Rene Auberjonois, actor, dies

Rene AuberjonoisActor Rene Auberjonois, best known in genre circles for playing security chief Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine for seven years, dies of metastatic lung cancer at the age of 79. A Tony-winning stage actor who didn’t break into films until Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H in 1970, he quickly became a familiar face on TV (Night Gallery, Ellery Queen, The Jeffersons, The Bionic Woman, Man From Atlantis, Wonder Woman, Beyond Westworld) and in movies (King Kong, The Big Bus, Eyes Of Laura Mars); the early 80s saw a new focus on voice roles for animation, including Smurfs, Super Friends, Challenge Of The Gobots), as well as the regular role of uptight chief of staff Clayton Endicott III on the political comedy Benson from 1980 through 1986. After Benson’s run, more voice work beckoned, including the role of Louis in Disney’s The Little Mermaid in 1989. 1991 saw his first appearance in the Star Trek universe, as warmongering conspirator Colonel West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a role which landed on the cutting room floor until those scenes were reinstated for the home video release. In 1992, he was cast as Odo, a pivotal regular character on Deep Space Nine, winning him a new generation of fans as the series ran through 1999. Other genre roles include guest stints on The Outer Limits, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Stargate SG-1, Warehouse 13, The Librarians, and Star Trek: Enterprise (though in a role unrelated to Odo). From 2004 through 2008, he was a regular on the William Shatner legal dramedy Boston Legal.

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