Rene Auberjonois Biography
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: René Murat Auberjonois
Born Country: United States
Born in: New York, New York, United States
Famous as: Actor, Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Judith Mihalyi (m. 1963)
father: Fernand Auberjonois
mother: Princess Laure Louise Napoléone Eugénie Caroline Murat
children: Remy Auberjonois, Tessa Auberjonois
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)
awards: Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
René Murat Auberjonois is a veteran American film, television and theatre actor, and singer. Coming from an artistic family with his father a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and grandfather one of Switzerland's best-known post-Impressionist painters, Auberjonois resolved to become an actor at a young age. He found a great mentor in British-American actor and producer John Houseman who gave Auberjonois his first theatre job at age 16. Auberjonois graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University studying theatre and performed in several stage productions. He helped in founding the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Repertory Company in New York. He won a Tony Award performing in Broadway musical ‘Coco’. Moving on, he showcased his versatility playing various roles both on-screen and on-stage. His rich oeuvre spanning over five decades includes playing notable roles in television series like ‘Benson’, ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Boston Legal’; in films like ‘MASH ‘ and ‘The Patriot’; and contributing voice roles in animated films like ‘The Little Mermaid’. He has also lent his voice for radio programs, book narrations and video games.
- René Murat Auberjonois was born on June 1, 1940 in New York, US to a respected journalist and Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer Fernand Auberjonois and Laure Louise Napoléone Eugénie Caroline Murat. René Victor Auberjonois, a Swiss post-impressionist painter counted among prominent Swiss artists of the 20th century was his paternal grandfather. Other notable ancestors of Auberjonois include his great-great-great-maternal grandfather Joachim Murat, a Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. The latter’s younger sister and Joachim Murat’s wife Caroline Bonaparte was Auberjonois’ great-great-great-maternal grandmother.
- Auberjonois has a brother and a sister as also two maternal half-sisters from his mother’s previous marriage. Following the Second World War, his family relocated to Paris, France. It was there that the young Auberjonois resolved to pursue acting. A few years later, his family returned to the US and started living in an artists' colony in Rockland County, New York. Their neighbours included Helen Hayes, Burgess Meredith and John Houseman.
- His family resided in London, UK for a while where he studied theatre and completed high school education. He later attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (at present Carnegie Mellon University) and completed his graduation from there in 1962. He studied theatre thoroughly including learning the entire process of producing a play.
- Following college, Auberjonois began working at the prestigious Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. and eventually worked with many theatre companies, travelling between New York, California and Los Angeles. Auberjonois helped in launching the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Repertory Company in New York. During the 1962 season, he remained member of the Peninsula Players summer theatre program
- He got his first Broadway work in 1968. He featured in Lee J. Cobb’s ‘King Lear’ that emerged as the play’s longest running production in the history of Broadway.
- His remarkable performance as Sebastian Baye opposite Katharine Hepburn in the 1969 Broadway musical ‘Coco’ won him a Tony Award. He also received Tony Award nominations for his performances in the plays ‘The Good Doctor’ (1973), ‘Big River’ (1984) and ‘City of Angels’ (1989). He won a Drama Desk award for ‘Big River’. Other Broadway performances of the actor include in plays like ‘Twelfth Night’ (1972), ‘Tricks’ (1973), ‘Metamorphosis’ (1989) and ‘Sly Fox’ (2004).
- Auberjonois has also directed several on-stage productions. He remained on advisory board of Sci-Fest while the annual festival was first held on May 6, 2014. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2018.
- Auberjonois initially starred in many Robert Altman films, most notably as Father Francis John Patrick "Dago Red" Mulcahy in the blockbuster hit 1970 American black-comedy-war film ‘MASH’. Other notable films starring him include ‘Pete 'n' Tillie’ (1972), ‘Eyes of Laura Mars’ (1978) and ‘The Patriot’ (2000). He appeared in uncredited roles in the hit films ‘Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country’ (1991) and ‘The Princess Diaries’ (2001). He will be seen starring along with John Magaro in the upcoming American drama film ‘First Cow’.
- Meanwhile from 1980 to 1986, he starred as Clayton Endicott III in the ABC aired American sitcom series ‘Benson’. The role fetched him an Emmy Award nomination. He furthered his fame on small-screen starring as Odo in the American sci-fi series ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ (1993-1999); and Paul Lewiston in the American legal comedy-drama series ‘Boston Legal’ (2004-2008). He earned two more Emmy Award nominations, for ABC's ‘The Practice’ and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.
- He guest starred in notable TV series like ‘Charlie's Angels’ (1979), ‘L.A. Law’ (1988), ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ (2002), and ‘Criminal Minds’ (2011); and featured in miniseries like ‘The Rhinemann Exchange’ (1977) and ‘The Dark Secret of Harvest Home’ (1978).
- Auberjonois also tried his hands on direction working on a couple of episodes of the American sitcom series ‘Marblehead Manor’ between 1987 and 1988, and some episodes of ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’.
- Expansive showbiz career of Auberjonois has also seen him establish as a seasoned voice actor working in different animated films, television shows, radio programs, video games, and book narrations.
- One of his most notable voice roles was that of Chef Louis in the critically and commercially successful 1989 American animated musical-romantic-fantasy film ‘The Little Mermaid’. He also sang ‘Les Poissons’ in the film and lent his voice in the 2000 released direct-to-video sequel of the film titled ‘The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea’. He also gave voice-overs in other animated films like the 1992Japanese-American musical-adventure-fantasy movie ‘Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland’ and the 2014 American 3D computer-animated comedy-adventure film ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’.
- Over the years, he has contributed voice in different television series like ‘The New Adventures of Jonny Quest’ (1987), ‘Snorks’ (1987), ‘The Pirates of Dark Water’ (1991-1993), ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ (2001-2002) and ‘Pound Puppies’ (2010-2013). He voiced titular role in the American Experience documentary, ‘Woodrow Wilson’ (2001) and also worked in the historical documentary ‘Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites’ (2003).
- His radio works include reading dramatic fiction works on Selected Shorts on PRI; and Mordechai Strigler’s ‘The Stunt’ on ‘Jewish Stories From the Old World to the New’ on NPR.
- He played voice role of Janos Audron in the 2001 action-adventure video game ‘Soul Reaver 2’ and in its two sequels, ‘Blood Omen 2’ (2002) and ‘Legacy of Kain: Defiance’ (2003). Other video game works of Auberjonois include playing Odo in ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger’ (1996), ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Fallen’ (2000) and ‘Star Trek Online’ (2018); Dr. Ignatio Mobius in ‘Command and Conquer: Renegade’ (2002); and Karl Schäfer in ‘Uncharted 2: Among Thieves’ (2009) and ‘Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception’ (2011).
- He contributed voice for book narrations as well including for ‘The Cabinet of Curiosities’ (2002); the Diogenes Trilogy – ‘Brimstone’ (2004), ‘Dance of Death’ (2005) and ‘The Book of the Dead’ (2006); and the Helen Trilogy – ‘Fever Dream’ (2010), ‘Cold Vengeance’ (2011) and ‘Two Graves’ (2012).
- He dated Judith Helen Mahalyi for a year before marrying her on October 19, 1963. The couple have two children, son Remy, who became an actor, and daughter Tessa. Auberjonois’ daughter-in-law Kate Nowlin is an actress. He also has three grandchildren.
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