Pee-Wee Herman Obituary: What Happened to Pee-Wee Herman?

Who was Pee-Wee Herman?

Pee-wee Herman was a fictional character created and portrayed by American actor and comedian Paul Reubens. Pee-wee was known for his childlike, quirky, and enthusiastic personality, making him a beloved and enduring figure among both children and adults. Paul Reubens developed the character while performing with the Los Angeles troupe The Groundlings in the 1970s.

Pee-wee first gained widespread recognition through the stage show “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” which Reubens created after a failed audition for Saturday Night Live. The character’s success led to the creation of the feature film “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” in 1985, directed by Tim Burton. The film was a critical and financial success, further solidifying Pee-wee’s popularity.

From 1986 to 1990, Reubens starred as Pee-wee in the CBS Saturday-morning children’s program “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” which earned numerous Emmy Awards during its run. Pee-wee’s Playhouse was loved by audiences and became a cult classic, even airing again on late-night television in the 2000s. However, Paul Reubens faced personal challenges when he was arrested for indecent exposure in 1991, which caused significant media attention.

This event temporarily impacted his involvement in major projects. In 2002, he faced another legal issue when he was charged with child pornography possession, but the charges were eventually dropped. Despite these challenges, Reubens revived the Pee-wee character and continued to make appearances as Pee-wee in various films and television shows. He also performed in a revival of “The Pee-wee Herman Show” in 2010 and co-wrote and starred in the Netflix original film “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” in 2016.

Tragically, Paul Reubens passed away from cancer on July 30, 2023. His diagnosis had been undisclosed to the public, leaving fans and the entertainment industry saddened by his untimely death. Pee-wee Herman’s legacy lives on as an iconic character who brought joy and laughter to audiences for many years.

Pee-Wee Herman Obituary

Paul Reubens, the actor who gained fame in the 1980s as children’s TV star Pee-wee Herman, passed away at the age of 70. The news of his death was confirmed by his team and was reported on Monday. Paul Reubens was celebrated as an iconic American actor, comedian, writer, and producer, best known for his beloved character Pee-wee Herman.

The statement posted on his Facebook page expressed that Pee-wee Herman had delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy, and emphasis on kindness. His career began with his involvement in The Groundlings, a Los Angeles-based comedy troupe, during the 1970s and 1980s. It was here that he created the character of Pee-wee Herman, which became a cultural phenomenon and left a lasting impact on the world of comedy and entertainment.

Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Reubens, praising him as a brilliant and original comedian who had the unique ability to make both kids and their parents laugh at the same time. Kimmel’s statement also reflected on Reubens’ genuine delight for silliness and his habit of never forgetting a birthday, which he would celebrate with nonsensical memes for everyone he knew.

Comedian and podcaster Conan O’Brien fondly remembered the magic, artistry, and devout silliness of Paul Reubens, acknowledging his surreal comedy and unwavering kindness as a gift to everyone who knew him. O’Brien mentioned how Pee-wee Herman’s influence extended beyond comedy, reaching the hearts of many.

Actress Natasha Lyonne, known for her roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Russian Doll,” expressed her gratitude towards Reubens for launching her career. She credited him with giving her a recurring role on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” when she was a child actor, and she cherished their forever friendship.

Paul Reubens’ death was mourned by many in the entertainment industry and beyond, as his iconic character Pee-wee Herman had touched the lives of countless individuals with his unique charm and joyful spirit. His contributions to comedy and entertainment will be remembered fondly, and he will be greatly missed by fans and friends alike.


What Happened to Pee-Wee Herman?

Paul Reubens who is known for Pee-wee Herman role has passed away after a private battle with cancer. His team confirmed the news on Monday and revealed that he had been courageously fighting cancer for several years. Throughout his struggle with cancer, Paul Reubens showed his trademark tenacity and wit. He was widely recognized for his immense talent and prolific contributions to comedy, earning a place in the comedy pantheon.

Reubens was remembered not only for his professional accomplishments but also for his remarkable character and generosity of spirit, which endeared him to fans and friends alike. The announcement of his death also included a personal statement from Paul Reubens. In his statement, he apologized for not disclosing his medical condition to the public earlier, choosing to keep it private for the past six years.

