked that any expressions of sympathy be made in honor of his late parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld, to Stand Up to Cancer or organizations involved in Dementia and Alzheimer’s care, support and research.”

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