‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse’ Genie Depicter John Paragon Dies At 66
The Riverside County Coroner confirms that the writer and director passed away back in April at the age of 66 while no cause of death has been made available as of now.
AceShowbiz -The entertainment industry is mourning the death of John Paragon. The actor and comedian who was best known for his role as Jambi the Genie on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” has died at the age of 66 due to unknown cases.
Accoding to TMZ, the Riverside County Coroner confirms that the writer and director passed away back in April. No cause of death has been made available as of now, as his death was only widely known on Thursday, June 17.
The Alaska native started performing improv at the Groundlings in Los Angeles. He got to work with his longtime collaborator Paul Reubens, who tapped him to help him write his early Pee-wee Herman stage shows. Reubens was also the one who gave him the role of Pee-wee’s stalwart, box-based companion: Jambi the Genie. At the Groundlings, Paragon also met Phil Hartman and Cassandra Peterson, who became his collaborators later in his career.
Paragon first debuted on TV when he appeared as Jambi the Genie on “The Pee-wee Herman Show”, a stage show developed by Reubens in 1980 before reprising the role of the sassy genie on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” which ran from 1986-90. Not only contributing as an actor, Paragon helped Reubens write direct several episodes of the beloved children’s show.
He also co-wrote “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” back in 1988. The special scored the actor an Emmy nomination for Best Writing in a Children’s Special. Later in 2010, he once again played the genie in the Broadway adaptation of the “Pee-wee Herman” stage show.
In addition to “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, Paragon’s TV credits included “Cheers“, “Seinfeld“, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine“, “Pacific Blue” and “Elvira’s Movie Macabre“. He also appeared on big screen with “Echo Park“, “The Frog Prince“, “Airplane II: The Sequel” and “Honey I Blew Up the Kid” being among his movie credits.
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