A Man of Many Roles: René Auberjonois Passes at Age 79
Star Trek’s René Auberjonois lost the fight against cancer earlier today, December 8, 2019. His son, Rémy-Luc, confirmed to the Associated Press that his father had passed at age 79 at his home in Los Angeles due to Metastatic Lung Cancer.
Auberjonois is best known for his role as the Changeling Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. While Auberjonois’ character may have been a shapeshifter in fiction, he himself played many different roles during his time in Hollywood. Auberjonois is credited for appearing in Television Shows, Movies, Video Games and more from his role as Father John Mulcahy in MASH in 1970 to his role as President James Buchanan in Raising Buchanan in 2019.
Although he is most notable for his time on screen, Auberjonois’ career as an entertainer started in the 1960s in the theatre. He transitioned from theatre to film as the cinema renaissance of the ’70s began.
The prolific actor is also well known for his role as Paul Lewiston in Boston Legal and for his role as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in the sitcom Benson. His role in Benson won Auberjonois an Emmy Nomination.
Few have touched as many fan bases as Auberjonois. He has guest-starred in almost every medium of entertainment appearing in titles such as Avatar: The Last Airbender (the animated series), Archer, Greys Anatomy, Criminal Minds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Family Guy, and he has done voice work in video games like various Star Trek titles including Star Trek: Online. It’s truly amazing how many fanbases Auberjonois’ life has touched.
After hearing of Auberjonois’ passing, several Hollywood stars including friends and co-stars expressed their sympathy for the loss of Auberjonois and paid tribute to his legacy via social media.
William Shatner, known for his role as Captain Kirk throughout the Star Trek franchise, tweeted “I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor @reneauberjonois. To sum up his life in a tweet is nearly impossible…”
Armin Shimerman, co-star to Auberjonois in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing the role of Quark, tweeted, “It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear, dear Rene Auberjonois. His last message to me was entitled ‘Don’t forget…’ I know that I, Kitty, and all that knew him will never forget. the world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.”
George Takei, best known for his role in Star Trek as Hikaru Sulu, tweeted, “This is a terrible loss. Star Trek fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as René. He was a wonderful, caring, and intelligent man. He shall be missed. When I look out to the stars, I shall think of you, friend.”
Many others expressed their gratitude for Auberjonois and you can see some of them at the end of the article. Auberjonois is survived by his son Rémy-Luc Auberjonois; his wife of 56 years Judith Auberjonois; sisters Marie-Laure Degener and Anne Auberjonois; daughter Tessa Auberjonois; son-in-law Adrian Latourelle, daughter-in-law Kate Nowlin and three grandchildren.
Auberjonois leaves us with a legacy in entertainment matched by few. He has played numerous roles in his lifetime but always stayed true to who Rene Auberjonois really was. In a 2011 interview with the Star Trek website, Auberjonois stated, “I am all of those characters, and I love that. I also run into people, and they think I’m their cousin or their dry cleaner. I love that, too.”
So, whichever Auberjonois you knew, know that he loved that he was that character to you.
Here are more tweets from individuals mourning the loss of Rene Auberjonois:
What are some of your favorite moments from René Auberjonois? Let us know in the comments below!Zackerie Fairfax
Zackerie Fairfax is living proof that you don’t have to be good at video games to love playing them. He has spent tens-of-thousands of hours with a controller in hand playing every genre imaginable and prides himself in being a master-of-none. His childhood consisted of obscure games played by few and enjoyed by fewer, and his adulthood is a mirror image of his youth.
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