René Auberjonois, best known for his roles on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and law drama Boston Legal, has died at the age of 79.
His family confirmed that he died following a battle with lung cancer.
New York-born Auberjonois played the character of the changeling Odo, head of security on the Deep Space Nine and a fan favourite, appearing 173 episodes of the Star Trek series.
He also played lawyer Paul Lewiston in five series of Boston Legal, and the role of Clayton Endicott III in the sitcom Benson, as well as a wealth of other TV work, including appearances on shows like Charlie's Angels, Starsky & Hutch, The Rockford Files, Frasier and Murder, She Wrote.
The son of a Pultizer Prize-winning writer and an impressionist painter, he was born in New York, but grew up in Paris and London, where he studied theatre.
Auberjonois also worked many times with the auteur Robert Altman, first in the Korean war black comedy MASH, in which he played Father Mulcahey, and then in movies like The Player with Tim Robbins, McCabe & Mrs Miller, with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie.
As a voice actor, he also played Chef Louis in Disney's The Little Mermaid – singing the song Les Poissons – and latterly lent his skills to video games including the Uncharted and Fallout series.
Many of the Star Trek alumni, as well as countless fans, have paid tribute to Auberjonois.
I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor @reneauberjonois. 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.— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 8, 2019
This is a terrible loss. 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. https://t.co/IE2gtivRcg— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 8, 2019
Oh god. I am sobbing in a parking lot.— Lauren ✨ Galaxy (@LaurenGallaway) December 8, 2019
René Auberjonois was a gift.
From “Les Poissons” to Deep Space Nine, I have loved him most of my life.
We will miss you, friend. pic.twitter.com/TuXqokirw2
RIP Rene Auberjonois, a man who loomed large in the TV & film landscape of my youth. I eventually got to meet him and felt so privileged to have done so. My thoughts are with his wonderful family.— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) December 8, 2019