Actor René Auberjonois, the prolific actor, who had key roles in the hit sci-fi series “Deep Space Nine,” Robert Altman’s 1970 movie, “M*A*S*H,” and the 1970s comedy sit-com “Benson,” has died at the age of 79.
The actor died in his home in Los Angeles after battling metastatic lung cancer.
In a statement, Remy Auberjonois, said, his father was a “proud progressive and consummate professional and craftsman.”
“He was married to my mother for 56 years,” he said.
“He was a dedicated father and grandfather and he had a fantastic sense of humor.”
In addition to his acting career Auberjonois also supported a number of social causes, including Doctors Without Borders. But it was his acting career that created his legion of fans throughout the world. He was, perhaps, best known for his role as the shape-shifter “Odo” in the Star Trek spinoff “Deep Space Nine.”
“Deep Space Nine” co-star Armin Shimerman, who played Quark in the series, tweeted Auberjonois had reached out to him shortly before he died.
“It is with great heartache and loss I share with you the passing of dear, dear Rene Auberjonois,” Shimerman tweeted.
“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.”
Other “Star Trek” actors also paid tribute to the actor.
“This is a terrible loss,” George Takei tweeted.
“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.”
William Shatner also sent out a message about his “friend and fellow actor.”
“I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor Rene Auberjonois,” Shatner wrote.
“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.”
“Star Trek: Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine” executive producer Rick Berman also put out an emotional message.
“Liz and I just had dinner at René and Judith’s home a few weeks ago…a heartbreaking and unspoken goodbye,” he wrote.
“He was truly a Renaissance man. One of the few I ever met. Always a joy to be with. A dear friend. I will miss him.”
Auberjonois was nominated for an Emmy twice. His first nomination was in 1984 for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for the role of Clayton Endicott III, the pompous chief of staff for a bumbling governor in the series “Benson,” which starred Robert Guillaume.
He was also nominated for the award again in 2001 for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. He played a judge in the legal series, “The Practice.” Auberjonois would go on to have a recurring role in “Boston Legal,” a spinoff of the series, for five seasons.
In addition to his television work, Auberjonois was also a stage actor. He was nominated for a Tony four times, including a win in the Featured Actor category for his role in the 1970 musical “Coco.”