LAS VEGAS, NV – AUGUST 07: Actor Rene Auberjonois on day 5 of Creation Entertainment’s Official … [+]
Actor René Auberjonois, who is remembered for his regularly scheduled TV series roles on Soap spin-off Benson, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and The Practice spin-off Boston Legal passed away at home in Los Angeles due to metastatic lung cancer. He was 79.
Born June 1, 1940 in New York City, actor John Houseman (The Paper Chase), a neighbor, gave Auberjonois his first theater job at the age of 16 as an apprentice at a theater in Stratford, Connecticut. Auberjonois would later teach at Juilliard under Houseman, and he began his career acting at various theater companies around the country.
Before his entry into Hollywood, Auberjonois worked in theater, earning a Tony for Best Lead Actor in a Musical for his role opposite Katharine Hepburn in Coco. He ultimately earned three additional Tony nominations — The Good Doctor in 1973, Big River in 1984, and City of Angels in 1989.
Auberjonois got his first big breaking playing Father John Mulcahy in the theatrical version of “M*A*S*H” in 1970. His other film credits included McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Brewster McCloud, and Images, all from M*A*S*H producer Robert Altman, and The Patriot, Batman Forever and Eyes of Laura Mars.
On television, he made the guest rounds in dozens of series including The Mod Squad, McMillan & Wife, The Bob Newhart Show, The Rookies, Rhoda and The Bionic Woman before behind cast as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in sitcom Benson in 1980. That role resulted in his first Emmy Award nomination in 1984, for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Auberjonois, additionally, lent his voice to numerous animated TV series, including The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, Jonny Quest and Snorks; as well as Disney’s big screen version of The Little Mermaid in 1989. And he appeared as a guest star in series like Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law, and Doogie Howser, M.D. before he began his seven season stint as Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Five years after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came his Emmy nominated role as Paul Lewiston in Boston Legal in 2004, which ran through 2008.
More recently, he appeared in four episodes of CBS political drama Madam Secretary.
Auberjonois is survived by his wife of 56 years, writer Judith Auberjonois; sisters Marie-Laure Degener and Anne Auberjonois; son Rèmy-Luc and daughter Tessa Auberjonois; son-in-law Adrian Latourelle, daughter-in-law Kate Nowlin and three grandchildren.