In 1985, Reubens released his first feature box office success, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, directed by Tim Burton. He was detained in 1991 in Florida and charged with indecent exposure and detained again in 2002 for child pornography charges, which were dropped two years after.
Actor and comedian Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952, in Peekskill, Ny. His fascination with amusement stems From Your Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, which set up the big top close to his childhood house.
Once there, Reubens studied drama in the California Institute of the Arts and performed together with the improv group The Groundlings during the 1970s. It was there that he developed the Peewee character, an innocent man-boy who loved playing tricks on his buddies. His signature grey suit, little red bow tie, slicked back hair and stupid dance moves finished the caricature. In 1981, HBO aired one of Reubens’ live shows, as well as the Peewee happening started.
In 1985, Reubens built on the popularity of his Peewee character by releasing his first feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. The film was directed by Tim Burton and was a tremendous success in the box office.
Reubens’ career took a tremendous hit in 1991. He was detained in Florida and charged with indecent exposure. The scandal soiled his squeaky-clean image, and CBS promptly lost reruns of Pee-wee’s Playhouse from its lineup. Reubens initially confronted public ridicule, however he worked to rise over the controversy. Appearing as Peewee in the 1991 MTV Music Video Awards that same year, he requested the crowd, “Have you heard any good jokes lately?” He also attempted to resuscitate his performing career, appearing in such movies as 1992’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1996’s Matilda, 1999’s Mystery Men and 2001’s Shock. On the tiny display, Reubens got a recurring character on the popular sitcom Murphy Brown.
Recently, Reubens has taken on a fascinating mixture of jobs. He brought his most famous character to Broadway in 2010, starring in The Pee-wee Herman Show. He made his debut as the voice of Jokey in the favorite family comedy The Smurfs the next year and worked on its 2013 sequel too.