Thursday, January 19, 2017

RIP Miguel Ferrer

Some losses hit you harder than others.  And this one really hit me.  Miguel Ferrer passed away.  He was only 61.   I directed numerous episodes of the sitcom he was in, LATELINE, and became friends.   For the last year or so we worked out at the same gym.  I think I saw him as recently as a few weeks ago.   I had heard he had cancer but was under the impression he had beaten it.  I guess not.

People primarily know him from dramas.  I used to kid him that he's been in every TV drama over the last twenty years.  Even Harry Morgan didn't guest in as many series.  But what folks might not know is that Miguel was a gifted comic actor.  Amazing timing and a pitch-perfect knack for delivering dialogue.  Some actors need to be led to the joke, not Miguel.  He instinctively just "knew" comic rhythms and tone.

He was also, a pro's pro.   I'm sure one of the reasons he worked so often is because so many producers, directors, and actors loved him.

Miguel was also a great storyteller.  And when the stories involve David Lynch (he was in TWIN PEAKS), George Clooney (his cousin and one-time roommate), ROBOCOP, and mother Rosemary Clooney you knew you were in for a mesmerizing tale.   I was hoping to get him to guest on my podcast.

My condolences to his family and fans.  Damn!  Miguel Ferrer.  This one hurts. 

20 comments :

blinky said...

I remember his performance in Hot Shots!
"War: It's FANtastic!"

D. McEwan said...

I'm sorry for your loss, and for our loss as well. I never met Miquel, but I sure enjoyed his work, and as I'm in the midst or rewatching all of Twin Peaks now to prepare for the revival in May, I've been revisiting his hilarious Albert Rosenfeld. I've never heard a bad word about him, and he was the best at playing total shits.

Andy Rose said...

Very sad. Lateline is actually the first time I really noticed Miguel Ferrer enough to look up who he was. His was one of the few TV show producer characters in a sitcom who seemed like he could be an actual producer. They're not always jerks, but they are always hyper and ooze authority because it's a business where you'll get chewed up and spit out if you don't. (A wimp like Miles on Murphy Brown would NEVER make it in that field.) Plus Miguel had that great, sonorous voice, which is true of a lot of TV producers who used to be on-air reporters.

Incidentally, I just noticed you directed the episode where Al Franken gets hit in the face with an airbag. Definitely the most memorable episode!

mrdj said...


RIP Albert!

Sheriff Truman: I've had just about enough of you and your insults!
Albert Rosenfield: Oh yeah? Well, I've had about enough of this small town filled with morons and half wits, dolts, dunces, dullards and dumbbells... and you... you chowder-head yokel, you blithering hayseed. You've had enough of me?
Sheriff Truman: Yes, I have.

mrdj said...

RIP Albert!


Sheriff Truman: I've had just about enough of you and your insults!
Albert Rosenfield: Oh yeah? Well, I've had about enough of this small town filled with morons and half wits, dolts, dunces, dullards and dumbbells... and you... you chowder-head yokel, you blithering hayseed. You've had enough of me?
Sheriff Truman: Yes, I have.

jean satzer said...

Damn....I was really thinking it was an NCIS plot point....

H2U said...

Blinky: that was Hot Shots Part Deux, I'm afraid. But he *was* incredibly funny in that sequel.

Roger Owen Green said...

I noted his death on FB, and people debated which credit Variety should have used - they picked NCIS: LA and Crossing Jordan, instead of (take your pic) Star Trek, Twin Peaks, Despearate Housewives, Robot Chicken or whatever.

Mark Jordan Legan said...

He was also so damn good in TRAFFIC

CRL said...

Very sad. But this plays into an earlier topic about familiarity. I was a fan, but I had no idea he did over 100 episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles.

Barry Traylor said...

Damn. I really liked this actor.

Andrew said...

Wow, that photograph looks so much like his father José Ferrer.

A little off the subject, but one of the greatest performances I have ever seen in a movie is José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac. If you've never seen that movie, treat yourself. It's incredibly powerful, and with some great comic moments. Or watch a few clips on YouTube, especially the balcony scene. You can see where Miguel got his acting talent. (Not to say he didn't get equal talent from Rosemary.)

nat bernstein said...

Ken, couldn't agree more with Miguel as a gifted comedic actor. I had the real honor of working as an actor for him in a play he directed many, many years ago. George was also in it, and to watch the two of them together then, you saw two cousins who truly enjoyed each other's company. Miguel will be missed. Just a very good human being.

Tudor Queen said...

I was saddened, too, when I read of Ferrer's death and, unlike you, I never met him.

I was first impressed by his comedy skills in a drama - "Twin Peaks". As his character, Albert Rosenfeld made his exit from the town (and the show, though I hear he filmed some scenes for the reboot), he suddenly turned to Kyle MacLachlan's straight-arrow FBI agent and said, "Dale Cooper, I love you!" He did it absolutely perfectly.

My mother developed a crush on him during his time on "Crossing Jordan," one of her favorite tv shows.

Peter said...

As well as being a fantastic actor, he had such an incredible voice. He could have made reading the phone book entertaining to listen to.

As you said, Ken, he had great comic timing. Even the way he shrugs and says "That's life in the big city" in Robocop after a colleague is killed by the ED 209 robot was memorable.

My favourite acting moment in the Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me, is the way he replies to Cooper in this exchange about the profile of the girl Cooper saw in his dream:


Cooper: She's in high school. She is sexually active. She is using drugs. She's crying out for help.

Albert: Well damn, Cooper, that really narrows it down. You're talking about half the high school girls in America.


It's a credit to his talent that all these years later, whenever I think of the movie, it's his delivery of those lines that always come to mind first.

Judy Hughes said...

Thank you for your lovely article recognizing Miguel Ferrer. I've been a fan since Twin Peaks. Adored Crossing Jordan and have never missed an NCIS LA episode. Have been concerned there was something wrong with him the last few episodes but when I Googled nothing came up. Thought it was then just his incredible acting skills. His character was stabbed on Sunday... he worked right up 'til the end. I'm just in awe of his commitment and incredibly sad for his loss. Not much else in that show was worth watching. RIP.

Peter said...

Lovely tributes to Miguel by Twin Peaks creators David Lynch and Mark Frost.
http://deadline.com/2017/01/david-lynch-remembers-miguel-ferrer-twin-peaks-died-1201890957/

Johnny Walker said...

i never met Miguel, but I heard good things about him. Sorry for the loss of your friend, Ken :(

Storm said...

"Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method... is love." Words to live by, now more than ever. I'm so glad he got to play Albert again before he left us.

For a guy that made a career out of playing grumpy bad guys, he had the best laugh and a smile that took over his whole face. Always very cool to fans at Comic Con, especially those of us who came to hear him play drums with Bill Mumy and my friend Steve Leialoha in their band, Seduction of the Innocent, at the Saturday night parties. Such good times.

And that voice, that knicker-droppin' VOICE... it was even better in person... like drowning in amaretto. Such a lovely man.

Sending prayers of strength and love to Ken, Bill, Steve, and everyone else who loved him,

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

VincentS said...

Wonderful tribute, Ken. I didn't know he was also a gifted comic actor.