(written from a Production point of view)
Miguel José Ferrer (7 February 1955 – 19 January 2017; age 61) was the American actor who played the executive officer of the USS Excelsior in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. He was born in Santa Monica, California, the eldest son of Academy Award-winning actor José Ferrer and singer-actress Rosemary Clooney. He was a cousin of Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney.
Ferrer is known for his role as Bob Morton in the 1987 film RoboCop and for playing FBI Agent Agent Albert Rosenfield on the cult television series Twin Peaks. He later became known for his role as Dr. Garret Macy on NBC's 2001-2007 drama series, Crossing Jordan and as Assistant Director Owen Granger on the CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles (2012-2017).
Ferrer made his major feature film debut as a waiter in the 1983 science fiction comedy The Man Who Wasn't There, which was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Other actors who appeared in this film include Charlie Brill, Ron Canada, Michael Ensign, and Joseph Ruskin. Ferrer made his appearance in Star Trek III the following year. Ferrer's first significant acting role was in the 1984 thriller Flashpoint, in which he co-starred with Kevin Conway and Kurtwood Smith.
Ferrer and Smith reunited a few years later when both were cast in the 1987 sci-fi action blockbuster RoboCop. In the film, Ferrer played the power-hungry executive Bob Morton who creates the "RoboCop" program while Smith played gang leader Clarence Boddicker who kills the central character, played by Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Peter Weller. The film also featured Ronny Cox as the corrupt Dick Jones, Robert DoQui as Sergeant Warren Reed, and Ray Wise as gangmember Leon Nash.
Ferrer made his television debut in an episode of the CBS series Magnum, P.I. in 1981. This was followed by three appearances on Trapper John, M.D. between 1982 and 1985, the first of which also guest-starred LeVar Burton as well as David Andrews, Ed McCready, Bill Quinn, and Louise Sorel. Ferrer's second episode co-starred John Rubinstein and Byron Morrow, while all three episodes featured Madge Sinclair, who was a regular on the series.
In November 1984, Ferrer appeared in an episode of Hill Street Blues, on which James B. Sikking and Barbara Bosson were regulars. Ferrer had earlier worked with Sikking on Star Trek III, where Ferrer played the second-in-command to Sikking's Captain Lawrence H. Styles. Ferrer later worked with Barbara Bosson when the former guest-starred in a 1988 episode of Hooperman, on which Bosson was a regular. Ferrer's episode of Hill Street Blues also featured John Chandler, Louis Giambalvo, Janet MacLachlan, and David Spielberg.
In 1985, Ferrer made an uncredited appearance in an episode of the police drama T.J. Hooker, which starred William Shatner in the title role. James Darren and Richard Herd were also regulars on this series, and Ferrer's episode also had appearances by TNG alumni Michelle Phillips and Patti Yasutake.
Twin Peaks and David Lynch
From 1990 through 1991, Ferrer played the recurring role of FBI Agent Albert Rosenfeld on Twin Peaks, the cult television series created by filmmaker David Lynch. Among the performers Ferrer worked with on this series were Mädchen Amick, Richard Beymer, Galyn Görg, Brenda Strong, Carel Struycken, David Warner, and Ray Wise.
Ferrer reprised his role as Rosenfeld in the 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which was directed, co-written, and executive produced by David Lynch. In the film, Ferrer again worked with Mädchen Amick and Ray Wise.
In 1992, Ferrer became a regular on David Lynch's sitcom, On the Air. Although seven episodes of this series were produced, only three were aired in the US. Besides Ferrer, Mel Johnson, Jr., David L. Lander, and Tracey Walter also had roles on the show.
Other film work
In 1990, Ferrer was seen in two films which were shot by a Star Trek cinematographer: Revenge, shot by Star Trek Nemesis cinematographer Jeffrey L. Kimball; and The Guardian, shot by Star Trek Generations cinematographer John A. Alonzo. The latter film also featured Natalia Nogulich in the cast.
