Home News Paul Reubens, Creator of Pee-wee Herman, Is Dead at 70

Paul Reubens, Creator of Pee-wee Herman, Is Dead at 70

The new version of “The Pee-wee Herman Show” opened at Club Nokia in Los Angeles in January 2010, featuring elements of the original stage show and characters from the TV series. That November, it opened on Broadway for a limited run.

“Mr. Reubens’s Silly Putty face is a little puttier, but it remains as stretchable as ever,” Charles Isherwood wrote in his review in The Times. “His Popsicle-stick posture retains its comical rigidity; the flapping arms express exasperation and excitement with no loss of tone; the bopping Pee-wee dance is still beach-ball-buoyant. And of course Pee-wee’s restless imagination and childish mood swings are as extravagant as ever.”

A new movie, “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” followed in 2016 on Netflix, produced by Mr. Reubens and Judd Apatow. Mr. Reubens told The Times in 2010, when the film was in the early talking stages, that it was no surprise that Pee-wee had endured.

“There’s never been anything from the fans other than, please do more,” he said.

Paul Rubenfeld was born on Aug. 27, 1952, in Peekskill, N.Y., to Milton and Judy (Rosen) Rubenfeld. His mother was a teacher, and his father had been a pilot who, according to The Forward, helped smuggle fighter planes into Israel in 1948 during its war of independence.

The family moved to Sarasota when Paul was 9. His parents ran a lamp store there. Paul had been in school and camp theatrical productions when he graduated to a bigger stage: At 11, he had a key role as the young nephew in a custody dispute in Herb Gardner’s play “A Thousand Clowns,” staged by the Sarasota Players.

“The 12-year-old is played with remarkable assurance and stage-wise technique by Paul Rubenfeld, himself only 11 years old, a genuine talent discovery,” Ray Perkins wrote in a review in The Tampa Bay Times.

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