Actor / Comedian
Date Of Birth:
27 August 1952
Place Of Birth:
Peekskill, New York
Best Known As:
The comedian who created the alter ego Pee-wee Herman
Name at birth: Paul ReubenfeldPaul Reubens played Pee-wee Herman, the sweetly juvenile prankster in a red bow tie, in the Saturday-morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse. Paul Reubens was a member of the improvisational comedy group The Groundlings (along with Phil Hartman) in the 1970s, where he developed the Pee-wee character. Pee-wee was an asexual man-boy who combined kitsch with off-beat humor, and by 1985 the character was so popular that Reubens got his chance for a feature film. He hired newcomer Tim Burton to direct, and Pee-wee's Big Adventure was a surprise box office hit. CBS ended up giving him a shot at a children's show on Saturday mornings, Pee-wee's Playhouse. The show was popular with viewers and critics, but ended in 1990. In 1991, Reubens was arrested at an adult movie theater in Florida and charged with indecent exposure. (He eventually pleaded no contest to the charge.) Reubens stopped performing as Pee-wee Herman and disappeared from the public eye for awhile, but then began to take occasional roles in movies, such as Matilda (1996), Mystery Men (1999, with Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo), Blow (2001, co-starring with Johnny Depp and Penelopé Cruz) and Life During Wartime (2009). In late 2009 Reubens resurrected the Pee-wee character for a series of live stage shows, and in 2016 he starred in a feature film sequel, Pee-wee's Big Holiday.
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