Rene Auberjonois


Actor

About

Also Known As
Rene Murat Auberjonois
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
June 01, 1940
Died
December 08, 2019

Biography

This lanky, versatile blond award-winning stage actor first gained notice in films as part of Robert Altman's stock company in the 1970s, most notably as the ornithology lecturer who becomes increasingly bird-like in "Brewster McCloud" (1970). Usually cast in offbeat, if a bit snooty, character roles, Rene Auberjonois was featured on the TV series "Benson" (ABC, 1980-86), as Clayton Endi...

Family & Companions

Judith Mihalyi
Wife
Married on October 19, 1963.

Biography

This lanky, versatile blond award-winning stage actor first gained notice in films as part of Robert Altman's stock company in the 1970s, most notably as the ornithology lecturer who becomes increasingly bird-like in "Brewster McCloud" (1970). Usually cast in offbeat, if a bit snooty, character roles, Rene Auberjonois was featured on the TV series "Benson" (ABC, 1980-86), as Clayton Endicott III, the governor's officious chief aide. He has attracted the notice of faithful legions of Trekkers as Odo, an enigmatic shape-shifting alien who serves as the space station security chief on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" (syndicated, 1993-99). Despite the constraints of heavy makeup, the actor was able to create one of "Trek's" most complex character using little more than his voice and his eyes, playing Odo as a stern, cynical, discplined lawman with the heart of a romantic hidden underneath.

The New York native graduated from Carnegie-Mellon and studied under John Houseman at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. He also furthered his training as a company member of the Arena Stage and at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. In 1968, he made his NYC stage debut as the Fool in "King Lear" and within two years had won a Tony Award supporting Katharine Hepburn in the musical "Coco" (1970). Despite achieving success in TV, Auberjonois has periodically returned to Broadway, usually netting a Tony nomination for his work, as in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor" (1973), paired with Bob Gunton as the Duke and the King in "Big River" (1985), Roger Miller's musicalization of "Huckleberry Finn," and more recently, as the studio chief modeled on Samuel Goldwyn in the Tony-winning "City of Angels" (1989-90).

On the big screen, Auberjonois debuted in Robert Rossen's "Lilith" (1964) before joining Altman in a series of films that has included "M*A*S*H" (1970), "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" (1971), and "The Player" (1992). He cast in the all-star disaster film "The Hindenburg" (1975), as Burgess Meredith's traveling companion. Other film roles of note include a foppish appearance in "Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach" (1988), as Dr. Burton in "Batman Forever" (1995), and as Prof. Artemus Bradford in the live-action feature "Inspector Gadget" (1999).

The small screen has also provided a wide range of roles for the gifted actor. In 1971, he made a guest appearance in an episode of "Night Gallery" before landing a supporting role in "Once Upon a Dead Man" (NBC), the TV-movie pilot for "McMillan and Wife." Auberjonois played Edgar to James Earl Jones' "King Lear" (PBS, 1974) and made his miniseries debut in "The Rhinemann Exchange" (NBC, 1977). He played the very formal Captain Sir David Edney in two "The Wild Wild West" (CBS) reunion TV-movies in 1979 and 1980 and earned an Emmy nod as the famous Washington Irving character Ichabod Crane in "Once Upon a Midnight Dreary" (CBS, 1979). Other notable appearances have included as Merlin in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur Court" (NBC, 1989) and as a gay man in "The Lost Language of Cranes" (PBS, 1991).

Post-"Deep Space Nine," Auberjonois' credits included a recurring role on the CBS drama "Judging Amy" as Judge Jackson Keeler; a guest spot as a human character on a 2002 episode of UPN's "Trek" spin-off series "Enterprise"; a turn as James Callender in the specualtive historical telepic based on Thomas Jefferson's relationship with a female slave, "Sally Hemings: An American Scandal" (2000), portraying Prof. Buonragazzo in Disney's live-action musical TV production of "Geppetto" (ABC, 2000) opposite Drew Carey and "Trek" regular Brent Spiner; and playing a reverend in Roland Emmerich's American Revolution drama "The Patriot" (2000) opposite Mel Gibson and a pastor in the dark, generational comedy "Eulogy" (2004). The actor returned to series television on David E. Kelley's law drama "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004 - ) in a recurring role as the wary legal ace Paul Lewiston, this time co-starring opposite "Trek" legend William Shatner.

