WASHINGTON — Paul Reubens, the actor and comedian best known for his character Pee-wee Herman, has died at 70 years old after a years-long battle with cancer that he did not make public. The Monday announcement of his death was met with an immediate outpouring of grief from his friends and colleagues in the entertainment industry.
"Russian Doll" star Natasha Lyonne, who made her acting debut at 6 years old on the first season of "Pee-wee's Playhouse," shared images from the hit television series on social media.
"Love you so much, Paul. One in all time. Thank you for my career & your forever friendship all these years & for teaching us what a true original is," she wrote, adding several heart emojis and one emoji of a broken heart.
Lyonne was one of many actors and comedians who described Reubens as a friend or mentor, sharing photos or personal stories.
"No tweet can capture 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. His surreal comedy and unrelenting kindness were a gift to us all. Damn, this hurts.
"Paul Reubens was like no one else - a brilliant and original comedian who made kids and their parents laugh at the same time. He never forgot a birthday and shared his genuine delight for silliness with everyone he met. My family and I will miss him."
"Paul Reubens was a great, great friend. He gave me the muppets for my birthday and never forgot anyone’s birthday from our class. He was in my class at CalArts and we had the same business manager. He was always kind to me and to everyone. He will be missed."
"Paul Reubens was a gifted performer and a nice person. He brought so much joy to people over the years as Pee Wee, my sister and I loved that character. I was privileged to work with him in a film and he was as great in real life as he was on screen. Tough news here."
"This is devastating. Truly heartbreaking. Paul was such a comedy genius. From his Letterman appearances to his TV shows and movies, he was so original and hilarious. And such a sweet man too. This is a huge loss for comedy. Thanks for all the laughs, Paul."
"One of the patron saints of all misfitted, weird, maladjusted, wonderful, miraculous oddities."
"One of the greats is gone. It is a very sad day. Thank you for the joy, @peeweeherman. Chris and I were so proud to call you friend. You will live in our hearts forever, Paul.
"The greatest. No one ever like him ever."