Rene Auberjonois in Boston Legal curtsey of ABC
Tony winner, Rene Auberjonois has died at 79 after a battle with metastatic lung cancer in California.
In 1968, Auberjonois landed a role on Broadway, and appeared in three plays simultaneously: as Fool to Lee J. Cobb’s King Lear (the longest running production of the play in Broadway history), as Ned in A Cry of Players (opposite Frank Langella), and as Marco in Fire!
I first saw Rene Auberjonois on stage when he earned a Tony for best lead actor in a musical for his role opposite Katharine Hepburn in Coco. Auberjonois went on to receive Tony nominations for The Good Doctor (1973), Big River (1984), and City of Angels (1989), all of which I saw.
In the 80’s I thrilled when Auberjonois appeared as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in ABC’s long-running sitcom Benson. The role earned him an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a comedy in 1984. His appearance as Judge Mantz in ABC’s The Practice earned him another Emmy nod for guest actor in a drama in 2001.
Whenever you turned on the TV Auberjonois was guest staring in Murder, She Wrote, The Jeffersons, The Outer Limits, L.A. Law, Stargate SG-1, Frasier. He brought his unique brand of comedy.
Auberjonois came to national attention when he played shape-shifter Changeling Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1992 and carried that role into video games, voicing Odo in Harbinger and The Fallen.
He also did 71 episodes of Boston Legal with William Shatner.
His first film role came with MASH in 1970, in which he played Father Mulcahy with Robert Altman. He continued with Altman in McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Brewster McCloud, 1976’s King Kong, The Patriot, as well as parts in Batman Forever, Eyes of Laura Mars and Walker, were just some of the films he enhanced.
Auberjonois is also known for the voiced Professor Genius in Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, Louis the Chef in the 1st and 2nd Little Mermaid films.
Auberjonois was a truly gifted actor who gave much and will be missed.
Auberjonois is survived by his Judith, his wife of 56 years, their children Remy and Tessa, both of whom are actors, and several grandchildren.