He expressed deep gratitude for the love, respect, and support he had received from his friends, fans, and supporters throughout his career. Reubens had a genuine affection for his audience and enjoyed creating art for them. The news of his cancer diagnosis came as a surprise, as it had not been previously revealed to the public.

Despite his personal struggles, Paul Reubens continued to leave a lasting impact on the entertainment industry, and his iconic character Pee-wee Herman remained a beloved figure cherished by generations of children and adults. His passing marks the end of an era for fans of Pee-wee Herman, but his legacy as an actor, comedian, and artist will continue to be celebrated for years to come. Paul Reubens’ contributions to comedy and entertainment will forever be remembered with admiration and fondness.

Pee-Wee Herman Early Life

Paul Reubens, originally born as Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952, in Peekskill, New York, had a childhood deeply influenced by his Jewish family background. His parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld, owned a lamp store in Sarasota, Florida, where Paul grew up. His mother was a teacher, and his father had a remarkable history as a pilot, flying for both Britain’s Royal Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

Later, he became one of the founding pilots of the Israeli Air Force, flying against Arab forces in smuggled fighter planes. As an Orthodox Jew, his father was one of five Jewish pilots involved in these efforts. Paul had two younger siblings, Luke and Abby. Luke is a dog trainer, and Abby is an attorney and a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

During his childhood in Oneonta, New York, Paul was captivated by the atmosphere of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which had its winter headquarters in Sarasota. The circus had a profound impact on him and sparked his interest in entertainment, which would later shape his career. Watching reruns of “I Love Lucy” as a child further fueled his desire to make people laugh.

At the age of 5, he asked his father to build him a stage, and together with his siblings, they acted out plays on it. Paul attended Sarasota High School and became the president of the National Thespian Society. After high school, he participated in Northwestern University’s summer program for gifted high-school students and appeared in several plays at local theaters.

He briefly attended Plymouth State University before moving to Boston University. After facing rejections from various acting schools, he eventually got accepted to the California Institute of the Arts. Paul then moved to California, where he worked in restaurant kitchens and as a Fuller Brush salesman while pursuing his acting career.

Paul Reubens, known for his iconic creation of Pee-wee Herman and his contributions to comedy and entertainment, left a lasting legacy that continues to be celebrated by fans around the world.

Pee-Wee Herman Marital Life

Paul Reubens, at the time of his death, was not married. However, he did have some significant relationships throughout his life. In 1989, Paul Reubens participated in an “impromptu mock wedding ceremony” with Chandi Heffner. The ceremony took place at Shangri La, the estate of heiress Doris Duke. Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. actor Jim Nabors, who was a friend of Reubens, attended the ceremony and serenaded the couple with a performance.

Although it was not a legally binding marriage, Reubens kept a temporary marriage license signed by Imelda Marcos as a memento of the event. Later, from 1993 to 1999, Reubens dated actress Debi Mazar. He credited Mazar for helping him overcome a dark period in his life. Reubens shared that falling in love with Mazar was a powerful and transformative experience for him. He described her as a supportive presence in his life, encouraging him to rise above difficult times.

After their breakup, Debi Mazar married Gabriele Corcos in 2002, while Reubens kept the details of his love life private. Throughout his life, Paul Reubens did not have any children. He remained focused on his career and creative pursuits, leaving behind a lasting legacy as the beloved actor and comedian who brought joy to audiences with his iconic character, Pee-wee Herman.

Pee-Wee Herman Net Worth

Pee-wee Herman, portrayed by actor Paul Reubens, had multiple sources of income throughout his fictional character’s career. The CBS Saturday-morning children’s program “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” was a significant source of income for the character. The show, which aired from 1986 to 1990, was highly popular and successful, earning numerous Emmy Awards during its run.

Pee-wee Herman performed in various stage shows, including “The Pee-wee Herman Show” and its revival, which generated revenue from ticket sales and merchandise. Pee-wee Herman starred in two feature films, “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (1985) and “Big Top Pee-wee” (1988), both of which contributed to his income.

Pee-wee Herman’s popularity led to a wide range of merchandise, including toys, dolls, clothing, and other products featuring his likeness, which generated additional income. Pee-wee Herman’s image and brand were licensed for various products and endorsements, providing additional revenue streams.

Pee-Wee Herman Net Worth


Paul Reubens

Net Worth

$5 Million 


Actor and Comedian

Source of income

Through his Career

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