American actor Paul Reubens has portrayed several characters over the years. He played one of the most beloved characters Pee-wee Herman. Sadly, he passed away on July 30, 2023, at the age of 70. Millions of people were heartbroken to find out that the man who kept them entertained for years had passed away. However, at the time, the cause of his death wasn’t clear.

Paul Reubens is widely known for his role as Pee-wee Herman. He played this role in the eponymous show The Pee-wee Herman Show, and a feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which was directed by Tim Burton. This movie even had a sequel. The legacy that Reubens has left behind as Pee-wee Herman is unbeatable and will be remembered by generations to come.

Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens

Read More: “Please accept my apology…”: Pee-wee Herman Actor Paul Reubens’ Final Words Before Passing Away

The Cause of Paul Reubens’ Death

According to the death certificate that PEOPLE has obtained, the immediate reason for Paul Reubens’ death was acute hypoxic respiratory failure. This is a condition of the lungs in which the aforementioned organs fail to release the requisite amount of oxygen in the blood which leads to extremely low levels of oxygen, and hence, respiratory failure.

It has been more than a month since Reubens’ death, and it has been recently revealed that he was suffering from two forms of cancer. The primary type of cancer that he had was acute myelogenous leukemia, which is attributed as the underlying cause of the acute hypoxic respiratory failure. Acute myelogenous leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens

Read More: “I’m having trouble figuring that out myself lately”: Like Heath Ledger’s Joker, Paul Reubens Got So Lost in Pee-wee Herman He Forgot Who He Was

Another form of cancer that the actor had developed just a few months before his death was metastatic lung cancer, which is a type of cancer that spreads from one lung to the other lung and then, other body parts. Reubens had been suffering from cancer for years, but he chose to keep it private. His death was reported by his longtime assistant Allison Berry, who was also listed as his ‘Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) agent’ on the death certificate.

Paul Reubens Apologized for Keeping His Diagnosis Private

Paul Reubens in Blow
Paul Reubens in Blow

Paul Reubens had also appeared in some newer movies such as Blow alongside Johnny Depp. He was in the show business for more than 50 years. Following his death, a statement from him was released in which he apologized to his fans for being secretive about his diagnosis. According to The Blast, the statement read:

“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years. 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.”


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For celebrities, it is very hard to keep things under the wraps since their every single move is microscopically analyzed. That wasn’t the case for the Murphy Brown actor, who managed to keep his diagnosis private for years, and his choice must be respected because as a person, he deserves to choose what he wishes to share with the world.

Source: The Blasted

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