Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty John Paragon
Born in Alaska, Paragon's career kicked off with the comedy troupe The Groundlings, where he performed alongside comedy greats such as Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman and Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira. "R.I.P. John Paragon," the Groundlings social media account tweeted when news of his death broke on Thursday.
Paragon worked alongside Reubens to help develop The Pee-wee Herman Show for the stage, playing the role of Jambi The Genie. He made his TV debut as Jambi when the show was brought to CBS as Pee-wee's Playhouse and later reprised his role in Broadway adaptation of Reuben's show in 2010. In addition to his portrayal of Jambi, Paragon voiced the character of Pterri the pterodactyl and wrote and directed several episodes of the children's show, including Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special - which earned Paragon an Emmy nomination for Best Writing in a Children's Special.
According to TMZ, he recently worked for Disney, where he was working as an Imagineer helping develop improv routines for performers.