Actor Rene Auberjonois has passed away at the age of 79, his son Remy Auberjonois confirmed. Remy Auberjonois said that the Tony-winning actor died on Sunday. The cause of death was metastatic lung cancer, he added. In a statement, Remy Auberjonois called his father a "proud progressive and consummate professional and craftsman." He also praised the work his father did for Doctors Without Borders.
"He was married to my mother for 56 years. He was a dedicated father and grandfather and he had a fantastic sense of humour," he added. Rene Auberjonois is mostly for his diverse roles on long-running TV shows like "Benson," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Boston Legal".
Initially a stage actor, his most notable role came in Robert Altman's 1970 film "M*A*S*H." as Army chaplain Father John Mulcahy.
He won a Tony Award in the same year for his role in "Coco," a Broadway musical about fashion legend Coco Chanel that starred Katharine Hepburn. He was nominated in 1975, 1985 and 1990 for his theatre roles in "The Good Doctor," "Big River" and "City of Angels," respectively.
Rene Auberjonois was also nominated for an Emmy twice.
He earned his first nomination in 1984 in the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series category for his role as Clayton Endicott III, the hardworking yet pompous governor's chief of staff he portrayed for seven seasons on "Benson".
The next nod came in 2001 as an outstanding guest actor in a drama series for an appearance as a judge in "The Practice." He also appeared in "Boston Legal," a spinoff of "The Practice," for five seasons between 2004 and 2008.
On "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", Rene Auberjonois portrayed Odo for its seven-season run in the 1990s.
Fellow actors George Takei and William Shatner took to Twitter to mourn his demise.
"This is a terrible loss. 'Star Trek' fans knew him as Odo from Deep Space Nine. We knew him as Rene. 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," tweeted "Star Trek" veteran Takei.
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
Shatner, who featured with Rene Auberjonois in "Star Trek" and "Boston Legal", said he remembered his co-star as a wonderful friend.
"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 and Remy I send you my love and strength. I will keep you in my thoughts and remember a wonderful friendship with Rene," Shatner wrote.
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