Star Trek’s René Auberjonois lost the fight against cancer earlier today, December 8, 2019. His son, Rémy-Luc, confirmed to the Associated Press that his father had passed at age 79 at his home in Los Angeles due to Metastatic Lung Cancer.
Auberjonois is best known for his role as the Changeling Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. While Auberjonois’ character may have been a shapeshifter in fiction, he himself played many different roles during his time in Hollywood. Auberjonois is credited for appearing in Television Shows, Movies, Video Games and more from his role as Father John Mulcahy in MASH in 1970 to his role as President James Buchanan in Raising Buchanan in 2019.
Although he is most notable for his time on screen, Auberjonois’ career as an entertainer started in the 1960s in the theatre. He transitioned from theatre to film as the cinema renaissance of the ’70s began.
The prolific actor is also well known for his role as Paul Lewiston in Boston Legal and for his role as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in the sitcom Benson. His role in Benson won Auberjonois an Emmy Nomination.
Few have touched as many fan bases as Auberjonois. He has guest-starred in almost every medium of entertainment appearing in titles such as Avatar: The Last Airbender (the animated series), Archer, Greys Anatomy, Criminal Minds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Family Guy, and he has done voice work in video games like various Star Trek titles including Star Trek: Online. It’s truly amazing how many fanbases Auberjonois’ life has touched.
After hearing of Auberjonois’ passing, several Hollywood stars including friends and co-stars expressed their sympathy for the loss of Auberjonois and paid tribute to his legacy via social media.
William Shatner, known for his role as Captain Kirk throughout the Star Trek franchise, tweeted “I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor @reneauberjonois. To sum up his life in a tweet is nearly impossible…”
I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor @reneauberjonois. To sum up his life in a tweet is nearly impossible. To Judith, Tessa & Remy I send you my love & strength. I will keep you in my thoughts and remember a wonderful friendship with René.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 8, 2019
Armin Shimerman, co-star to Auberjonois in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing the role of Quark, tweeted, “It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear, dear Rene Auberjonois. His last message to me was entitled ‘Don’t forget…’ I know that I, Kitty, and all that knew him will never forget. the world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.”
It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear,dear Rene Auberjonois.His last message to me was entitled "Don't forget…" I know that I,Kitty,and all that knew him will never forget.The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him.
— Armin Shimerman (@ShimermanArmin) December 8, 2019
George Takei, best known for his role in Star Trek as Hikaru Sulu, tweeted, “This is a terrible loss. Star Trek fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as René. He was a wonderful, caring, and intelligent man. He shall be missed. When I look out to the stars, I shall think of you, friend.”
This is a terrible loss. Star Trek fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as René. He was a wonderful, caring, and intelligent man. He shall be missed. When I look out to the stars, I shall think of you, friend. https://t.co/IE2gtivRcg
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 8, 2019
Many others expressed their gratitude for Auberjonois and you can see some of them at the end of the article. Auberjonois is survived by his son Rémy-Luc Auberjonois; his wife of 56 years Judith Auberjonois; sisters Marie-Laure Degener and Anne Auberjonois; daughter Tessa Auberjonois; son-in-law Adrian Latourelle, daughter-in-law Kate Nowlin and three grandchildren.
Auberjonois leaves us with a legacy in entertainment matched by few. He has played numerous roles in his lifetime but always stayed true to who Rene Auberjonois really was. In a 2011 interview with the Star Trek website, Auberjonois stated, “I am all of those characters, and I love that. I also run into people, and they think I’m their cousin or their dry cleaner. I love that, too.”
So, whichever Auberjonois you knew, know that he loved that he was that character to you.
Here are more tweets from individuals mourning the loss of Rene Auberjonois:
Rene Auberjonois a true gentleman & passionate artist passed onto the next understanding & we will miss him so much. I was honored to have worked with him on Windows On The World, his second to last film. He delivered an amazing rendition of NY NY – a brilliant artist #sswa #RIP pic.twitter.com/KR5PKylNZe
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) December 8, 2019
I am so sorry to hear that the wonderful René Auberjonois has passed away. I had the great honor to play his daughter on Boston Legal. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and his many fans. May he rest in peace. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/eRxwfmmkcy
— Jayne Brook (@thejaynebrook) December 8, 2019
RIP Rene Auberjonois, a man who loomed large in the TV & film landscape of my youth. I eventually got to meet him and felt so privileged to have done so. My thoughts are with his wonderful family.
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) December 8, 2019
Rest in peace, René Auberjonois. You did many things but this was by far your biggest impact on me. pic.twitter.com/DtdcSgX7Nc
— Benjamin Siemon (@BenjaminJS) December 8, 2019
Rene Auberjonois 1940~2019.
A beloved member of our Star Trek family, among so many other decorated achievements on stage and screen. But above all, one of the sweetest humans I have ever met.
May he rest in God’s peace.#ReneAuberjonois #RIP pic.twitter.com/mK0aua9beV
— Doug Jones (@actordougjones) December 8, 2019
My first ever tv job was an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise where #ReneAuberjonois played my father. I had come from theatre & had never stepped foot on a soundstage before. He could not have been more warm & welcoming.?I learned so much from watching him.? #RIPReneAuberjonois pic.twitter.com/wpo3bXLOeu
— Annie Wersching (@Wersching) December 8, 2019
What are some of your favorite moments from René Auberjonois? Let us know in the comments below!