For his role as NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger in NCIS: Los Angeles (2012–2017) and as Bob Morton in the science fiction action film RoboCop (1987), Miguel Ferrer will forever be remembered as a Hollywood great.
The American actor entertained the world for more than two decades before he passed away after a battle with throat cancer. Miguel’s death sent shock waves throughout Hollywood as he was respected among his peers and was very much still active until the point of his demise despite his medical problems taking a toll on him.
Miguel Ferrer Passed Away in 2017 After a Protracted Battle with Throat Cancer
On the 19th of January 2017, Hollywood was thrown off balance as it was announced that veteran actor Miguel Ferrer had passed away. It was reported that the actor was surrounded by family and close friends when he died in his Santa Monica home. He had battled throat cancer for a long period of time.
While many people that he worked with, and those that were close to him, knew about his fight with cancer, Miguel’s death still sent shock waves around the industry and the world at large. This was because the actor continued to work till the point of his demise.
Ferrer was aged sixty-one at the time of his death. His remains were interred next to that of his father José Ferrer at Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
He was Actively Working in Hollywood When He Passed Away
Despite the fact that Miguel Ferrer knew death was knocking on his door, the actor was still auditioning for roles and playing others that he had had for a few years. Most notably among them was that of NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger in NCIS: Los Angeles.
Ferrer joined the show in season three and had risen to become a main cast member. He was known for his deep, commanding voice. However, with the actor’s battle with cancer taking a toll on him, he could barely speak. The show would go on to introduce a storyline that showed that his Granger character was battling cancer. Granger was eventually written out of the show as Ferrer himself passed away.
Another project Miguel Ferrer was working on before he passed away was Twin Peaks. He appeared in eleven episodes of the show that was released after his demise. His performance in it earned him a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor on Television. He also provided the voice to the characters Stretch Monster and Helicopter Pilot in the animated series Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters (2017-18).
Reactions to his Death
There were many reactions to the death of Miguel Ferrer. One notable member of his family who released a statement following his demise was actor George Clooney, who is Miguel’s cousin. Clooney paid tribute to Miguel, saying he “made the world brighter and funnier” and that his passing was deeply felt in their family.
Other than statements that came from his family members, many of his colleagues had a thing or two to say about his demise. R. Scott Gemmill, the Executive Producer of NCIS: Los Angeles, described Ferrer as someone with a very strong work ethic. He said the actor loved his craft so much that he was always working even when the show did not need him to be around. He was such a professional that even when he did not have any lines in an episode, he would show up for a read-through. These sentiments were shared with Executive Producer Frank Military who added that Ferrer was “going to act until the end”.
The main star of NCIS, actor Chris O’Donnell, who plays the character of G. Callen, believes that his co-star might have lived longer than expected because the show gave him something to look forward to each day. He said Ferrer kept coming to the set, even when it got to the point where he couldn’t speak.
Actress Renée Felice Smith who plays the character of Nell Jones, and actor LL Cool J who plays Sam Hanna, both spoke about the memorable times they shared the screen with Miguel Ferrer. The duo both spoke fondly about him, saying that his presence on the show would be missed.
Miguel Ferrer was Married to Producer Lori Weintraub When He Passed Away
When Miguel Ferrer kicked the bucket, he was married to Lori Weintraub. They wedded in 2005 and were together until his demise in 2017. His wife is the daughter of a famous film producer and Hollywood executive named Sy Weintraub. Sy, who owned Panavision and served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Columbia Pictures, was famous for producing numerous Tarzan movies. He passed away in 2000 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Lori followed in the footsteps of her father to become a producer in Hollywood. Before that, she had worked as a lawyer. Some of the films she has supervised the development and production of include Beverly Hills Cop, The Color Purple, Top Gun, and Batman.
Born in New York City, Lori graduated with a degree in English Literature from Barnard College before acquiring a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law. She subsequently worked as an entertainment attorney at Manatt Phelps. After a while, she took up the position of production executive at Guber Peters Entertainment and MGM Studios. She would later serve as the co-founder and President of A Vision Entertainment, and the founder and CEO of Warner Kids, and Time Warner Audiobooks. Ferrer’s wife was also the Executive Vice President of Vivendi Universal internet ventures.
His First Marriage was to Actress Leilani Sarelle
For more than a decade, Miguel Ferrer was married to former actress Leilani Sarelle. Sarelle, whose career lasted from 1985 to 2016 when she called it quits, is best known for playing the character Roxy in Basic Instinct (1992). She also appeared in the movie Black Road (2016). The two wedded in 1991 and were together until 2003 when they got a divorce.
The duo’s marriage was blessed with two kids; Lukas (born in 2003) and Rafael (born in 2006). Not much is known about Rafael but Lukas on the other hand appears to have taken after his parents to become an actor. He is mostly known for playing villainous roles. Other than acting, he is also a voice actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.
In addition to the two sons Miguel Ferrer had with Leilani, he has an older son named Jose Robert Dornan whom he had from his relationship with a woman identified as Kate Dornan.