John Paragon, the actor who played Jambi the genius in “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, has passed away. He was 66 years old.
A Riverside County Coroner official in California confirmed to Fox News that Paragon died on April 3 in Palm Springs. His cause of death has not been disclosed.
Paragon is said to have made his debut in the theater industry at The Groundlings, a theater school in Hollywood where he performed improvisation alongside Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens and Cassandra Peterson.
His death was first reported by TMZ. The Groundlings reacted to his death on Twitter on Thursday, writing: “RIP John Paragon”.
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He made his television debut in “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” premiered in 1980. Beginning in 1986, Paragon reprized his role of Jambi the Genius in “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, which ended in 1990. According to Yahoo, Paragon also wrote and directed several episodes of the children’s series.
Paragon also portrayed the memorable role in “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” in 1988. It won an Emmy nomination for Best Writing in a Children’s Show Special, according to the exit.
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Two decades after the end of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, Paragon portrayed the genius on stage in an adaptation of “Pee-wee Herman”.
But genius wasn’t the only role Paragon held throughout his career. He has appeared in several television shows, including “Cheers”, “Seinfeld”, “Pacific Blue”, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Elvira’s Movie Macabre”.
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Paragon also had a recurring role in “The Breather”. As for his big screen presence, the actor has appeared in “Honey I Blew Up the Kid”, “The Frog Prince”, “Echo Park” and “Airplane II: The Sequel”.