Tim Burton left devastated after Pee-wee Herman star Paul Reubens dies aged 70

Paul Reubens can’t fit into his Pee-Wee Herman suit

Tim Burton has paid tribute to actor Paul Reubens following his death on Sunday.

The Nightmare Before Christmas director, 64, took to his Instagram page to share his sadness after learning of his friend’s death from cancer at the age of 70.

Posting a black and white image of himself with Paul from the set of the 1985 film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Tim captioned the image: “Shocked and saddened. I’ll never forget how Paul helped me at the beginning of my career.”

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was Tim’s directorial debut, and in his Instagram post, he goes on to credit him with helping to launch his successful career saying: “It would not have happened without his support.”

Before ending the tribute by saying: “He was a great artist. I’ll miss him.”


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Fans rushed to comment, with Bobbyalt saying: “One of a kind! No one like him!”

Macleanoxenham commented: “Watched this movie a million times with my dad as kid, thank you both for that memory. RIP Pee Wee.”

Whilst, PeterDriscoll23 also paid tribute to the actor and the movie by saying: “Au revoir Paul. I’m sorry for your loss Tim. Thank you for making the perfect Pee Wee movie.”

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Paul Reubens co-created the character Pee-Wee Herman with Saturday Night Live star Phil Hartman in the late 1970’s.

Paul almost always made his public appearance as the character throughout the 80s before starting to use his real name in later years, enjoying a varied career in film and television.

Pee-wees Big Adventure was a parody of Italian neorealist director Vittorio De Sica’s iconic film Bicycle Thieves.

The film followed Pee-wee as he searched the country looking for his missing red bicycle.

Speaking to Collider in 2006, Paul spoke about the decision to get Tim Burton involved in the project.

He said: “From the first minute of his film, I could tell that he was somebody who was very interested in style.

Before admitting: “There was a lot of stuff about that first film that felt perfect to me. And I was young and new, so I didn’t realize how crazy it was to hire Tim Burton, at the time, And ultimately, in hindsight, it wasn’t crazy, at all.”

His death was confirmed on Monday by his longtime representative, Kelly Bush Novak, who, in an Instagram post on the Offical Pee-wee Herman account, shared with this 442,000 followers that he had fought cancer with his “trademark tenacity and wit.”

Before going on to say: “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.”

A further statement was released with the announcement of his death from Paul, which 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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