René Murat Auberjonois was born on June 1, 1940, in New York City. René was born into an already artistic family, which included his grandfather, a well-known Swiss painter, and his father Fernand, a writer. The Auberjonois family moved to Paris shortly after World War II, and it was there that René made an important career decision at the age of six. When his school put on a musical performance for the parents, little René was given the honor of conducting his classmates in a rendition of Do You Know the Muffin Man? When the performance was over, René took a bow, and, knowing that he was not the real conductor, imagined that he had been acting. He decided then and there that he wanted to be an actor.
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After leaving Paris, the Auberjonois family moved into an Artist's Colony in upstate New York. At an early age, René was surrounded by musicians, composers, and actors. Among his neighbors were Helen Hayes, Burgess Meredith and John Houseman, who would later become an important mentor. Houseman gave René his first theater job at the age of 16, as an apprentice at a theater in Stratford, Connecticut. René would later teach at Juilliard under Houseman.
René attended Carnegie-Mellon University and studied theater completely, not only learning about acting but about the entire process of producing a play. After graduating from CMU, René acted with various theater companies, including San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater and Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. In 1969, he won a role in his first Broadway musical, Coco (with Katharine Hepburn), for which he won a Tony.
Since then, René has acted in a variety of theater productions, films, and television presentations, including a rather famous stint as Clayton Endicott III on the comedy series Benson. For more information on René's film & television career, go to René's filmography. René has also done dramatic readings of a variety of books on tape. Thanks to Lisa Wilcox at ORACLE, you can look at a relatively complete list of René's theater credits.
Even with DS9's busy shooting schedule, René still has time for his family and his interests outside acting. He and his wife, Judith, have two children, Tessa and Remy-Luc, who are both pursuing careers in the performing arts. Besides acting, René is an accomplished gourmet cook, a painter and a photographer. He is also a vocal supporter of various charitable organizations. He regularly donates the proceeds from the sale of autographed items at conventions to such organizations. René says of his role on DEEP SPACE NINE: "I have had my share of successes and my share of flops. But nothing has ever been like this. DEEP SPACE NINE is completely beyond anything that I have ever experienced."
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