Friends, I had intended to share with you something about Tom Savini and David Letterman when I sat down to write this article – however just a few minutes ago, Rockford Jay informed me that we have lost Rene Auberjonois at the age of 79. While perhaps best known for his role as Odo, the head of security in – my personal opinion – the highly underappreciated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine television series, I first saw him in the 1976 remake of King Kong as Roy Bagley, the geologist employed by the Petrox Corporation. WARNING: A small bit of SALTY language is in this clip.
Rene Auberjonois’ first acting credit was actually in an uncredited role in 1964’s Lilith but I believe he truly began making a name for himself with his role in Robert Altman’s MASH from 1970 as Father John Mulcahy. It would seem he and the famous Director got along well as he would also appear in Altman’s Brewster McCloud – which also was released in 1970 – as well as 1971’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. 1971 was a busy time for Auberjonois as he managed to make appearances in the likes of The Mod Squad, McMillan & Wife, and even Night Gallery – in an episode entitled Camera Obscura. These were all roles that due to my age I would discover as I grew older – besides King Kong I knew Rene best for his role as Clayton Endicott III – the chief of staff and hypochondriac from the popular television series Benson.
Rene Auberjonois had an absolutely stunning career as a voice artist for all manner of animated series and films as well as even video games. Just a few of his notable roles include The Fonz and the Happy Day Gang, The Last Unicorn, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Johnny Quest, God of War, Legacy of Kain, and Avatar: The Last Air Bender. Although I did not know it at the time, he voiced one of my favorite villains from The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians – the cruel and devious Desaad!
While it is absolutely heartbreaking that we have lost Rene Auberjonois – he left behind 228 acting credits as an incredibly worth legacy. Furthermore there are legions of Star Trek fans that remember him for his incredible character arc as Odo – in addition to his charming personality at numerous conventions over the years.
“We will dim the lights in the auditorium.”