Veteran character actor René Auberjonois, best known for his memorable roles on Boston Legal and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has sadly passed away. According to his son, Auberjonois died on Sunday in his home due to complications from metastatic lung cancer. He was 79 years old.
Born in 1940, René Auberjonois studied theatre in high school, later pursuing stage work with several different theatre companies after college. By the late '60s, he was performing on Broadway, earning a Tony Award in 1969 for his role in Coco. Though Auberjonois would find success in film and TV work as well, he would continuously perform on stage for the next several decades, and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame just last year.
In film, Auberjonois is known for playing Father Mulcahy in the original MASH movie, also starring in movies like Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach and The Patriot. Some of his many, many roles on television also include stints on Frasier, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Batman: The Animated Series, Benson, and The Practice. Perhaps his most well-known small screen roles were starring on Boston Legal as legal advisor Paul Lewiston and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Constable Odo, the station's chief of security.
Many members of the Star Trek family have commented on the actor's passing. "This is a terrible loss. Star Trek fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as René," wrote original series actor George Takei. "The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him," adds Armin Shimerman, who played Quark on DS9 and had great chemistry with Auberjonois. Star Trek: Discovery star Jayne Brook, who also co-starred with Auberjonois on Boston Legal, also expressed her sadness about the actor's passing, writing in part, "I had the great honor to play his daughter on Boston Legal. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and his many fans. May he rest in peace."
Auberjonois is one of multiple Star Trek stars we've lost in just a matter of days. Last week, writer D. C. Fontana, known for her work penning many Star Trek episodes, passed away after a brief illness. A few days later, Robert Walker Jr. died at the age of 79; the veteran actor had starred in the classic original series episode "Charlie X." Shortly after the news of Auberjonois' passing broke, Star Trek: The Next Generation star Marina Sirtis also revealed her husband Michael Lamper had suddenly died as well. A musician by trade, Lamper had also appeared on an episode of The Next Generation with Sirtis.
Auberjonois is survived by his wife of 56 years, Judith Auberjonois, sisters Marie-Laure Degener and Anne Auberjonois, son Remy-Luc Auberjonois, daughter Tessa Auberjonois, son-in-law Adrian Latourelle, daughter-in-law Kate Nowlin, and three grandchildren. We offer our condolences to them along with everyone else who knew Auberjonois. He will be badly missed, but his work will preserve his legacy forever. This news comes to us from The Associated Press.