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By Rampart Stonebridge, updated on September 9, 2023

Cause of death for Paul Reubens released

Paul Reubens, the actor best known for playing the beloved children's television character Pee-wee Herman, died at age 70 after a years-long private battle with cancer.

Reubens debuted the character of Pee-wee Herman in 1981 at The Groundlings Theatre. He went on to star as Pee-wee in the films "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" in 1985 and "Big Top Pee-wee" in 1988. From 1986 to 1990, he also starred in the Emmy Award-winning CBS television series "Pee-wee's Playhouse," which earned a total of 22 Emmys during its run.

Over the decades, Reubens also had roles in shows like "30 Rock," "The Blacklist," "Gotham," and "What We Do in the Shadows," as well as films like the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Reubens kept his cancer diagnosis private for years before passing away on July 30, 2023 at the age of 70. He had been battling metastatic lung cancer and acute myelogenous leukemia in the months leading up to his death.

Cause of death revealed

After his passing, People reported that Reubens' official cause of death was acute hypoxic respiratory failure, a condition where the lungs cannot get enough oxygen into the blood.

This was likely a complication of his cancer.

Reubens apologized to his fans for not going public about his diagnosis in a statement made on his official Instagram page after his death.

Reubens Faced Controversy But Remained Beloved

Although wildly popular and successful, Reubens' career was not without controversy. In 1991, he was arrested in Sarasota, Florida for indecent exposure and had to complete 75 hours of community service, Yahoo News reported.

Over a decade later in 2002, Reubens was arrested again when child pornography materials were found in his home, which he stated were part of a vintage erotica collection. In 2004, the charges were ultimately dropped when he pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor obscenity charge.

But despite these incidents, Reubens remained beloved by generations of fans who grew up watching Pee-wee Herman. After his passing, many mourned the loss of a true icon.

Lessons to Learn from This Tragedy

  • Get regular cancer screenings, as early detection can make a big difference: Reubens potentially could have had a better prognosis if his cancer was caught earlier.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for support during difficult times: Reubens kept his diagnosis private when sharing it could have provided comfort.
  • Celebrate and honor people while they are still alive: Reubens was showered with appreciation after his passing, but it's also important to let people know they are valued during their lifetime.
  • Keep the joy of childhood alive: Reubens brought happiness to millions through his childlike Pee-wee Herman character.

Reubens Leaves Lasting Legacy

Though his life ended too soon, Paul Reubens leaves an incredible legacy through his beloved character Pee-wee Herman and decades of acclaimed work as an actor and comedian.

His contributions to pop culture and ability to bring joy to audiences of all ages will not be forgotten.

If you or a loved one is facing cancer, support and resources are available through organizations like the American Cancer Society.

Please share this article on Twitter and Facebook.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.

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