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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actor René Auberjonois dies at 79

Fellow actors George Takei, William Shatner and more pay tribute online to the actor who played Changeling Odo.

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Actor René Auberjonois played lawyer Paul Lewiston in the TV drama Boston Legal.

ABC

Prolific actor René Auberjonois, best known for his role as shape-shifter Changeling Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has died at the age of 79.

The actor died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles of metastatic lung cancer, his son son Rèmy-Luc confirmed to the Associated Press.

Auberjonois also appeared as the character Paul Lewiston in 71 episodes of the TV drama Boston Legal. He is also known for his roles in Benson, The Practice (which earned him an Emmy nod), Stargate SG-1, Warehouse 13, Star Trek: Enterprise, Frasier, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Murder, She Wrote, and The Jeffersons, to name a few.

Auberjonois has starred in numerous films such as director Robert Altman's M.A.S.H. in which he played Father Mulcahy. He appeared in other Altman movies such as McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Brewster McCloud, and Images. Auberjonois also appeared in the 1976 King Kong movie, The Patriot, Batman Forever, and Eyes of Laura Mars.

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René Auberjonois as Odo with the rest of the cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

CBS

He is also known for his voice acting roles including 1989's The Little Mermaid, were he plays Chef Louis and sings the song "Les Poissons."

Auberjonois' character Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was often treated as an outside by other characters, which in turn made Odo rather gruff and persnickety at time. His character was hilariously sarcastic, but he also could show a certain sensitivity that only outsiders can fully understand. He was one of my favorite Star Trek characters.

His Deep Space Nine co-star Armin Shimerman who played Quark tweeted on Sunday a favorite memory of the actor. 

"His last message to me was entitled 'Don't forget…'," Shimerman tweeted. "I know that I, Kitty and all that knew him will never forget. The world seems noticeably emptier now. I loved him."

Star Trek actor George Takei also tweeted his condolences.

"This is a terrible loss," Takei tweeted. "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."

His Boston Legal co-star and fellow Star Trek actor William Shatner also tweeted his thoughts about Auberjonois.

"I have just heard about the death of my friend and fellow actor Rene Auberjonois," Shatner wrote. "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."

Actor Edward James Olmos tweeted, "Rene Auberjonois a true gentleman and passionate artist passed onto the next understanding, and we will miss him so much. I was honored to have worked with him on Windows On The World, his second to last film. He delivered an amazing rendition of NY NY -- a brilliant artist."

Additional fellow actors, celebs and fans paid tribute to Auberjonois on social media.