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Paul Reubens, an actor best known for playing Pee-wee Herman in children's movies in the 1980s, passed away on Sunday night at the age of 70, his team reported.

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He had been diagnosed with cancer years earlier.

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On Monday, a post on the Herman persona's Facebook page read, "Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens."

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The three-time Emmy nominee was described as "a legendary American actor, comedian, writer, and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity,

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Whimsy, and belief in the value of kindness," according to the statement.

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"Paul heroically and secretly battled cancer for years with his characteristic wit and grit.

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He is a talented and prolific artist who will always hold a special place in the comedy pantheon and in our hearts as a beloved friend and a man of extraordinary character and generosity of spirit.

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 "Please accept my apology for not going public with what I've been facing the last six years," Reubens wrote in a note that was posted to Instagram after his death along with a statement from his team.

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"My friends, admirers, and supporters have always shown me a tremendous amount of love and respect.

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 I have cherished creating art for everyone of you and have appreciated doing so.