Paul Reubens’ Health: His Private Cancer Battle Revealed After His Passing

Paul Reubens was secretly battling cancer for six years before his death. Find out more about the late actor's health here.

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  • Paul Reubens died at the age of 70 on July 30, 2023.
  • Paul was privately battling cancer for six years before he died.
  • Paul apologized for keeping his health a secret in a statement written before his death.

Paul Reubens died at the age of 70 which was a shock to his fans, since he didn’t divulge his private health battle to the public. A statement from the actor’s social media pages confirmed that he passed away on July 30 after battling cancer for the last six years. Paul — who was most famous for creating the iconic character Pee-wee Herman — was called “a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit” in the statement.

Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens (Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock)

Alongside the statement confirming his death, there was also a message from Paul, presumably written before he passed away, where he apologized for keeping his health battle a secret. Following the iconic actor’s death, here’s everything you need to know about his private cancer battle that ultimately took his life.

Paul Reubens Diagnosed With Cancer

Paul’s cancer battle wasn’t made public until after he passed away. It’s still unclear what kind of cancer Paul was battling for the last six years. The statement from Paul’s team said that the comedic actor “bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit.” The statement also said, “A gifted and prolific talent, he will forever live in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a treasured friend and man of remarkable character and generosity of spirit.”

Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens (Photo: Hbo/Kobal/Shutterstock)

How Long Was Paul Sick?

The message presumably written from Paul before his passing said that his cancer battle began six years ago. So that means he first got sick back in 2017. In the message, Paul asked his fans to “please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years.” The Pee-wee’s Big Adventure star explained that he “always felt a huge amount of love and respect for my friends fans and supporters.” Paul’s message also read, “I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”

Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens (Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock)

Paul stayed out of the spotlight during the last six years of his life. His final film role was the 2016 comedy Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, which he also wrote and produced. His final TV role was a 2019 episode of The Conners