Read Pee-wee Herman Actor Paul Reubens' Apology to Fans for Keeping Cancer Secret

In his final statement, the late actor revealed he'd been fighting cancer for "the last six years."

Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens passed away this week, after a private battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. Following his death, representatives for the comedian shared the sad news on his official Facebook page, along with an apology from Reubens to his fans for keeping his cancer diagnosis a secret.

"Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing the last six years," the entertainer wrote in his last public statement. "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...

Posted by Pee-wee Herman on Monday, July 31, 2023

The post has prompted numerous memorials from fans, one of which commented, "Thank you for years of entertainment, laughs, inspiration, and you! Everything about you, your talent, creativity, out of the box thinking and more will be greatly missed." Someone else added, "Thank you Paul, for sharing your talent with us over the years. You were a highlight to my childhood, both in the theatre and at home. Saturday mornings wouldn't have been the same without you either! In fact, I've never stop enjoying you, even though your social media posts! You've been an amazing, funny guy with a lot of heart."

Reubens was born in Peekskill, New York in 1952. The eldest of three children, Reubens would grow up to attend college at Boston University and California Institute of the Arts before going on to a career in show business. He began doing stand-up comedy in the '70s and, near the end of the decade, he created Pee-wee Herman during an improv exercise with The Groundlings. He was not married and did not have any children at the time of his death.

Pee-wee Herman was introduced to the world through a stage performance, The Pee-wee Herman Show, which ran from 1981 until 1984. In 1985, Ruebens starred in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, the character's major motion picture which was directed by Tim Burton and written by Reubens, Michael Varhol, and late SNL actor Phil Hartman, who has previously helped to develop the quirky character. The film spawned two stand-alone sequels: Big Top Pee-wee (1988) and Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016).

Perhaps the most notable Pee-wee Herman project would be Pee-wee's Playhouse, a children's series which ran on CBS from 1986 until 1991. The series introduced fans to a number of bizarre and funny characters in Pee-wee's whimsical house, such as a talking chair and a magic genie. The show remains beloved by fans, and has twice been ranked in the top 15 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever.