Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: June 1, 1940

Death Date: December 8, 2019

Birth Place: New York, New York

Children: Remy Auberjonois

This lanky, versatile blond award-winning stage actor first gained notice in films as part of Robert Altman's stock company in the 1970s, most notably as the ornithology lecturer who becomes increasingly bird-like in "Brewster McCloud" (1970). Usually cast in offbeat, if a bit snooty, character roles, Rene Auberjonois was featured on the TV series "Benson" (ABC, 1980-86), as Clayton Endicott III, the governor's officious chief aide.

He has attracted the notice of faithful legions of Trekkers as Odo, an enigmatic shape-shifting alien who serves as the space station security chief on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (syndicated, 1993-99). Despite the constraints of heavy makeup, the actor was able to create one of "Trek's" most complex character using little more than his voice and his eyes, playing Odo as a stern, cynical, disciplined lawman with the heart of a romantic hidden underneath.

The New York native graduated from Carnegie-Mellon and studied under John Houseman at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. He also furthered his training as a company member of the Arena Stage and at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. In 1968, he made his NYC stage debut as the Fool in "King Lear" and within two years had won a Tony Award supporting Katharine Hepburn in the musical "Coco" (1970). Despite achieving success in TV, Auberjonois has periodically returned to Broadway, usually netting a Tony nomination for his work, as in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor" (1973), paired with Bob Gunton as the Duke and the King in "Big River" (1985), Roger Miller's musicalization of "Huckleberry Finn," and more recently, as the studio chief modeled on Samuel Goldwyn in the Tony-winning "City of Angels" (1989-90).

On the big screen, Auberjonois debuted in Robert Rossen's "Lilith" (1964) before joining Altman in a series of films that has included "M*A*S*H" (1970), "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971), and "The Player" (1992). He cast in the all-star disaster film "The Hindenburg" (1975), as Burgess Meredith's traveling companion. Other film roles of note include a foppish appearance in "Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach" (1988), as Dr. Burton in "Batman Forever" (1995), and as Prof. Artemus Bradford in the live-action feature "Inspector Gadget" (1999).

The small screen has also provided a wide range of roles for the gifted actor. In 1971, he made a guest appearance in an episode of "Night Gallery" before landing a supporting role in "Once Upon a Dead Man" (NBC), the TV-movie pilot for "McMillan and Wife." Auberjonois played Edgar to James Earl Jones' "King Lear" (PBS, 1974) and made his miniseries debut in "The Rhinemann Exchange" (NBC, 1977). He played the very formal Captain Sir David Edney in two "The Wild Wild West" (CBS) reunion TV-movies in 1979 and 1980 and earned an Emmy nod as the famous Washington Irving character Ichabod Crane in "Once Upon a Midnight Dreary" (CBS, 1979). Other notable appearances have included as Merlin in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur Court" (NBC, 1989) and as a gay man in "The Lost Language of Cranes" (PBS, 1991).

Post-"Deep Space Nine," Auberjonois' credits included a recurring role on the CBS drama "Judging Amy" as Judge Jackson Keeler; a guest spot as a human character on a 2002 episode of UPN's "Trek" spin-off series "Enterprise"; a turn as James Callender in the speculative historical telepic based on Thomas Jefferson's relationship with a female slave, "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal" (2000); portraying Prof. Buonragazzo in Disney's live-action musical TV production of "Geppetto" (ABC, 2000) opposite Drew Carey and "Trek" regular Brent Spiner; and playing a reverend in Roland Emmerich's American Revolution drama "The Patriot" (2000) opposite Mel Gibson and a pastor in the dark, generational comedy "Eulogy" (2004). The actor returned to series television on David E. Kelley's law drama "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004 - ) in a recurring role as the wary legal ace Paul Lewiston, this time co-starring opposite "Trek" legend William Shatner.

Auberjonois has also become a specialist in voice work for animation, starting with the voice of the evil Dr. Braxis in 1985's syndicated "Challenge of the GoBots." He is perhaps best recalled as the French cook Louis in the big screen "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and Professor Genius in "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland" (1990). His other regular TV voices have included Nefir Hassanuf on the Saturday morning version of "Aladdin" and his other credits include "The Adventures of Batman & Robin," "Justice League," "Richie Rich," "The Savage Dragon," "The Legend of Tarzan" and several video games, including voicing Odo for various "Star Trek" products.

Auberjonois and his son Remy-Luc, appeared in a memorable 1988 episode of NBC's "L.A. Law," in which Remy portrayed the neglected progeny of a busy corporate executive who sued his father for abuse in an attempt to gain some attention. His daughter Tessa is also an actress.

Rene Auberjonois died of lung cancer on December 8, 2019. He was 79.

Credits

Windows on the World

Actor
Maury
Movie
2019

First Cow

Actor
Movie
2019

Raising Buchanan

Actor
President James Buchanan
Movie
2019

Certain Women

Actor
Albert
Movie
2016

Blood Stripe

Actor
Art
Movie
2016

This Is Happening

Actor
Cal Plotz
Movie
2015

The LibrariansStream

Guest Star
Mr. McGuire
Series
2014

Madam SecretaryStream

Guest Star
Walter
Series
2014

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Voice
Concierge
Movie
2014

Masters of SexStream

Guest Star
Series
2013
84%

1600 PennStream

Guest Star
Series
2012
41%

The Looney Tunes ShowStream

Guest Voice
Pepé Le Pew
Series
2011

Pound PuppiesStream

Voice
Lenard McLeish
Series
2010

ArcherStream

Guest Voice
Mannfred
Series
2010
91%

The Good WifeStream

Guest Star
Coroner Claypool
Series
2009
93%

Unscripted

Guest
Show
2009

Saving GraceStream

Guest Star
Series
2007
76%

Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!

Voice
Alphonse LaFleur
Movie
2007

Criminal Minds: EvolutionStream

Guest Star
Series
2005

It's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaStream

Guest Star
Dr. Larry Meyers
Series
2005
94%

Grey's AnatomyStream

Guest Star
Series
2005
84%

Boston LegalStream

Actor
Paul Lewiston
Series
2004
86%

Boston LegalStream

Guest Star
Paul Lewiston
Series
2004
86%

Eulogy

Actor
Parson Banks
Movie
2004

NCISStream

Guest Star
Dr. Felix Blackwell
Series
2003

Tarzan & Jane

Voice
Movie
2002

The Cat Returns

Voice
Natori
Movie
2002

Star Trek: EnterpriseStream

Guest Star
Ezral
Series
2001
56%

Burning Down the House

Actor
Pierre
Movie
2001

Sally Hemings: An American ScandalStream

Actor
James Callender
Miniseries
2000

Geppetto

Actor
Prof. Buonragazzo
Movie
2000

The PatriotStream

Actor
Reverend Oliver
Movie
2000
62%

The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea

Voice
Chef Louis
Movie
2000

Joseph: King of Dreams

Voice
Butler
Movie
2000

We All Fall Down

Actor
Tim
Movie
2000

Xyber 9

Voice
Show
1999

Judging Amy

Guest Star
Series
1999

Family Guy

Guest Voice
Odo
Show
1999

Family GuyStream

Guest Voice
Odo
Series
1999

Inspector GadgetStream

Actor
Prof. Artemus Bradford
Movie
1999
20%

The PracticeStream

Guest Star
Series
1997

Cats Don't Dance

Voice
Movie
1997

Los Locos

Actor
Presidente
Movie
1997

Snide & Prejudice

Actor
Dr. Sam Cohen
Movie
1997

The Burning Zone

Guest Star
Series
1996
43%

Poltergeist: The LegacyStream

Guest Star
Series
1996

Nash Bridges

Guest Star
Series
1996

The Outer LimitsStream

Actor
Dlavan
Series
1995

Chicago Hope

Guest Star
Series
1994

Aladdin

Guest Voice
Series
1994

FrasierStream

Guest Star
Professor William Tewksbury
Series
1993
95%

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStream

Actor
Odo
Series
1993
91%

Star Trek: Deep Space NineStream

Director
Series
1993
91%

The Ballad of Little Jo

Actor
Streight Hollander
Movie
1993

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland

Voice
Professor Genius/The Nightmare King
Movie
1992

Wild Card

Actor
Jake Spence
Movie
1992

Le Prédicateur

Actor
Movie
1992

Matlock: The Assassination

Actor
Councilman Leo Brodsky
Movie
1992

Civil Wars

Guest Star
Eugene Wilkenson
Show
1991

RugratsStream

Guest Voice
Jonathan
Series
1991

La parole retrouvée

Actor
Movie
1991

The Lost Language of Cranes

Actor
Geoffrey Lane
Movie
1991

The Feud

Actor
Reverton
Movie
1989

The Little MermaidStream

Voice
Louis
Movie
1989
91%

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Actor
Merlin
Movie
1989

My Best Friend Is a Vampire

Actor
Modoc
Movie
1988

DuckTalesStream

Guest Voice
Dr. Nogood
Series
1987

Walker

Actor
Maj. Siegfried Hennington
Movie
1987

MatlockStream

Guest Star
Series
1986

The Christmas Star

Actor
Sumner
Movie
1986

Guerreros de la Calle

Actor
Movie
1986

3:15

Actor
Horner
Movie
1986

A Smoky Mountain Christmas

Actor
Ned
Movie
1986

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
Homicide Captain Walker Thorn
Series
1984

The New Scooby Doo MysteriesStream

Voice
Various
Series
1984

The Smurfs Christmas Special

Voice
Stranger
Show
1982

The Kid From Nowhere

Actor
Howard
Movie
1982

The Last Unicorn

Voice
The Skull
Movie
1982

Beyond WestworldStream

Guest Star
Series
1980

Where the Buffalo Roam

Actor
Harris
Movie
1980

More Wild Wild West

Actor
Capt. Sir David Edney
Movie
1980

BensonStream

Actor
Clayton Endicott III
Series
1979

Hart to HartStream

Guest Star
Series
1979

Mrs. Columbo: Word Games

Actor
Bradlee
Movie
1979

The Dark Secret of Harvest Home

Actor
Jack Stump
Miniseries
1978

Eyes of Laura MarsStream

Actor
Donald Phelps
Movie
1978
58%

Wonder WomanStream

Guest Star
Series
1976

Charlie's AngelsStream

Guest Star
Series
1976

The Bionic WomanStream

Guest Star
Pierre Lambert
Series
1976

Panache

Actor
Panache
Movie
1976

The Big Bus

Actor
Father Kudos
Movie
1976

King KongStream

Actor
Bagley
Movie
1976
53%

Starsky & HutchStream

Guest Star
Series
1975

The JeffersonsStream

Guest Star
Inspector Keller
Series
1975

The Hindenburg

Actor
Major Napier
Movie
1975

The Rockford FilesStream

Guest Star
Masters
Series
1974

Harry O

Guest Star
Show
1974

Rhoda

Guest Star
Series
1974

King Lear

Actor
Edgar
Movie
1974

Incident at Vichy

Actor
Movie
1973

Shirts/Skins

Actor
Sidney Krebs
Movie
1973

The Bob Newhart ShowStream

Guest Star
Alan Durocher
Series
1972

The Rookies

Guest Star
Series
1972

Pete 'n' Tillie

Actor
Jimmy Twitchell
Movie
1972

Images

Actor
Hugh
Movie
1972

Había una vez un Hombre Muerto

Actor
Movie
1971

Once Upon a Dead Man

Actor
Andre Stryker
Movie
1971

Escape of the Birdmen

Actor
Halden Brevik/Olav Volda
Movie
1971

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Actor
Sheehan
Movie
1971

Night Gallery

Actor
Series
1970

Night Gallery

Guest Star
Series
1970

Brewster McCloud

Actor
The Lecturer
Movie
1970

M*A*S*HStream

Actor
Father "Dago Red" Mulcahy
Movie
1970
84%

Love, American Style

Actor
George
Series
1969

Mod Squad

Guest Star
Nelson Farraday / Endicott Farraday
Series
1968

Petulia

Actor
Movie
1968

LilithStream

Actor
Howie
Movie
1964
86%

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