Updated: January 25, 2020
IN MEMORY OF ACTOR RENE AUBERJONOIS
Rene Murat Auberjonois June 1, 1940 to December 8, 2019) was an American actor and singer best known for playing Odo on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
In films, Auberjonois portrayed Father Mulcahy in MASH (1970), the expedition scientist Roy Bagley in King Kong (1976), and Chef Louis in The Little Mermaid (1989), in which he sang Les Poissons. In the American animated musical comedy film Cats Dont Dance (1997), Auberjonois lent his voice as Flanagan, the human film director of Lil Ark Angel.
In various long-running television series, Auberjonois portrayed a number of characters, including Clayton Endicott III on Benson (for which he was an Emmy Award nominee) and Paul Lewiston on Boston Legal.
He also branched out into voice acting for video games, having appeared in a number of popular video games. He portrayed the Greek mythological figure Talos in the first God of War (2005) game, the enigmatic Mr. House in Fallout: New Vegas (2010), Karl Schafer in the Uncharted video game series, and Odo in Star Trek Online.
Auberjonois was born in New York City. His father, Swiss born Fernand Auberjonois (1910 to 2004), was a Cold War era foreign correspondent and Pulitzer Prize nominated writer. His paternal grandfather, also named Rene Auberjonois, was a Swiss post Impressionist painter. His mother, Princess Laure Louise Napoleone Eugenie Caroline Murat (1913 to 1986), was a great great granddaughter of Joachim Murat, one of Napoleons marshals and King of Naples during the First French Empire, and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleons youngest sister.
Auberjonois wrote that his French family name, an uncommon one in the US, means armorer (someone who makes armor).
His maternal grandmother, Helene Macdonald Stallo (1893 to 1932), was an American, from Cincinnati, Ohio; his maternal grandfathers mother was a Russian noblewoman, Eudoxia Michailovna Somova (1850 to 1924), and his maternal grandfathers paternal grandmother, Caroline Georgina Fraser (1810 to 1879), who was married to Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat, was an American, from Charleston, South Carolina.
Auberjonois had a sister and a brother, and two half-sisters from his mothers first marriage. His family moved to Paris after World War II. That is where, at an early age, he decided to become an actor.
After a few years in France, the family moved back to the United States and joined the South Mountain Road artists colony in Rockland County, New York, whose residents included Burgess Meredith, John Houseman, and Lotte Lenya. During this part of his youth, he performed the young boys part Bert in All My Sons with the community theatre group The Rockland Foundation Players (which later changed its name to Elmwood Playhouse).
The Auberjonois family also lived in London, where Auberjonois completed high school while studying theatre. To complete his education, he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), graduating in 1962.
After college, Auberjonois worked with several different theatre companies, beginning at the prestigious Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and then he traveled between Los Angeles, California, and New York, working in numerous theatre productions. He helped found the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Repertory Company in New York City. He was a member of the Peninsula Players summer theater program during the 1962 season.
In 1968, Auberjonois landed a role on Broadway, and appeared in three plays simultaneously: as Fool to Lee J. Cobbs King Lear (the longest running production of the play in Broadway history), as Ned in A Cry of Players (opposite Frank Langella), and as Marco in Fire! In 1969, he earned a Tony Award for his performance as Sebastian Baye alongside Katharine Hepburn in Coco.
He received Tony nominations for his roles in Neil Simons The Good Doctor (1973) opposite Christopher Plummer; as the Duke in Big River (1984), winning a Drama Desk Award; and, memorably, as Buddy Fidler Irwin S. Irving in City of Angels (1989), written by Larry Gelbart and Cy Coleman.
Auberjonois other Broadway appearances included Malvolio in Twelfth Night (1972); Scapin in Tricks (1973) Mr. Samsa in Metamorphosis (1989) Professor Abronsius in Dance of the Vampires (musical), the English-language version of Jim Steinman's musical adaptation of Tanz der Vampire; and Jethro Crouch in Sly Fox (2004), for which he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award.
Auberjonois appeared many times at the Mark Taper Forum, notably as Malvolio in Twelfth Night and as Stanislavski in Chekhov in Yalta. As a member of the Second Drama Quartet, he toured with Ed Asner, Dianne Wiest, and Harris Yulin. He appeared in the Tom Stoppard and Andre Previn work, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Auberjonois directed many theatrical productions, and starred in the Washington D.C. production of 12 Angry Men (2004), where he portrayed Juror #5 to Roy Scheiders #8 and Robert Proskys #3. He made his debut at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. in 2008 as the titular character in Molieres The Imaginary Invalid.
Auberjonois was on the advisory board of Sci Fest, the first annual Los Angeles Science Fiction One Act Play Festival, held in May 2014.
In 2018, Auberjonois was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Auberjonois played Father Mulcahy in the original film version of MASH. His subsequent film roles included the gangster Tony in Police Academy 5 Assignment Miami Beach (1988), and Reverend Oliver in The Patriot (2000). He made cameo appearances in a number of films, including: Dr. Burton, a mental asylum doctor patterned after Tim Burton, in Batman Forever (1995), and a bird expert who gradually transforms into a bird in Robert Altman's 1970 film Brewster McCloud. He appeared as Colonel West in the 1991 Star Trek film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. His other notable film appearances include; McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Images (1972), Pete N Tillie (1972), The Hindenburg (1975), King Kong (1976), The Big Bus (1976), Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), Where The Buffalo Roam (1980), Walker (1987), My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1988), The Feud (1989), Inspector Gadget (1999), and Eulogy (2004).
