You might not have known his name, but you probably know his face. Miguel Ferrer was a consummate character actor. He showed up often in movies and television shows as a prominent supporting character. But as of today, Miguel Ferrer will act no more. He died of cancer at the age of 61. The NCIS: Los Angeles actor wasn’t just a familiar face — he was a welcome one. Join us as we celebrate his career with our favorite Miguel Ferrer roles.
Drew Dietsch on RoboCop‘s Bob Morton
This is the role that truly brought Miguel Ferrer into the public eye. Bob Morton is a sleazy but driven corporate bastard that manages to be something truly unique. He’s not quite a villain, but he’s still a despicable cad. He’s apathetic towards human life to a humorous degree and views Alex Murphy as nothing but meat for his RoboCop project. And his eventual comeuppance at the hands of Clarence Boddicker provides the audience with a great death scene that actually makes us feel bad for poor Bob.
But it’s the swagger and the abrasive charm that Ferrer brings to the role that really makes him work. Any other actor would make Bob Morton far too awful to ever care about. But Ferrer nailed it and cemented himself as one of the best character actors of his time.
Nick Nunziata on The Night Flier‘s Richard Dees
The Night Flier is not a good movie. It’s not even a mediocre movie. But it’s a starring vehicle for Miguel Ferrer, and therefore it is a necessary movie. Based on the Stephen King short story about a seedy reporter following a serial killer in his plane for the ultimate scoop. It’s a fun tale, and the film has elements that aren’t all that bad for a low-budget horror flick.The vampire design is unique as well.
At the end of the day, The Night Flier was an opportunity for Ferrer to showcase some of his best tools. It’s a legit performance and a reward for fans who have followed the actor from role to role. The man was one of a kind and so much more than “that guy”.
Danielle Ryan on The Stand‘s Lloyd Henreid
Lloyd Henreid from the Stephen King miniseries The Stand isn’t a likable character. He’s a petty criminal, the very first to join the Antichrist’s army. Lloyd isn’t very smart, and he isn’t a good man, but he’s still compelling and fascinating to watch. He assumes that Flagg is the devil almost immediately, while others take some time to understand. Lloyd also knows he’s not very intelligent, a fact he freely admits. Miguel Ferrer conveys all of these bits of Lloyd with simple gestures and inflection. He takes a character already imbued with tons of nuance by King and elevates it further, making Lloyd a character people can relate to, even if they wish they couldn’t.
Ferrer’s portrayal of Lloyd isn’t hammy, his depiction of Lloyd’s boorishness subtle instead of silly. He takes a role that a viewer could easily misconstrue and connects with it. Many of us have known Ferrer for playing great villains, but Lloyd may be one of his most complex. Ferrer’s Lloyd helps us understand exactly why someone could fall in behind the Devil. Stephen King has said that his favorite character is Lloyd, and in part attributes this to Ferrer.
Andrew Hawkins on Twin Peaks‘s Albert Rosenfeld
“Albert’s path is a strange and difficult one.” That’s the line used to describe Miguel Ferrer’s character in Twin Peaks when he gracefully exits the show. FBI Special Agent Albert Rosenfield is a complex and iconic role that helped form the core of David Lynch’s classic show. His harsh tone and coarse demeanor left many fans disliking the character’s place in the series. But for diehard Twin Peaks fans, Miguel Ferrer’s Albert is one of the most important figures in the entire series.
Agent Albert Rosenfeld is the character you love to hate. You just can’t ignore Ferrer’s charisma, even when Rosenfeld makes life difficult for everyone around him. After only being a supporting player in eight of the show’s episodes, Albert became one of the key individuals that made up Dale Cooper’s background. Thankfully, Twin Peaks is coming back. And yes, we will get to see Miguel Ferrer return in all his glory. It’ll be good to see Agent Rosenfeld ruffle some feathers again.
James Akinaka on Young Justice‘s Vandal Savage
As a lifelong comic book fan, Ferrer’s voice acting career dove frequently into Marvel and DC multimedia. His roles include Martian Manhunter in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier, as well as Vice President Rodriguez in the live-action Iron Man 3. One of his most notable voice roles was Vandal Savage during the original two-season run of Young Justice.
Young Justice utilized an array of DC villains. But aside from Darkseid, none of them truly matched Savage in stature or depth. Ferrer infused his version of Savage with a kind of charismatic intensity that made him stand out. Savage wasn’t always the biggest or strongest villain in the room, but he was the first among equals. Ferrer was responsible for making him one of the show’s canniest antagonists.
Ferrer’s passing is particularly bittersweet, since it occurred just hours after the announcement of one of his final roles. Ferrer voiced Deathstroke for the long-delayed animated film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, taking over the role from Thomas Gibson (Son of Batman). Since The Judas Contract is due for release later this year, it will serve as a posthumous showcase of Ferrer’s gravitas.