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René Auberjonois 8 Greatest Sci-Fi Roles Ranked (Incl. STAR TREK's Odo)

Sadly we've learned that René Auberjonois has died at 79 years old. He's best known for his Emmy-award winning performance as Clayton Endicott III on Benson and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's irascible chief of security Constable Odo.

He's beloved by fans, but his career spanned decades and he's much more than just Odo. He's played everything from psychiatrists to thieves. here now is a list of eight greatest live-action science-fiction roles.

8. René Auberjonois as Ezral in Star Trek: Enterprise "Oasis"

Auberjonois returns to Star Trek for the first time in the 2002 episode of Enterprise. Archer and the crew beam onto a "haunted" vessel where Ezral and his daughter Liana lead a large crew. But the ship doesn't seem to show many living beings on board. As they investigate they realize the ship can't support the large crew. In the end, it's revealed that he and his daughter are the only survivors of an ion storm. His guilt leads him to create holographic duplicates of the crew including his wife.

It's a good performance, but even he admitted he didn't have much of a role. He later told Star Trek: Communicator #139, "Actually, when I saw the episode, I had forgotten that I am hardly in it until the very end." 

7. René Auberjonois as Dr. Burton in Batman Forever (1995)

Auberjonois has a small role in Batman Forever (1995) as Dr. Burton. He's a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum treating Edward Nygma (aka Riddler). Burton calls Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) to the hospital because Nygma says he knows who Batman is. Dr. Burton's hair and name are an homage to Tim Burton, the director of the first two Batman movies. Auberjonois only has one line but he puts a lot of gravitas in it.

It's worth noting that he plays Dr. March in several Batman: The Animated Series episodes.

6. René Auberjonois as Alar in Stargate SG-1 "The Other Side"

In 2000 Auberjonois had established himself as a science-fiction icon and was welcome to explore other franchises. In "The Other Side" he played Altar the leader of a group of "Eurondans" who had been fighting the Tau'ri for generations. He reaches out to Earth asking for help in the battle. But it turns out the Eurodians are a Nazi-like group of genetic purists and the Stargate team turns him down.

Auberjonois uses his goodwill as a character from Star Trek to turn the tables and deliver a surprising performance.

5. René Auberjonois as Mr. Kimball in Wonder Woman "Spaced Out"

In 1979 he appears on the weekly superhero show named after the Amazonian superhero Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. René Auberjonois plays a master thief who steals some valuable crystals but is forced to hide his loot in a nearby crate. The crate ends up at a science fiction convention. He and Diana are in a race to find them.

Most of the time Auberjonois played an academic but this is one of the few times he gets to play a suave and charismatic character. You can tell he relishes it.

4. René Auberjonois as Roy Bagley in King Kong (1976)

Rene plays a bookish science nerd who explains the CO2 readings and postulates that it’s caused by vast underground petroleum deposits. It turns out the real answer is giant heavy breathing monsters but you can’t win em all.

3. René Auberjonois as Dlavan in The Outer Limits "Promised Land"

The reboot of the science-fiction anthology series "The Outer Limits" features a cameo from René Auberjonois. In the 1998 episode, he plays Dlavan the head of a family of aliens known as Tsal-Khan. They live on Earth scrounging out an existence on the planet after a war poisons all the food and water. Humans are believed to be extinct. Soon they discover that humans are alive and are determined to enact vengeance on them all.

It's one of his most emotive and powerful performances and even more amazing under all the heavy makeup.

2. René Auberjonois as Colonel West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Auberjonois plays Colonel West a member of Starfleet. It's later revealed he's part of a group planning to sabotage peace talks between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. It’s one of the few times he plays a villain. Plus he’s back to explaining things on boards

1. René Auberjonois as Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is one of the most ambitious and complicated of the Star Trek series. Odo started out as a gruff old sheriff. He started out as a hapless curmudgeon that thought he was the only one of his kind. But as time went on his character became more and more complicated. No matter what happened he was a constant fixture on the ship.

Buried under layers of heavy makeup his eyes and body language communicated more than dozens of actors that have appeared on the show. Although he was a shapeshifter and undeniably alien he was also one of the franchise's most human characters. His quest to find out who he was and where he came from elevated him a nameless faceless alien to one of the warmest and most beloved characters in Star Trek.

René Auberjonois is gone, but his legacy and work continue.

About the Author
Maurice Mitchell has been a passionate science-fiction fan of movies, television, books, and comics since age five. He and his twin brother Nigel created the site "The Geek Twins" to share that passion. Maurice has written and created infographics for sites like The Geek Twins and About.com. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, io9 Slashfilm and more.
Read more of his posts | Follow him on Twitter @Mauricem1972 

What's your favorite role by René Auberjonois? Let us know in the comments below!
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