René Auberjonois (1940–2019)

I’m still wrapping my head around this one. I’ve cried, but not nearly enough. I was out on a Facebook group a few days after René died (sorry, but I could never connect with the term “passed”; it’s too much like we just missed each other in a crowd), where someone had posted something kind of nasty about him, clearly without ever having met the man. I retorted rather — ahem — vehemently. I got a rude sort of “How the f — — do you know any differently?” comment. I gave an encapsulated response that hopefully made the original poster skulk away in shame (I never got a reply, so I don’t know), and over the past several weeks I have so wanted to talk about René and how nice he really was, and about what he meant to me — I just couldn’t figure out where. But I finally sat down and listened to the Trek Geeks podcast from January 22 and realized that I could talk about him with the lovely group of fans on their Facebook page. Seeing the response there, I thought I might also share things here, because I want everyone to know what a genuine, upstanding human being he was.

I fell in love with the character of Odo during the episode “Necessary Evil” on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE when it first aired in November of 1993. I was a budding web-designer wannabe then, and I was lucky enough to take over the running of a René Auberjonois fan page from its originator. I mainly remember that her name was Stephanie, and she was moving on to other things as she graduated from college. The page was rudimentary, HTML 1.0, but I grabbed hold of it and ultimately whipped it into a pretty decent website, with cool graphics and some nifty bits of JavaScript. I also went full-tilt fangirl and got the page its very own URL: www.renefiles.com. I moved on to other ventures when DS9 was drawing to a close, but the site is still there, lovingly maintained by a group of his fans — and friends — who call themselves his minions. I mention it now because it was this website that led to my getting to know René and to experience firsthand what a truly great guy he was.

We first met when I went to Los Angeles for a TREK convention. I knew René was going to be there, and I was already hooked up with his fan club, which was throwing a small party at the hotel which René would be attending. Now, this doesn’t mean that I was entirely looking forward to meeting him, because, as a theatre major back in the day, I had met a few actors and theatre professionals who were extremely disappointing as human beings. So I was half-eager, half-apprehensive as party time…

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Words, Unlimited - Carolyn R. Fulton

Wife, kitty heirloom, and canine concierge. Oh, and I write a bit.