René Auberjonois, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Boston Legal Actor, Dead at 79

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

René Auberjonois, perhaps best known for playing Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has died at the age of 79. According to Variety, the actor passed away at home in Los Angeles after a battle with metastatic lung cancer. Before making the leap to the screen, the New York-born Auberjonois started out in theater, at one point appearing in three Broadway plays at the same time, specifically the 1968 productions of King Lear, A Cry of Players and Fire! He won himself a Tony in 1969 for his turn in Coco across from Katherine Hepburn.

The actor was a frequent collaborator of Robert Altman, appearing as Father Mulcahy in the director’s MASH movie, in addition to Altman films like Brewster McCloud, Images, The Player and McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Auberjonois also had roles in The Patriot, King Kong, Eyes of Laura Mars and Batman Forever, among other movies.

Auberjonois also enjoyed an extensive voice acting career, portraying the shellfish-obsessed Chef Louis in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, as well as the film’s sequel, in addition to characters on Batman: The Animated Series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Justice League Unlimited and Archer, just to name a few.

However, Auberjonois found perhaps his most enduring legacy on television, starring in Benson, for which he was Emmy-nominated, Boston Legal and, of course, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as the reticent, deprecatory shapeshifter Odo. The actor also appeared on shows from Charlie’s Angels and Starsky & Hutch, to Frasier and The Good Wife, to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Madam Secretary, among many, many others.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s René Auberjonois Dead at 79