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.

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Jhh 1 month ago

my top 5 favorite shows (I know what I said)
seawolf7103 1 month ago
"Harris from The Post" in Where The Buffalo Roam
GinaBaby 1 month ago
What a great actor! We sure have lost a lot of good ones this year. :( RIP Rene.
jorel 1 month ago
Rene Auberjonois has a long IMDB resume. He did a fair amount of voice over work for cartoons as well. Rest in peace.
MayfairMagee 1 month ago
I remember him in an episode of the "Charlie's Angels" TV series as the sleazy owner-emcee of a disco roller rink who kidnaps-for-ransom a skater from a wealthy family.
Lillyrose 1 month ago
Rene Auberjonois was great on “Benson.” I never watched the other 2 shows, or the movie “Mash.” He was also in the movie “The Patriot”. He played the minister. R.I.P., Rene!
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Odo = AWESOME! R.I.P., Rene. You will be missed! Great actor! :)
Pacificsun 1 month ago
Gosh, 2019 was a bad year for losing people. So many towards the conclusion of the year too. Mr. Auberjonois was a really elite actor, also stage worthy. Somewhat overcast in Benson but added a lot of class to the series! Fantastic (and fascinating) as Odo in ST:DSN, giving the character more dimension than he otherwise would've had. Always walked a fine line between comedy and drama. He has been missed for a long time. RIP.
bnichols23 Pacificsun 1 month ago
Yeah, I loved RA's work, all of it. Extremely underrated actor who could be strong in any genre you put him in. :\
jeopardyhead 1 month ago
You left out his guest spot on The Bob Newhart Show.
Yes, there's more than enough material in the MeTV catalog to salute Auberjonois, perhaps maybe borrow a few DS9 episodes from sister channel H&I!
teire jeopardyhead 1 month ago
Some great twists in that one.
ginsterc jeopardyhead 1 month ago
His guest spots on Frasier were hilarious.
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