Auberjonois portrayed the character of Straight Hollander in the 1993 Miramax film The Ballad of Little Jo. He voiced Professor Genius in Little Nemo Adventures in Slumberland, Louis the Chef in the 1st and 2nd Little Mermaid films, Flanagan in Cats Dont Dance, the Butler in Joseph: King of Dreams, and the concierge in Planes Fire & Rescue.
In addition to having been a regular actor on three TV shows (Benson, a situation comedy; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in science fiction; and Boston Legal, a legal dramedy), Auberjonois guest starred on many television series, including; Ellery Queen, Family, Greys Anatomy, The Rockford Files, Charlie's Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Wonder Woman, Harry O, The Jeffersons, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, Hart to Hart, Matlock, Murder, She Wrote, The Bionic Woman, Frasier, Judging Amy, Chicago Hope, The Bob Newhart Show, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stargate SG-1, Warehouse 13, Archer, L.A. Law, The Practice (for which he received an Emmy nomination, playing a different character than the one he played on The Practice spinoff Boston Legal), Saving Grace, Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Criminal Minds, NCIS, The Good Wife, The Librarians, and Madam Secretary.
His television movie credits include The Rhinemann Exchange, The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, Disneys Geppetto, Gore Vidals Billy The Kid, the remake of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court, and the Sally Hemings An American Scandal (2000) miniseries. He portrayed the character, Fortunato, in an episode of American Masters entitled Edgar Allan Poe Terror of the Soul (1995). He received a third Emmy Award nomination for his performance in ABCs The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He played NASA scientist, Dr. Felix Blackwell, in the episode Phoenix on NCIS.
Auberjonois voiced animated roles, including characters on Snorks, Batman The Animated Series, Leonard McLeish on Pound Puppies (2010), Avatar the Last Airbender, Master Fung in the first episodes of Xiaolin Showdown (before being replaced by Maurice LaMarche), Azmuth on Ben 10 Omniverse, Renard Dumont on The Legend of Tarzan, Justice League Unlimited, Max Steel, Fantastic Max, Challenge of the Gobots (as the treacherous Dr. Braxis), Archer, Young Justice, Random! Cartoons, and Avengers Assemble. He lent his voice talents to the 2001 Public Broadcasting System (PBS) American Experience docufmentary, Woodrow Wilson, as the title character, along with the 2003 PBS historical documentary Kingdom of David The Saga of the Israelites.
Auberjonois directed television shows, including Marblehead Manor, and various episodes of Deep Space Nine.
Auberjonois was active in radio drama. He read The Stunt by Mordechai Strigler for the NPR series Jewish Stories From the Old World to the New, and he recorded novels on tape. On PRI, he was featured numerous times on Selected Shorts, reading works of dramatic fiction. His voice was heard in Disneys The Little Mermaid (receiving alphabetical top billing as Chef Louis and singing Les Poissons), and as The Skull in The Last Unicorn.
He did voice work on the Challenge of the GoBots series in 1980s as Dr. Braxis, He was the voice of Peter Parker on the 1972 Buddah Records Spider Man LP From Beyond the Grave (BDS 5119), a radio-style narrative replete with sound effects and rock and roll song interludes provided by The Webspinners, in which the characters of The Vulture, The Lizard, The Green Goblin, The Kingpin, Aunt May and Doctor Strange appeared.
In 1984-85, he lent his voice to Desaad, an associate of the villainous Darkseid on the animated series Super Friends. From 1986-87, he voiced Alvinar in the cartoons series Wildfire. He also provided the voice of Professor Genius in Little Nemo Adventures in Slumberland.
He provided the voice for Janos Audron, an ancient vampire in the Legacy of Kain video game series; he was in Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2, and Legacy of Kain Defiance. He provided the voice of Angler in the Pirates of the Caribbean At Worlds End video game. He voice played General Zod in the Joseph Ruby Kenneth Spears animated Superman series episode titled The Hunter.
Auberjonois provided minor character voices for Justice League, reprising his role as Desaad, and parts such as 2003's In Blackest Night, as Kanjar Ro, a pirate testifying in the trial of the Green Lantern, and as a fellow member of the Green Lantern Corps in other episodes.
In 2003, he provided the voice of Katori in the English dubbed version of semi-sequel to the Hayao Miyazaki film Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns. He reprised an animated version of his character Odo from Star Trek Deep Space Nine in a cutaway joke in Family Guys Stewie Griffin The Untold Story. The cutaway featured a more humanoid-faced Odo threatening Stewies alleged cousin Quark Griffin. Auberjonois also lent his voice to Skylanders Super Chargers.
In 2011, he voiced villain Mark Desmond in Cartoon Networks Young Justice. He was also the voice of Leonard Mcleish in the Pound Puppies series, Pepe Le Pew in 2011 on the Looney Tunes Show, Azmuth in Ben 10 Omniverse, and Ebony Maw in Avengers Assemble.
One of Auberjonoiss earliest forays into video game voice acting was the role of Janos Audron in Soul Reaver 2 he continued to voice the character in subsequent releases in the Legacy of Kain series. According to a behind the scenes featurette in Soul Reaver 2, showing candid discussions among the voice actors during recording, he was surprised at the quality of the writing, asking, This is for a video game?! when the purpose of the recordings was brought to light.
Auberjonois provided the voice of Karl Schafer, the honourable German explorer in the video game Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, and Mr. House, the reclusive New Vegas casino owner in the 2010 video game Fallout New Vegas. He also voiced Dr. Ignatio Mobius in Command and Conquer Renegade. He reprised his role as Odo in the game Star Trek Deep Space Nine The Fallen. In June, 2018 he reprised his role as Odo in the MMORPG game Star Trek Online.