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Actor Paul Reubens, who came to fame in the 1980s as children’s TV star Pee-wee Herman, has died years after a cancer diagnosis, his team said Monday. He was 70.
“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,” according to a statement posted to his Facebook.
“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.”
It had not been previously disclosed that Reubens was diagnosed with cancer.
The announcement of his death included a personal statement from the actor, explaining why he had kept his medical condition under wraps.
“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.”
Reubens rocketed to fame for creating the sarcastic but good-natured man-child Pee-wee Herman, a character whose red bowtie and sneering catch phrases — “I know you are, but what am I?” — were ubiquitous in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Pee-wee was the star of a Los Angeles stage play produced by Reubens that gained enough of a following that HBO recorded and broadcast a performance in 1981.
NBC News reports that eventually led to Reubens’ big break, the 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” helmed by first-time feature film director Tim Burton. The movie followed Pee-wee’s surreal and slapstick journey to find his missing bicycle and, while a modest box office hit, became a cult favorite.
The success of “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” led to Reubens landing a Saturday morning CBS show, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” The live action show was a hit with kids and adults alike and ran from 1986 to 1991.
But Reubens’ rise to fame was halted in 1991 after he pleaded no contest to indecent exposure at an adult movie theater in Sarasota, Florida.
Then in 2004, Reubens was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor obscenity charge involving photographs of minors engaged in sexual conduct that were seized from him.
Those brushes with the law dented but didn’t derail Reubens’ career.
He returned to the big screen following the indecent exposure incident with a cameo as the Penguin’s father in Burton’s 1992 blockbuster sequel, “Batman Returns.” That same year, he fully shed his Pee-wee persona by playing a snarling blood-sucker in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film.
Reubens won critical acclaim in 2001 for playing a drug-dealing hairdresser in the movie “Blow,” starring alongside Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp.
His TV credits included appearances on “30 Rock,” “The Blacklist” and “Gotham.”
The Groundlings improv and sketch comedy theatre, where Reubens got his start as a performer and invented his iconic alter ego, said in a statement on Monday it was deeply saddened by his passing.
“As an iconic member of The Groundlings in the 1970-80s, Paul created his infamous character of Peewee Herman here, which became a cultural phenomenon that spanned decades,” the theater said. “Paul’s contributions to comedy and entertainment have left a lasting impact on the world, and he will be greatly missed by all in the Groundlings community. We love you, Paul.”
“Paul Reubens was like no one else — a brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time,” late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel said in a statement.
“He never forgot a birthday and shared his genuine delight for silliness with everyone he met. My family and I will miss him.”
Comedian and podcaster Conan O’Brien recalled “the magic, generosity, artistry, and devout silliness of Paul Reubens.”
“Everyone I know received countless nonsensical memes from Paul on their birthday, and I mean EVERYONE,” O’Brien said in a statement. “His surreal comedy and unrelenting kindness were a gift to us all. Damn, this hurts.”
“Orange Is the New Black” and “Poker Face” star Natasha Lyonne credited Reubens with launching her career, thanks to a recurring role on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” when she was a child actor.
Angus Cloud, who is known for his role as Fezco on the hit HBO show, “Euphoria,” has died, his family confirmed in a statement obtained by ABC News.
“It is with the heaviest heart that we had to say goodbye to an incredible human today,” the statement read. “As an artist, a friend, a brother and a son, Angus was special to all of us in so many ways.”
ABC News reports his family added in their statement that Cloud was struggling with the recent loss of his father.
“Last week he buried his father and intensely struggled with this loss,” they said. “The only comfort we have is knowing Angus is now reunited with his dad, who was his best friend. Angus was open about his battle with mental health and we hope that his passing can be a reminder to others that they are not alone and should not fight this on their own in silence.”
“We hope the world remembers him for his humor, laughter and love for everyone. We ask for privacy at this time as we are still processing this devastating loss,” his family added in the statement.
Cloud was born on July 10, 1998, in Oakland, California. He attended the Oakland School for the Arts. Cloud told the Wall Street Journal in an interview in 2019, that he attended the school at the same time as his “Euphoria” co-star Zendaya.
“We had some of the same friends I guess, but I didn’t really know her,” he said.
When he was living in Brooklyn, New York, he was scouted by “Euphoria’s” casting director Jennifer Venditti.
Cloud told WSJ that he thought the audition for “Euphoria” was “some type of scam.” When he landed the role of Fezco, Cloud said that while on set, he would change things in the script just before takes.
“I’m trying to work on my acting for sure,” Cloud said at the time. “My new dream is to be the voice of a cartoon or something. Some kind of voice-over thing, I’m trying to do that.”
Upon the news of his passing, HBO released a statement about Cloud.
“We are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Angus Cloud,” the television company said. “He was immensely talented and a beloved part of the HBO and “Euphoria” family. We extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time.”
Cloud’s co-star, Javon “Wanna” Walton, who played Cloud’s adoptive brother, Ashtray, in “Euphoria” took to Instagram to pay tribute to his co-star.
“Rest easy brother ?? ??,” Walton wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of himself and Cloud.
“Euphoria” creator and director Sam Levinson also shared a statement with ABC News, mourning the loss of Cloud.
“There was no one quite like Angus,” Levinson said. “He was too special, too talented and way too young to leave us so soon. He also struggled, like many of us, with addiction and depression. I hope he knew how many hearts he touched. I loved him. I always will. Rest in pace and God bless his family.”