George Clooney Praises Cousin Miguel Ferrer's Enthusiasm For Life

Feb 2, 2017

"He was not an old man, and he never was," said George Clooney about his cousin Miguel Ferrer at a memorial ceremony at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles Saturday.

George Clooney praised his cousin Miggy's perpetually youthful outlook on life, saying that "he came in like a comet, he rocketed through life and he got out," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Ferrer, 61, died Jan. 19 of throat cancer. The actor played NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger on CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles," which will air his final episode Feb. 19 (9 p.m., Channel 12, CBS).

On March 5, "NCIS: Los Angeles" will memorialize Ferrer by broadcasting him singing Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door" with his band, The Jenorators, TV Guide reports. 

Ferrer was a drummer for his mother, Maysville native Rosemary Clooney, singer Bing Crosby, Keith Moon of The Who and others in the 1970s before going into acting. Then he urged his cousin George to leave his Northern Kentucky home and move to Los Angeles to pursue acting too.

"He was an 8-year-old artist showing his pictures at a gallery in Beverly Hills. He was a long-haired beanpole playing drums for Keith Moon’s solo album," Clooney said at the memorial service.

"Or he was this explosive, dangerous young actor standing on stage... He was talented. He was funny. What he was not, was old. The concept of growing up never really took hold with Miggy."

Ferrer's widow, Lori Weintraub Ferrer, and his son Rafi also spoke at the ceremony. She noted that "NCIS" producers accommodated her husband's inability to speak this season. "I really don’t have the words that are sufficient to thank Scott Gemmill, who is the show runner of 'NCIS: LA,' and (CBS President and CEO) Les Moonves for allowing Miguel to work right up until the point he could barely walk and he could no longer speak. That he was able to work to the very end meant everything to Miguel. It's what kept him going even as his body was failing him."

Ferrer in a Nov. 13, 2016, episode with LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell.
Credit CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Moonves, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, Ed Begley Jr., Ernie Hudson, Julie Chen, Robert Patrick, Robert Forster, Kathryn Hahn and cast members Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J attended the ceremony.

Clooney told the gathering that Ferrer spent his last night going out to eat with childhood friends Gavin DeBecker and Morgan Mason.

"They laughed, they told stories. They talked about the future. Then, the next morning he was gone. I think Miguel would call that a fair shake, in a time when so much seems unfair and shaken. He came in like a comet, he rocketed through life and he got out. It’s not so bad."