The Princess Diaries, a comedy starring Julie Andrews and directed by Garry Marshall, for which René recorded a voice part, opened on August 3, 2001. Watch for it (and listen for René) at a theater near you.
At the end of March, René filmed the return of his guest character, Dr. Tewksbury, for the Frasier episode titled "The Wizard and Roz," which aired on May 8, 2001.
The Webmaster at the Frasier Web site shared this episode description with us:
"FRASIER SPIES HIS MENTOR IN COMPROMISING POSITION; RENE
AUBERJONOIS GUEST-STARS -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) seeks the
sage advice of his professorial mentor (guest star René Auberjonois, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) about his issues with his father but instead sees his courtly guru in a peculiar new light when he catches him romantically red-handed with an old friend. Meanwhile, Niles (David Hyde Pierce) pooh-poohs Daphne's (Jane Leeves) soothsayer warnings so he agrees to meet with her psychic evaluator (guest star Fisher Stevens, Early Edition) to test her skills. Later, Roz (Peri Gilpin) shares a saucy secret with an intrigued Frasier. John Mahoney also stars."
This episode was great fun, with Frasier unable to cope with his new "view" of Tewksbury, who remains calm and unflappable no matter what the situation. As we so often recommend with René's guest appearances... if you missed it the first time, watch for the rerun.
In February, René shot a guest appearance on Nash Bridges. The episode, "The Partner," aired on Friday, March 9. René says:
"...the character is Hagen Bridges, a madcap Scottish Constable (think Inspector Clouseau). He's Nash's distant cousin...an
idiot of the first order. Very funny character."
For anyone who saw the episode, you know that "funny" is an understatment!
On March 8th, René did a reading of the George Bernard Shaw one-act play Overruled with John Lithgow, Annettte Benning, and Alex Kingston at the University of Southern California Bing Auditorium, as a benefit for their late friend and colleague David Dukes. George Wendt and Stacey Keach also appeared at the event, performing Zoo Story by Edward Albee. Proceeds went to support the David Dukes Memorial Scholarship.
On February 28, 2001, René was scheduled to play Stravinsky in A Word With Igor for The Los Angeles Public Library. The piece was directed by John DeLancie and also featured Armin Shimerman.
However, René says that during rehearsal:
..I looked over at Armin, who was reading the voices of Aldous Huxley, W. H. Auden, and Dylan Thomas while I read Stravinsky. Then I looked behind us on the screen at the large photo of Stravinsky. I stopped the rehearsal and said, "I'm sorry...but it's just silly for me to play Stravinsky, who was small and balding...while Armin reads these characters described as tall and lanky. Would you all be horrified if we switched roles?" No one was...so we did...and it was much better.
The gift of a true character actor -- flexibility!
In January 2001, René worked on several voice projects. For the cartoon series The Justice League, he performed the characters
GALEUS and KANJAR RO. He recorded narration for a PBS film about the Pope, called Witness to Hope, and also did a part in a FOX TV film -- Dean Koontz's Black River. About the Koontz story, René says:
The character is Pericles, a malevolent super computer...I never
appear, but I'm very important to the story.
During the second week in October 2000, René completed work on an episode of Frasier called "Frasier's Edge" as Frasier's mentor/professor Dr. John Tewksbury. The episode aired on January 9, 2001 and was VERY interesting -- a compelling blend of humor and drama as Dr. Tewksbury tried to help Frasier through a sort of mid-life crisis. The scenes between René and Kelsey Grammar were superb. If you missed it the first time around, watch for it in reruns!
On December 4, René was part of a salute to composer Kurt Weill at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. In addition to reading some of Weill's letters, René performed a song called "Tchaikovsky", first sung by Danny Kaye in the movie Lady in the Dark, a "mind-numbingly fast" list of the names of Russian composers. That must have been something to hear!
René completed his appearances in Ancestral Voices by A. R. Gurney at The Falcon Theatre in Burbank, California at the end of November. The show ran for six weeks with much success.
In September, René filmed "a guest shot on The Practice playing...Judge Mantz. The episode is titled 'We Hold These Truths'..." and aired on Sunday, November 5. It was great fun -- if you missed it the first time around, watch for it in reruns.
In early August, René reported that he has "started recording a regular character on Disney's Legend of Tarzan TV series. The character is a smarmy Frenchman -- Renard Dumont."
He has also been doing voice work for Max Steel as monster/villain "Biogen." This program has been airing on Saturday mornings, at 11:30 a.m. Central Time.
In mid-July, René recorded the voice of "The Scarecrow" in an audio production of The Wizard of Oz for National Public Radio! Other members of the cast include Robert Guillaume as "The Cowardly Lion," plus John Goodman, Annette Benning, Harry Anderson, Phyllis Diller and Michelle Trachtenberg. The production will also be for sale as a CD, with proceeds to benefit the Los Angeles Children's Museum.
When we learn more details (air date, etc.) we'll let you know -- and if you hear first, be sure to tell US!
In July, the CBC ran episodes of The Secret World of Jules Verne (on Sunday nights at 7 pm) featuring René in a guest role. The 2-part stories are titled "The Cardinal's Design" and "The Cardinal's Revenge."
According to Brigitte, the story is "...about the creation of the Time Machine, which throws the characters back to the time of the Three Musketeers... [René is] quite a baddie in this role - I think he's an assassin - with muttonchop sideburns and wardrobe to match - quite diabolical!"
If you missed this program the first time around, watch for a rerun on a cable channel near you.
René also appeared in July as "Aral" in episode "The Other Side" on Stargate SG-1. Again, if you missed the first airing, watch your Showtime schedule to catch a rerun.
In late May, René spent three days in Bonn, Germany, at a huge Star Trek and media convention, FEDCON. He reports:
"Bonn was fantastic...raised $4,000 for Doctors Without Borders...ran out of pictures and ended up drawing "Odo buckets" as fast as I could..."
Sounds like it was an amazing event!
At the Alumni Awards Luncheon at Carnegie Mellon University on May 6, 2000, as part of the Purnell Drama Reunion, René received the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award. His entry in the invitation reads as follows:
"René Auberjonois, (A) 1962
Tony Award-winning actor, recognized for professional accomplishments on stage and screen for nearly 40 years. Appearances include: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Benson, M*A*S*H (film)."
Other alumni who will be recognized include:
- Nancy Marchand, (A) 1949, Emmy, Golden Globe and Obie Award-winning actress; receiving Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award for 50+-year career.
- Len Auerbach, (A) 1966, 1967, Nationallly recognized theater and lighting designer; receiving Alumni Merit Award.
- Stephen Schwartz, (A) 1968, Golden Globe, Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer whose works include Prince of Egypt, Pocahontas, Godspell and Pippin; receiving 1999 Alumni Merit Award.
(Thanks to Cristal for this information)