Award winning actor and Theater Hall of Fame member Rene Auberjonois died December 8 in his Los Angeles home at the age of 79 as a result of cancer.
A prolific actor that appeared in over 200 film, television, and Broadway productions, Auberjonois is best known to millions of “Star Trek” fans as the shape shifter Odo on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
Beginning his acting career in the theater, Auberjonois once said, “I’m never going to retire. I’ll die with my boots on.” He appeared in four productions this year alone and will appear in “Cortex” which is currently in post production.
After making his Broadway debut in 1968 in a revival of the play “King Lear”, Auberjonois performed in “A Cry of Players”, “Fire”, “Coco”, Twelfth Night”, “Tricks”, “The Good Doctor”, “Break a Leg”, “Big River”, “Metamorphosis”, “City of Angels”, “Dance of the Vampires”, and “Sly Fox” earning a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Auberjonois’s television debut was an uncredited role in “Lilith” in 1964. Since that time he has appeared in film and television as hundreds of characters and provided the voice over for cartoon characters including Father John Mulcahy in the original film “M*A*S*H”, “Mod Squad”, ”Love, American Style”, “The Jeffersons”, “Rhoda”, “The Bionic Woman”, “Eyes of Laura Mars”, “Starsky & Hutch”, “Wonder Woman”, “Charlie’s Angels”, Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in 135 episodes of “Benson”, “Murder, She Wrote”, Dr. Strangesnork and other voices in 42 episodes of “Snorks”, Merlin in the TV movie “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, an uncredited role as Colonel West in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”, “Matlock”, security chief Odo in 173 episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “The Patriot”, “Stargate: SG-1”, Scotish cousin Hagen Bridges in an episode of “Nash Bridges”, “Star Trek Enterprise”, Paul Lewiston in 71 episodes of “Boston Legal”, “Madam Secretary”, and his final role in “First Cow”.
Auberjonois made his television directorial debut in “Marblehead Manor” in 1987. He also directed eight episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”.
Along with the over 200 film and television appearances, Auberjonois appeared as himself in award shows, talk shows, documentaries, and as a narrorator on a number of programs.
He was born René Murat Auberjonois on June 1, 1940 in New York City; a first generation American to a French mother and a Swiss father. His childhood was spent between New York, Paris, and London.
When not acting, he was a photographer, gourmet chef, artist, and recorded audiobooks.
He is survived by his wife of over 50 years Judith, children Remy and Tessa, sisters Marie-Laure and Anne, and grandchildren.
feature photo credit: By Beth Madison – https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixellle/3814131230/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17111179