Paul Reubens, star of the 1985 classic “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” had leukemia when he died in July at 70, according to his death certificate.
Reubens’ cause of death was stated to be acute hypoxic respiratory failure, meaning his lungs were not producing enough oxygen. That condition was likely caused by his cancer, which according to the death certificate had also spread to his lungs.
His cancer was described in the death certificate as acute myelogenous leukemia, a form of the blood disease that also attacks bone marrow.
Reubens’ family said in a statement on July 31 released after his death that he had been “bravely and privately” battling cancer for years “with his trademark tenacity and wit.” Reubens had not previously revealed a cancer diagnosis.
The Blast first reported Reubens’ cause of death.
The death certificate also said Reubens was cremated and will be interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
The “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” actor, who also starred in such films as “Batman Returns,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Matilda,” “Mystery Men,” “Blow,” “Buddy” and “Dunston Checks In,” apologized in a letter made public after his death, saying he was diagnosed with the cancer in 2017.
“I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters,” Reubens said. “I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
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