René Auberjonois, who won a 1970 Tony Award playing Sebastian Baye opposite Katharine Hepburn in the André Previn-Alan Jay Lerner musical Coco, died December 8 at the age of 79 from metastatic lung cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A familiar face on both the silver and small screens—he played Father Mulcahy in the 1970 film M*A*S*H and spent six seasons as Clayton Runnymede Endicott III on the ABC series Benson—Mr. Auberjonois also enjoyed a distinguished Broadway career, which began in 1968 playing The Fool in a production of Shakespeare's King Lear at Lincoln Center Theater and continued through 2004 in Larry Gelbart's Sly Fox in a cast that also featured Richard Dreyfuss and Eric Stoltz.
In between were productions of A Cry of Players, Fire!, Twelfth Night, Tricks, Break a Leg, Metamorphosis, and Dance of the Vampires. In addition to his Tony win, Mr. Auberjonois also earned three additional Tony nominations, for his performances in The Good Doctor, Big River, and City of Angels.
Born June 1, 1940, in New York, René Auberjonois was raised in New York, London, and Paris, and later graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon).
Mr. Auberjonois later enjoyed a professional relationship with film director Robert Altman, which started with M*A*S*H and also included Brewster McCloud (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and Images (1972).
A two-time Emmy nominee for his work on The Practice (1997) and Benson (1979), Auberjonois’ extensive television credits include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (starring as Odo), Madam Secretary, Masters of Sex, The Good Wife, Boston Legal, Justice League, The Legend of Tarzan, Judging Amy, Chicago Hope, Richie Rich, The Savage Dragon, Mighty Max, Bonkers, Matlock, The Rockford Files, and Rhoda. His voice can also be heard in numerous audiobooks and animated productions for both TV and film: He memorably played Chef Louis in the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid, where he can be heard singing “Les Poissons.”
Mr. Auberjonois, who was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2018, is survived by his wife Judith and their two children, Tessa and Remy, who is also an actor.