Ferrer played the antagonist in the 1994 Disney film Blank Check, opposite recurring TNG guest star Brian Bonsall as the protagonist. In this film, Ferrer plays a bank robber who unwittingly gives Bonsall's character a blank check after running over his bicycle. Bonsall proceeds to cash the check for $1,000,000, prompting Ferrer and his associates to frantically try to find him.
Ferrer's other film credits during the 1990s include Point of No Return (1993, with Olivia d'Abo, Hot Shots! Part Duex (1993, with Brenda Bakke, Andreas Katsulas, Clyde Kusatsu, Mitchell Ryan, and Gregory Sierra), Another Stakeout (1993, with John Rubinstein), and Mr. Magoo (1997, with Malcolm McDowell). He also had the lead role in two thrillers, 1992's The Harvest and 1997's The Night Flyer, as well as the 1998 comedy Where's Marlowe?, the latter of which co-starred Clayton Rohner.
Other television work
Ferrer was a regular on John Sayles' drama series Shannon's Deal, which ran on NBC for two seasons from April 1990 through May 1991 (following a two-hour TV pilot which aired in June 1989). During the 1998-1999 television season, Ferrer was a regular on the short-lived NBC comedy LateLine, which also starred Robert Foxworth.
Between 1990 and 1994, Ferrer acted in three episodes of the horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. His first episode, "The Thing from the Grave," was directed by Fred Dekker and co-starred Teri Hatcher. All three episodes (and the entire series) had been hosted by the Crypt Keeper, voiced by John Kassir.
Ferrer also appeared in two episodes of CBS' early 1990s series Broken Bridges, one directed by James Whitmore, Jr. and the other directed by Kim Manners and co-starring Diedrich Bader. In 1994, Ferrer made an uncredited appearance on the NBC medical drama ER, which starred his cousin, George Clooney. The episode also featured Michael Cavanaugh, Shelly Desai, Scott Jaeck, Julianna McCarthy, and Liz Vassey.
Ferrer was part of the cast of the 1990 mini-series Drug Wars: The Camarene Story, along with Tony Plana, Rosalind Chao, Biff Yeager, and Daniel Zacapa. He played Lloyd Henrid in the 1994 mini-series The Stand, which also featured Steven Anderson, Matt Frewer, Sherman Howard, Patrick Kilpatrick, Richard Lineback, Jordan Lund, and the aforementioned Ray Walston.
Ferrer also acted in several made-for-TV movies in the 1990s. Among them were In the Shadow of a Killer (1992), which starred Scott Bakula; Incident at Deception Ridge (1994), with Ed Begley, Jr.; Project: ALF (1996), also with Ed Begley, Jr., as well as Erick Avari, John Schuck, Dell Yount, and Ray Walston; and Brave New World (1998), which starred Leonard Nimoy and featured Daniel Dae Kim. Ferrer also appeared in the unsuccessful pilot for Justice League of America, in which he played the villain, a terrorist known as the Weather Man. David Ogden Stiers and the aforementioned John Kassir had roles in this movie, as well.
In 2000, Ferrer was seen as a drug dealer in the acclaimed drama Traffic. This film also featured Star Trek actor Clifton Collins, Jr. as a hit man who is ultimately hired to kill Ferrer's character. For their work in Traffic, Ferrer, Collins, and their fellow cast members shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture.
Ferrer co-starred in two films from writer-director John Sayles: 2002's Sunshine State (with Gordon Clapp, Bill Cobbs, and Tom Wright) and 2004's Silver City (with David Clennon). Ferrer was also part of the ensemble cast of 2004's The Manchurian Candidate, as were Jude Ciccolella, Charles Napier, Dean Stockwell, and Tracey Walter.
