Pee-wee Herman actor Paul Reubens died of acute myelogenous leukemia.
According to the actor’s death certificate, obtained by The Blast, Reubens was also battling metastatic lung cancer in the months leading up to his death.
Per the death certificate, Reubens ultimately died of “acute hypoxic respiratory failure,” which happens when “the respiratory system cannot adequately provide oxygen to the body, leading to hypoxemia.”
Acute myelogenous leukemia is a form of blood cancer that also affects bone marrow. Reubens died in July at age 70. His family released a statement announcing the news on Instagram.
“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness,” the statement read.
“Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit,” the statement continued. “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.”
The Instagram post also included a quote from Reubens himself.
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” Reuben’s statement read. “I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
The post also revealed that Reubens asked that any expressions of sympathy be made in honor of his late parents, Judy and Milton Rubenfeld, to Stand Up to Cancer or organizations involved in Dementia and Alzheimer’s care, support and research.