Auberjonois has also become a specialist in voice work for animation, starting with the voice of the evil Dr. Braxis in 1985's syndicated "Challenge of the GoBots." He is perhaps best recalled as the French cook Louis in the big screen "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and Professor Genius in "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland" (1990). His other regular TV voices have included Nefir Hassanuf on the Saturday morning version of "Aladdin" and his other credits include "The Adventures of Batman & Robin," "Justice League," "Richie Rich," "The Savage Dragon," "The Legend of Tarzan" and several video games, including voicing Odo for various "Star Trek" products.

Auberjonois and his son Remy-Luc, appeared in a memorable 1988 episode of NBC's "L.A. Law," in which Remy portrayed the neglected progeny of a busy corporate executive who sued his father for abuse in an attempt to gain some attention. His daughter Tessa is also an actress.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Certain Women (2016)
This Is Happening (2015)
Planes: Fire and Rescue (2014)
Voice
Chill Out, Scooby-Doo (2007)
Alphonse LaFleur
Eulogy (2004)
Geppetto (2000)
Professor Buonragazzo
The Patriot (2000)
We All Fall Down (2000)
(Cameo Appearance)
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Cats Don't Dance (1997)
Voice
Snide and Prejudice (1997)
Dr Sam Cohen
Batman Forever (1995)
Lone Justice (1994)
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992)
Voice Of Professor Genius
Wild Card (1992)
Ned Blessing: The True Story of My Life (1992)
The Player (1992)
Himself
Absolute Strangers (1991)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voice
The Feud (1989)
Reverton
Billy The Kid (Gore Vidal's) (1989)
Drunk
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1989)
Merlin
Longarm (1988)
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988)
My Best Friend Is a Vampire (1988)
Walker (1987)
3:15, The Moment of Truth (1986)
Principal Horner
The Christmas Star (1986)
A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)
The Kid From Nowhere (1982)
Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)
The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979)
Captain Sir David Edney
Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978)
The Big Bus (1976)
King Kong (1976)
Panache (1976)
The Hindenburg (1975)
Shirts/Skins (1973)
Sidney Krebs
images (1972)
Hugh
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
[Patrick] Sheehan
Once Upon a Dead Man (1971)
The Birdmen (1971)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
The Lecturer
M*A*S*H (1970)
Father John Mulcahy, also known as "Dago Red"
Petulia (1968)
Salesman
Lilith (1964)
Howie

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Player (1992)
Other

Cast (Special)

Woodrow Wilson (2002)
Voice
Chasing the Sun (2001)
Voice
Remembering MASH: The 30th Anniversary Cast and Crew Reunion (2001)
The Duel (2000)
Voice
John Brown's Holy War (2000)
Voice
M-A-S-H, Tootsie & God: A Tribute to Larry Gelbart (1998)
Russia's Last Tsar (1996)
Voice
Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul (1995)
Cybermania '94: The Ultimate Gamer Awards (1994)
Presenter
The Lost Language of Cranes (1991)
Emmanuel Lewis: My Very Own Show (1987)
The 40th Annual Tony Awards (1986)
Performer
The Booth (1985)
("Death At Dinner")
Life's Most Embarrassing Moments (1985)
The Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration (1984)
More Wild Wild West (1980)
Scalpels (1980)
Dr Carl Jerrett
Once Upon a Midnight Dreary (1979)
The TV TV Show (1977)
The Ambassador (1974)
King Louis Xvi
King Lear (1974)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Sally Hemings: An American Scandal (2000)
Los Locos (1998)
Sidney Sheldon's "The Sands of Time" (1992)
Ashenden (1992)
The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982)
Voice
The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978)
Jack Stump

Life Events

1945

Family moved to Paris, France (date approximate)

1956

Hired for first theater job by Houseman; served as an apprentice at a theater in Stratford, Connecticut

1962

Appeared in repertory theater with the Arena Stage in Washington, DC

1964

Film debut, "Lilith"

1968

Made Off-Broadway debut as the Fool in Lincoln Center production of "King Lear"

1969

Made Broadway debut in "Fire!"

