More than a month after Paul Reubens died at age 70, fans of the Pee-wee Herman actor now know his cause of death.
Reubens died of acute hypoxic respiratory failure as he battled acute myelogenous leukemia and metastatic lung cancer, according to a death certificate obtained by The Blast.
Hypoxic respiratory failure, also called hypoxemic respiratory failure, occurs when a person does not have enough oxygen in their blood, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Acute myelogenous leukemia, meanwhile, is a cancer in which one’s bone marrow creates immature white blood cells, which later become myeloblasts, per Healthline.
“Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years,” he wrote in a message released posthumously on his Instagram account. “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.”
The caption for the Instagram post read: “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.”
Reubens’ death certificate also reveals the actor was cremated and that he will be laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.