Paul Reubens died of respiratory failure after cancer spread to his lungs

Paul Reubens, star of the 1985 classic Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, was suffering from leukemia when he died in July at age 70, according to his death certificate.

Reubens’ cause of death was listed as acute hypoxic respiratory failure, meaning his lungs were not producing enough oxygen. This condition was likely caused by his cancer, which according to the death certificate had also spread to his lungs.

His cancer was described on the death certificate as acute myeloid leukemia, a form of the blood disease that also attacks the bone marrow.

Reubens’ family said in a statement released July 31 after his death that he battled cancer “courageously and privately” for years, “with his trademark tenacity and wit.” Reubens had not previously disclosed a cancer diagnosis.

Paul Reubens from "Pee-Wee's Playhouse"

The Blast first reported Rubens’ cause of death.

The death certificate also states that Reubens was cremated and will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

The Pee-wee’s Big Adventure actor, who has also appeared in films such as Batman Returns, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Matilda, Mystery Men, Blow, Buddy and Dunston Checks “Starred in,” he apologized in a letter published after his death and said he was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

“I have always felt great love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters,” said Reubens. “I loved you all so much and I enjoyed making art for you.”

Paul Reubens joins the AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss "Pee-wee's big holiday" at AOL Studios New York on March 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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