R.I.P. Rene Auberjonois of Benson, Star Trek and Boston Legal
The Odo actor was 79.
Image: The Everett Collection
René Auberjonois made his breakthrough in MASH as Father Mulcahy. Not the television show, but the 1970 film that preceded the sitcom. The role was recast with William Christopher for the small screen as Auberjonois continued to work in film and television.
He was in the big 1976 King Kong reboot. He turned up in episodes of The Jeffersons and Wonder Woman. In 1980, he landed his next major role, a recurring gig on Benson, the political comedy spun off from Soap.
As Clayton Endicott III, the chief of staff, Auberjonois drew big laughs from his fussy, snobbish character.
The New York native swung from comedy to science fiction for his next beloved role, that of Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Casting the actor as a tough head of security was an inspired an unexpected choice, as his shape-shifting Changeling became a fan-favorite, the sort of "Spock" of the series, if you will.
He would later join another Star Trek legend, William Shatner, in the cast of Boston Legal, playing the managing partner of the Boston office and legal advisor of Crane, Poole & Schmidt.
Auberjonois passed away from lung cancer, according to Variety. He was 79.