Paul Reubens

American actor and comedian (1952–2023)

Paul Reubens (born Paul Rubenfeld; August 27, 1952 – July 30, 2023) was a Jewish American actor, writer, movie producer, game show host, and comedian, best known for portraying Pee-wee Herman. He was of Jewish descent.[1] He appeared in many movies and television series in the late 1970s and early 1980s and worked with a group called "The Groundlings". Around this time, Reubens created Pee-Wee for a stage show, which was a parody of old kids programs. In 1985, he starred in a movie called Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which was very successful. The next year, he got his own television program, Pee-wee's Playhouse. It was very popular.

Paul Reubens
Paul Rubenfeld

(1952-08-27)August 27, 1952
DiedJuly 30, 2023(2023-07-30) (aged 70)
Cause of deathRespiratory failure caused by acute myeloid leukemia and lung cancer
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
EducationBoston University
California Institute of the Arts (BFA)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
  • producer
Years active1977–2023
RelativesAbby Rubenfeld (sister)

Early life


He was born in Peekskill, New York and grew up in Sarasota, Florida.

Personal life


In 1991, Reubens was arrested for masturbating in an adult movie theatre. This ended the Pee-Wee craze.

In 2010, he had the main role in a play on Broadway, in The Pee-wee Herman Show. In 2016, Reubens co-wrote and had the main role in the Netflix original film Pee-wee's Big Holiday, in the role as Pee-wee Herman.[2]

Reubens died from cancer at age 70 on July 30, 2023 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.[3][4] The cause of death was respiratory failure caused by acute myeloid leukemia and lung cancer.[5] His remains were cremated and will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[5]




Year Title Role Notes
1980 Pray TV Jack Chudnowski
1980 Midnight Madness Pinball City Proprietor
1980 The Blues Brothers Chez Paul waiter
1980 Cheech & Chong's Next Movie Pee-wee Herman/Desk Clerk
1981 Nice Dreams Howie Hamburger Dude
1981 Dream On!
1982 Pandemonium Johnson
1984 Meatballs Part II Albert/Hara Krishna
1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure Pee-wee Herman Also writer
1986 Flight of the Navigator Trimaxion/Max Voice - Credited as Paul Mall
1987 Back to the Beach Pee-wee Herman
1988 Big Top Pee-wee Pee-wee Herman Also writer and producer
Nominated - Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor
1992 Batman Returns Penguin's Father
1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Amilyn
1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas Lock Voice
1996 Dunston Checks In Buck LaFarge
1996 Matilda FBI Agent Bob
1997 Buddy Professor Spatz
1997 Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Fife Voice
1998 Dr. Dolittle Raccoon Voice
1999 Mystery Men The Spleen
2000 South of Heaven, West of Hell Arvid Henry
2001 Blow Derek Foreal
2004 Teacher's Pet Dennis Voice
2006 The Tripper Frank Baker
2007 Reno 911!: Miami Sir Terrence Benedino
2009 Life During Wartime Andy
2011 The Smurfs Jokey Smurf Voice
2013 The Smurfs 2 Jokey Smurf Voice
2013 Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure Screwy Squirrel Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Things We Did Last Summer Paul Oberon TV Movie
1979 Working Stiffs Heimlich 3 episodes
1980 The Flintstone Comedy Hour Freaky Frankenstone Voice
Episode: "RV Fever/Birthday Boy/Clownfoot/Fred Goes Ape/Flying Mouse/Ghost-sitters"
1980 Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty Unnamed Terrorist Reubens played an unnamed terrorist that shoplifted nuclear weapons fuel from a convenience store in a skit in this Steve Martin comedy special.
1980 Steve Martin: All Commercials Multiple Roles Reubens played multiple roles in multiple skits in this Steve Martin comedy special.
1981 Mork & Mindy Dickie Nimitz Episode: "Long Before We Met"
1981 The Pee-wee Herman Show Pee-wee Herman TV Movie
1982 Madame's Place Pee-Wee Herman Episode: "Episode #1.34"
1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Pinocchio Episode: "Pinocchio"
1985 Saturday Night Live Pee-wee Herman Host
Episode: "Pee-wee Herman/Queen Ida & The Bon Temps Zydeco Band"
1986–1990 Pee-wee's Playhouse Pee-wee Herman Creator, writer, director of 3 episodes
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Direction/Scenic Design (1988)
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graphics and Title Design (1991)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Series (1987, 1990, 1991)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in Children's Programming (1988, 1990, 1991)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design (1989, 1990, 1991)
Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series (1987, 1988)
1988 Sesame Street Pee-wee Herman Episode:"Put Down the Duckie"
1995–1997 Murphy Brown Andrew J. Lansing III 6 episodes
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (1995)
2000 Everyone Loves Raymond Russell Episode: "Hackidu"
2001 Ally McBeal Louis Episode: "Cloudy Skies, Chance of Parade"
2002 Rugrats Hermie the Elf Voice
Episode: "Babies in Toyland"
2005 Tripping the Rift God
Episode: "Chode's Near Death-Experience"
2006 Campus Ladies Drama instructor Episode: "Drama Class"
2006 Reno 911! Rick Episode: "Rick's On It"
2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor Paul Voice
Episode: "Puddins"
2006 Re-Animated Golly Gopher Voice
TV Movie
2007 Area 57 Alien Unaired pilot
2007 30 Rock Gerhardt Hapsburg Episode: "Black Tie"
2007 Dirt Chuck Lafoon 3 episodes
2007 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! The Moon Episode: "Cats"
2007-2009 Chowder Reuben Voice
3 episodes
2007 Pushing Daisies Oscar Vibenius 2 episodes
2009-2011 Batman: The Brave and the Bold Bat-Mite Voice
4 episodes
2010 Adventure Time Gnome Ruler Voice
Episode: "Power Animal"
2011 The Pee-wee Herman Show Pee-wee Herman TV Movie
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special
2012–2013 Tron: Uprising Pavel Voice
17 episodes
2012 Robot Chicken DC Comics Special The Riddler Voice
TV Movie
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Pee-wee Herman Episode: "Pee Wee Herman Wears a Halloween Costume"

Video games

Year Title Role
2004 The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge Lock
2010 Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame Bat-Mite


  2. Keegan, Rebecca (March 17, 2016). "'Pee-wee's Big Holiday' takes some wrong turns". Retrieved August 11, 2017 – via LA Times.
  3. Shanfeld, Ethan (July 31, 2023). "Paul Reubens, Pee-wee Herman Actor, Dies at 70 After Private Bout of Cancer". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  4. Jiménez, Jesus (July 31, 2023). "Paul Reubens, Creator of Pee-wee Herman, Is Dead at 70". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Paul Reubens’ Cause Of Death Confirmed

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