Paul Reubens, the actor known best for playing Pee-wee Herman, wrote a message to his fans just before his death.
It was revealed in a post on social media that the 70-year-old had been secretly battling cancer.
The statement said: "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.
"Paul bravely and privately fought cancer for years with his trademark tenacity and wit.
"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."
Pee-wee Herman was an iconic character who was born in the 1980s.
The child-like character originated as a stage act, however it wasn't long before HBO snapped it up and turned it into a TV special in 1981.
Four years later, the world was introduced to the now legendary Pee-wee's Playhouse.
It became an Emmy Award-winning children's series that ran from 1986 until 1990 and also had a 1985 movie titled Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
It was a humungous success, however Reubens took a long break from the role in 1991 and it wasn't until 2016 that he made his big return.
In the same post that announced his death, there was a message from the star and it was directed at his fans.
He said: "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."
Tributes have poured in following the news of the 70-year-old's passing.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure director Tim Burton wrote: "Shocked and saddened.
"I’ll never forget how Paul helped me at the beginning of my career. It would not have happened without his support. He was a great artist. I’ll miss him.”
Judd Apatow wrote: "This is devastating news. We got to spend many years working with Paul on Pee Wee’s Big Holiday and got to see his genius and kindness up close.
"He made the world so happy! Some of the biggest laughs I have every experienced was watching him perform live. He is irreplaceable."
RIP to a legend of the big and small screen.Featured Image Credit: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic. Warner Bros.