Pee-Wee Herman dead at 70

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Paul Reubens, the actor best known for his role of Pee-Wee Herman, died on Sunday after battling cancer for a few years.

He was best known for his movie Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and his iconic Saturday morning kids' show Pee-Wee's Playhouse which aired in first run on CBS from 1986 to 1990.

He also appeared in a segment on Sesame Street in which he recites "The Pee-Wee Herman Alphabet" on the set of Playhouse - it was shown only five times. He also appeared on the first celebrity edition of Put Down the Duckie.

Aside from Pee-Wee Herman, he had other roles, including the voice inside the spaceship in the 1986 Disney film Flight of the Navigator (credited as Paul Mall) and also voiced a raccoon in a non-creature shop in the 1998 film Dr. Dolittle. He also voiced Jokey Smurf in the first two CGI/live-action Smurfs movies in the early 2010s.

He sparked controversy in 1991 when he committed an act of indecent exposure in a movie theater in Florida, prompting CBS to pull reruns of Playhouse off the air several weeks prematurely (the show was no longer in production by that time - he ended the show on his own terms due to the show's declining quality), and Toys-R-Us removing toys depicting his likeness off the shelves. He pleaded no contest, and was sentenced to 75 hours of community service, and as part of that sentence, he created two public service announcements about the dangers of drugs. Although he kept a low-profile in the 1990s, Playhouse had since been rerun in some countries (possibly YTV in Canada, and later Adult Swim in 2006) and the entire series was eventually released to DVD.

In his final film role, he reprised his Pee-Wee Herman character in the 2016 Netflix film Pee-Wee's Big Holiday. It was likely not long afterwards that his cancer had set in.

Another sad loss for fans of Saturday morning fare. R.I.P. Pee-Wee.
 
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