1969

Appeared on Broadway alongside Katharine Hepburn in the musical "Coco"; won Tony Award

1970

Played Father Mulcahy in Robert Altman's seminal comedy "M*A*S*H*"; also appeared in Altman's "Brewster McCloud"

1971

Made TV-movie debut in "Andre Stryker" (NBC)

1971

First episodic appearance, episode of "Night Gallery" (NBC)

1971

Reteamed with Altman on "McCabe & Mrs. Miller"

1974

Played Edgar in TV version of "King Lear"

1974

Won Tony nomination for his work in Neil Simon's "The Good Doctor"

1976

Had co-starring role in the remake of "King Kong"

1977

Made miniseries debut in "The Rhinemann Exchange" (NBC)

1979

Briefly returned to Broadway in the short-lived "Break a Leg"

1985

Returned to Broadway in featured role of the Duke in "Big River", Roger Miller's musicalization of "Huckleberry Finn"

1985

Began doing cartoon voices with "Challenge of the GoBots"

1989

Voiced the character Louis in Disney's "The Little Mermaid"

1991

Acted in the feature film "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country"

1992

Had cameo appearance as himself in Altman's "The Player"

1993

Co-starred in the revisionist Western "The Ballad of Little Jo"

2000

Again provided voice of Louis in the direct-to-video sequel "The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea"

2000

Had featured role as a cleric in "The Patriot"

2000

Earned Emmy nomination for guest appearance as a judge in an episode of the ABC drama series "The Practice"

2000

Reunited with "Big River" co-star Brent Spiner in the Disney/ABC TV musical "Geppetto"

2001

Had recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Frasier"

2004

Cast in the black comedy "Eulogy"

Videos

Movie Clip

M*A*S*H (1970) - He Was Drafted New head nurse Major Houlihan (Sally Kellerman), who has allied herself with the martinet Major Burns, confronts unorthodox surgeon Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland) in the mess tent, Rene Auberjonois commenting, in director Robert Altman’s counter-culture Korean War comedy M*A*S*H, 1970.
M*A*S*H (1970) - It Worked For Hitler And Eva Braun Trapper (Elliott Gould) and Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland) et al discuss dentist Waldowski (John Schuck), who’s contemplating suicide because he thinks he’s a latent homosexual, improvising a counter-measure in which Father Mulcahy (Rene Auberjonois) is reluctant to assist, in M*A*S*H, 1970.
M*A*S*H (1970) - Open, Suicide Is Painless The opening from Robert Altman, including the rarely-heard lyric from the song, which became the TV title theme, which made writer Mike Altman (the director’s son) rich, and a brief introduction of Colonel Blake (Roger Bowen) and Radar (Gary Burghoff), from M*A*S*H, 1970,
Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978) - Lace Day In Columbus Circle Faye Dunaway the title character most convincing, Brad Dourif a tech, Rene Auberjonois her agent, Michael Tucker an editor, Darlanne Fluegel and Lisa Taylor her models, Irvin Kershner directing on location, Columbus Circle in Manhattan, when the visions come back, in Eyes Of Laura Mars, 1978.
Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978) - I've Seen All Kinds Of Murder Her entourage led by Rene Auberjonois and Michael Tucker at the police station, Faye Dunaway (the photographer title character who somehow saw the murder through the killer’s eyes) finds out Tommy Lee Jones, whom she met earlier, is a detective, and has evidence from the previous killing, while another cop (Frank Adonis) interviews her handyman (Brad Dourif), in Eyes Of Laura Mars, 1978.
Brewster McCloud (1970) - Isolate The Dream Rene Auberjonois is "The Lecturer," an ornithologist, providing a sort of continuity, in the opening of Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud, 1970, featuring Margaret Hamilton as stadium vocalist "Daphne Heap."
McCabe And Mrs. Miller (1971) - Opening, Stranger Song Leonard Cohen’s song and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond’s flash-exposed film multiply the atmosphere of director and co-writer Robert Altman’s opening, his handsome leading man Warren Beatty obscured in thick beard and cumbersome fur coat, in McCabe And Mrs. Miller, 1971.
Hindenburg, The (1975) - When We Arrive At Lakehurst Pre-launch events at Frankfurt, Germany, May 3, 1937, security officer Ritter (George C. Scott) at work as we meet passengers, Peter Donat, Anne Bancroft, Gig Young, parents Alan Oppenheimer and Katherine Helmond, plus Burgess Meredith and companion Rene Auberjonois, in The Hindenburg, 1975.

Trailer

Family

Fernand Auberjonois
Father
Writer.
Laura Auberjonois
Mother
Tessa Auberjonois
Daughter
Actor.
Remy-Luc Auberjonois
Son
Acted with father in 1988 episode of "L.A. Law"; as of 1999, enrolled in the MFA program at Yale drama school.

Companions

Judith Mihalyi
Wife
Married on October 19, 1963.

Bibliography