From 2001 through 2007, Ferrer starred as Dr. Garret Macy on the NBC crime drama Crossing Jordan, which co-starred Jerry O'Connell. Roxann Dawson frequently worked as director on the show, and served as producer at one point. Ferrer received an Imagen Foundation Award for his performance on this series, as well as nominations from the ALMA Awards and the Prism Awards. Ferrer also directed four episodes of Crossing Jordan; among those he directed in those episodes were David Clennon, Richard Cox, Mark Margolis, Zachary Quinto, and Michael Welch.
In 2002, Ferrer co-starred with Malcolm McDowell in an unaired episode of the FOX anthology series Night Visions. Although this episode never aired, it was edited together with three other unaired episodes to create the Sci-Fi Channel movie Shadow Realm.
After Crossing Jordan ended, Ferrer became a regular on NBC's short-lived reboot of Bionic Woman, playing the titular character's boss. He later guest-starred on such television series as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (working with Wallace Langham and Rick Worthy), Kings (with Susanna Thompson and Mark Margolis), and Psych (with Corbin Bernsen, Bruce Davison, and Chris Sarandon).
Ferrer's final project was the role of Assistant Director Owen Granger on NCIS: Los Angeles.
Ferrer lent his voice to several projects. He voiced the villain, Hun leader Shan-Yu, in Disney's 1998 animated film Mulan. This film also featured the voices of Freda Foh Shen, Frank Welker, and TOS regular George Takei.
In addition, Ferrer was the voice of Picasso in the 2001 short film Matisse & Picasso: A Gentle Rivalry, which was narrated by Salome Jens. Ferrer later voiced the role of Martian Manhunter in the animated 2008 direct-to-video feature Justice League: The New Frontier. Robin Atkin Downes and Phil Morris also had voice-over roles in this production.
Ferrer voiced Tarakudo, the Shadowkhan King, in several episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures, which also featured the voice of Clancy Brown. In 2007, Ferrer was heard as the voice of INS Agent Hopkins in the "American Dream Factory" episode of Seth MacFarlane's animated series, American Dad! Besides MacFarlane and series regulars Scott Grimes and Wendy Schaal, the episode also featured the voices of Iggy Pop and TNG star Patrick Stewart. Ferrer's voice has been heard on several other programs, including Superman, Robot Chicken, and The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Other Trek connections
Additional projects not listed above in which Ferrer worked with one or more Star Trek alumni include:
- Truckin' Buddy McCoy (1984) with John Fleck
- DeepStar Six (1989) with Matt McCoy
- Valentino Returns (1989) with Jerry Hardin
- Arduous Moon (1990 short) with Diedrich Bader
- Death in Granada (1996) with Tony Plana
- Wrong Turn at Tahoe (2009) with Mike Starr
- Noah's Ark: The New Beginning (TBA), voice only) with the voices of Roger R. Cross and Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Jr.
TV guest appearances
- CHiPs (1 episode, 1983) with Robert Pine
- Cagney & Lacey (1 episode, 1984) with Susan French
- Hotel (1 episode, 1987) with Molly Hagan and Cliff Potts; directed by James L. Conway
- CBS Summer Playhouse: "Kung Fu: The Next Generation" (1987) with Victor Brandt
- Downpayment on Murder (1987) with Jonathan Banks
- C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf (1988) with James Saito and Alan Scarfe
- Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North (1989) with Paul Dooley, Jim Fitzpatrick, Dakin Matthews, and Terry O'Quinn
- Murder in High Places (1991) with Michael McKean
- Cruel Doubt (1992) with Neal McDonough, Stefan Gierasch, and Jordan Lund
- Scam (1993) with Erick Avari
- Jack Reed: A Search for Justice (1994) with Elizabeth Dennehy
- A Promise Kept: The Oskana Baiul Story (1994) with Susanna Thompson
- The Return of Hunter (1995) with Brian Keith and Beth Toussaint
- In the Line of Duty: Hunt for Justice (1995) with John Carroll Lynch, Stephen Root, and Dell Yount