by Nur Hussein, contributing writer
Today we wish to extend a very happy birthday greeting to René Auberjonois, the actor whom we know and love from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where he primarily played shapeshifting alien, Odo.
Auberjonois was born in New York in 1940. His father was a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and his grandfather was a post-Impressionist painter. He is related to Napoleon Bonaparte on his mother’s side.
Theatre was where Auberjonois’s early acting career started, and he has appeared all over the United States, including Broadway where he starred alongside Katherine Hepburn in the 1969 production Coco. He earned a Tony award for that role. In 1970, Auberjonois starred in the film version of M*A*S*H as Father Mulcahy. Since then he has appeared in numerous films and television shows.
Auberjonois’s foray into Star Trek actually started with a film role in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where he played Colonel West, a Starfleet conspirator in the Chancellor Gorkon assasination. His scenes however did not appear in the theatrical release, but were later restored on home video releases.
The Star Trek role that everyone knows Auberjonois for is Constable Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, an alien with shapeshifting abilities (a Changeling) from the Gamma Quadrant. His character was the chief of security on the Deep Space Nine station, and his race of people were featured heavily in the series’ mythology arc that spanned multiple seasons. Besides Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Auberjonois also guest-starred in one episode of Star Trek Enterprise as the character Ezral.
Auberjonois’s other genre roles include guest roles on the Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Stargate SG1 and Warehouse 13. Outside of genre, he was a series regular on Boston Legal alongside other Star Trek alumni such as William Shatner and Jeri Ryan. He has also done extensive voice acting work, the most famous of which is probably the character of Chef Louis from Disney’s animated film, The Little Mermaid. He has also lent his voice talent for book narrations, and has narrated many of the Pendergast series of novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
René Auberjonois has had a very long and fruitful career, and we wish him many more productive years ahead. Happy birthday!