Joe Manganiello remembers ‘Brilliant’ Paul Reubens: ‘Best Friends Forever’

Pee-wee Herman star Paul Reubens has passed away at the age of 70

By Maryland Hargreaves August 01, 2023
Joe Manganiello remembers ‘Brilliant’ Paul Reubens: ‘Best Friends Forever’

Joe Manganiello remembers ‘Brilliant’ Paul Reubens: ‘Best Friends Forever’

Paul Reubens passed away on Monday at the age of 70, and Joe Manganiello is in deep sorrow for his loss.

Just hours after Reubens' passing was reported, the Magic Mike actor, 46, paid tribute to him on Instagram. In a heartfelt letter to Reubens, Manganiello called the actor "an artist and a weirdo who fought for other artists and weirdos."

"Man… this is tough," Manganiello began the caption of photos from the stars' Pee-Wee's Big Holiday media tour in 2016. "It’s so hard to say goodbye when you know you’ll never see someone again who meant so much to you. Someone who believed in you, and fought for you, and saw things in you that most people didn’t. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like that. Well, I did, and today I have to say goodbye."

He continued: "Today the world lost one of the greatest comedic geniuses of all time. Paul was subversive, brilliant, witty, and had the biggest heart on the planet… anyone on his Birthday mailing list will know what I mean… He was a visionary who was so far ahead of his time and had one of the scariest eyes for talent I’ve ever seen."

In the Netflix film Pee-wee's Big Holiday, directed by Judd Apatow and starring Reubens and Manganiello, the actors also forged a close connection off-screen.

Reubens was described as "an icon" by the True Blood alum for being able to portray the "lovable underdog" to the world, which Manganiello claimed is "a much better place because it had him [Reubens] in it."

"I’m just so glad that I got to be a part of his life and ultimately his comeback. I saw how tirelessly he showed up for people and his work with such joy," Manganiello said. "I feel lucky that I could always be there for him when he needed me… best friends forever. RIP.'