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Actor Miguel Ferrer Dead At 61

Miguel Ferrer. (Photo by PLS Pool/Getty Images)
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Actor Miguel Ferrer passed away on Thursday after a battle with cancer, reports The Hollywood Reporter. He was 61.

Ferrer, the son of Academy Award-winner José Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney (and a cousin of George Clooney), had a career that spanned four decades. His work shifted between film and television, though, more recently, his work was largely devoted to the small screen. Since 2012, he's been featured on NCIS: Los Angeles as Assistant Director Owen Granger. According to People, Ferrer was given the option to end his run on NCIS when his cancer began to affect his voice last year. He asked to stay on, however, and the writers wrote his illness into the series. “Today, NCIS: Los Angeles lost a beloved family member," showrunner R. Scott Gemmill said in a statement, according to Variety. "Miguel was a man of tremendous talent who had a powerful dramatic presence on screen, a wicked sense of humor, and a huge heart.”

In the years just prior to NCIS, he did voice work for Adventure Time, played the self-centered art teacher Andre Zeller for one season of Desperate Housewives, and portrayed the stoic Dr. Garret Macy for six seasons on Crossing Jordan.

Among his most recent projects was the upcoming Twin Peaks revival, in which he reprises his role as Albert Rosenfield, the comically technical (and ill-tempered) forensics expert:

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While Ferrer was never quite the leading man, his calm and gruff demeanor made him a valuable side-player. His presence could be intimidating, but this could also be flipped to turn him into a "straight man" for comedic roles. His versatility was reflected in the wide range of roles he'd taken on over the course of his career. Many might recall him from 1987's Robocop, in which he played the excitable Bob Morton, a venal company executive who, somewhat ironically, oversaw the creation of our titular hero. Morton was involved in one of the more bizarre (and most talked about) scenes in the movie; an exchange with his boss, Dick Jones, takes on an strangely intense and erotic tone:

In film, Ferrer's other projects included William Friedkin's The Guardian, the Rambo parody Hot Shots! Part Deux, and Iron Man 3. On television, he's made appearances in CHiPs, T.J. Hooker, Miami Vice, ER, Will & Grace, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Medium, as well as Twin Peak's original run during the early 1990s. He also acted in TV-adaptions of two Stephen King novels: The Stand and The Shining.

Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost spoke of Ferrer's passing on Twitter:

Director Edgar Wright cited Robocop as he paid his respects:

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Despite coming from a film background (and being raised in Hollywood), Ferrer's first aspiration was to become a musician. Ferrer was a session drummer on Ketih Moon's solo project, 1975's Two Sides of the Moon. Moon, most famous for being The Who's volatile drummer, hired Ferrer to play drums because "all he wanted to do was sing."

Ferrer would eventually get into acting, however. In a 2009 interview with A.V. Club, he theorized that he'd put it off because of the lofty expectations stemming from his family's accomplishments.

Maybe I was intimidated by my father’s talent and success. I also had a previous career. I was a musician, and did moderately well at that. I made an enjoyable living as a very young man, but I think as I became more comfortable and knowledgeable about myself and what I wanted, I moved into acting. I came to it rather late—later than most. I just really wanted to try my hand, and thankfully it worked out for the most part.