Taking cue from his early life interest, Miguel Ferrer began his career in music. He joined his friend Bil Mumy’s band ‘The Jenerators’ as a drummer and a singer. Other members of the band included Steve Leialoha and Max Allan Collins. Together, they came up with the album ‘Seduction of the Innocent’.
Interestingly, Ferrer’s first acting project was basically an extension of his music career. Mumy had cast him as a drummer in the television series ‘Sunshine’. The role gave him an opportunity to act as well as play music simultaneously.
It was eventually in the 1980s that Ferrer actually gave wings to his acting career. He started making guest appearances in a number of television shows including playing younger self of his father in ‘Magnum P.I’, a waiter in ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’, a USS Excelsior helm officer in ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’
Miguel Ferrer’s first major role came in 1987 for the action flick ‘Robocop’. In it, he played the character of an over-ambitious cocaine-snorting corporate executive Bob Morton who introduced his own experimental cyborg ‘Robocop’ to great success. His role play was widely lauded by the critics and the audience alike. It proved to be the early breakthrough of his career.
He soon followed his successful performance with varied roles. He starred as a sinister biker in ‘Valentino Returns’, as a overzealous engineer in ‘DeepStar Six’, a resourceful vigilante in ‘Revenge’ and so on.
Early 1990 saw Ferrer star in a number of horror and thriller flicks right from ‘The Gaurdian’ wherein he essayed the role of Ralph Hess to playing Agent Albert Rosenfeld in ‘Twin Peaks: Walk With Me’.
In 1993, he played the lead role in the thriller ‘The Harvest’ followed by a guest role in the action flick ‘Points of No Return’. Moving away from the murder mystery genre, Ferrer then tried his skill at comedy with the film ‘Hot Shots! Part Deux’ playing Commander Arvid Harbinger.
Alongside films, Ferrer also enjoyed a successful career in television. He was first seen as DA Todd Spurrier in ‘Shannon’s Deal’. Thereafter he played Cajun cop Beau Jack Bowman in ‘Broken Badges’.
In 1990, he played the cynical, wittily abrasive FBI forensics specialist Albert Rosenfeld in ‘Twin Peaks’. He was so good at it that he starred in its film version as well, reprising his role of Albert Rosenfeld.
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In 1997, Miguel Ferrer played a super-villain called ‘The Weatherman’ in ‘Justice League of America’. The show however, failed to impress the audience and was called off after some time. He ended the year with a voice role in the ‘Superman: The Animated Series’ episode of ‘Speed Demons’ for the character of Weather Wizard.
In 2000, he starred in the critically acclaimed crime drama film ‘Traffic’. An Oscar winning film, ‘Traffic’ had Ferrer play the role of Eduardo Ruiz, a high stake dealer posing as a fisherman.
After the success of ‘Traffic’, Ferrer took up diversified projects in different genres, such as a comedy drama ‘Sunshine State, a science fiction tale ‘The Manchurian Candidate’, a political satire ‘Silver City and the comedy crime film ‘The Man’.
In 2001, Ferrer bagged the lead role as a medical examiner, Dr. Garret Macy, in the television crime/drama series ‘Crossing Jordan’. Running for over six seasons and a total of 117 episodes, the show was engaging and entertaining.
While film and television roles continued, in 2003, Miguerl Ferrer made his New York stage debut in the off-Broadway production of ‘The Exonerated’. Same year, he gave the voice for Tarakudo in Jackie Chan Adventures.
Ferrer took up voice roles in TV series ‘Robot Chicken’ and ‘American Dad!’ He later played Jonas Bledsoe on NBC's ‘Bionic Woman’ series and, in 2009, also starred in another NBC series, ‘Kings’ as a military commander of Gath.
After a series of guest roles in super hit television series ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man’, ‘Lie to Me’ and ‘ThunderCats’, Ferrer played the character of Los Angeles Police Lieutenant Felix Valdez in the 2011 Lifetime police procedural drama, ‘The Protector’ for 13 episodes. He followed it up with a multiple-episode guest role on the final season of ‘Desperate Housewives’.
In 2012, he was signed for a recurring role in ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’, capping the role of Naval Criminal Investigative Service Assistant Director Owen Granger. His artistic brilliance and top notch portrayal of the character helped him become a series regular for the fifth season in 2013. He starred in this role until 2017.
As far as his film career is concerned, Miguel Ferrer provided voice for several films including ‘This Is Not a Movie’, ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2’, ‘Noah’ and ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva la Fiesta!’ In 2013, he appeared in the film ‘Iron Man 3’ as the Vice President Rodriguez.
Miguel Ferrer was last seen reprising his role of Albert Rosenfeld in the 2017 revival of ‘Twin Peaks’ for nine episodes. Sadly, the series was released after his death.