TrekMovie is deeply sad to report that actor René Auberjonois, who played Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for all seven seasons, has died of metastatic lung cancer at age 79. His son Rèmy-Luc confirmed the sad news, and said that René died at his home in Los Angeles.
Auburjonois had a long and amazing career even before taking on the unforgettable role of Odo on DS9. He began in in theater, landing his first Broadway role in 1968 and soon appearing in three plays simultaneously, alongside future DS9 co-star Frank Langella. He eventually became a director as well.
In the movies, he was Father Mulcahy in the original film version of MASH, as well as dozens of other films, including his first appearance in the Star Trek franchise as Colonel West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, although the role was initially cut for the theatrical release. Kids of all ages will remember him as Louis the Chef in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
He appeared on dozens upon dozens of TV shows, and was a regular on three: In addition to playing Odo, he was Clayton Runnymede Endicott III in Benson and Paul Lewiston on Boston Legal. He provided voices for numerous animated characters in cartoons and video games, and guest-starred on Enterprise as Ezral in the episode “Oasis,” He was also a director.
Fans who were fortunate enough to meet him at Trek conventions helped him raise money for his favorite charity, Doctors Without Borders. He signed his autographs with a drawing of Odo’s bucket, and often posted the drawings along with happy fans holding them on social media.
We mourn the loss of this great actor and human being, who played Odo with such grace, depth, humor, and complexity as he fought for justice, struggled with his identity, discovered his origins, fell in love, and sacrificed for those he loved, trading verbal quips and insults with Quark at every step along the way. Our sincerest condolences to his friends and family. We are heartbroken.
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
I love and respect Rene more than I can say right now. This beautiful soul. My heart. Oh pic.twitter.com/ohNOq0c0Si
— Nana Visitor (@NanaVisitor) December 8, 2019
I cannot express how much you meant to me. I will truly miss you my dear colleague, mentor, father figure, friend. pic.twitter.com/zE9TeyOzf5
— Terry Farrell (@4TerryFarrell) December 9, 2019
— Ira Steven Behr (@IraStevenBehr) December 8, 2019
When Rene was cast as Odo, he joked "I hope #DS9 will replace Benson on my tombstone." He will be remembered for both, for Boston Legal, for The Little Mermaid, & so much more. His portrayal of Odo, under all that latex, was subtle, emotional, & astounding. One of the greats. pic.twitter.com/Z6YzC5xgMh
— Robert Hewitt Wolfe (@writergeekrhw) December 8, 2019
I feel truly fortunate to have worked with Rene and truly blessed for the time spent over the years with this lovely man & beautiful soul. My deepest condolences to his family Big hugs today to my #startrekfamily &to all who loved him
— Nicole deBoer (@Nikki_deboer) December 9, 2019
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
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
@reneauberjonois You were a spectacular artist from Altman film IMAGES to Star Trek:DS9 and the million performances in between. A devoted family man, a visual artist, and loving and loves le human being. Thanks for showing the world how to do it. #love #admiration
— Gates McFadden (@gates_mcfadden) December 8, 2019
Goodbye, René. We love you. pic.twitter.com/kNuhk2nYW1
— Michael Okuda (@MikeOkuda) December 8, 2019
View this post on Instagram
I am shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Rene Auberjonois, whom I first met on the set of MRS COLUMBO. I was 23 years old and vividly recall his great kindness, his terrific sense of fun, and thinking oh, how wonderful it would be to have this man as a friend! This miracle came to pass and it was much, much better than wonderful. How missed he will be! The singular and splendid Rene Auberjonois. Photo credit: @roddenberryofficial
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
So so sad to hear of the passing of René Auberjonois. Deep Space 9 was the show that started my love for Star Trek, and that's in no small part due to his wonderful performance as Odo. May he rest in peace. #DS9 #ReneAuberjonois
— Erika Lippoldt (@gryphonmetal) December 8, 2019
René’s final tweet:
— Rene Auberjonois (@reneauberjonois) December 6, 2019