Image: CBS Television Distribution
On Crossing Jordan, Miguel Ferrer played Dr. Garrett Macy, the chief medical examiner and forensics specialist who serves as Jordan Cavanaugh's boss throughout the series. Fans of crime drama likely recognized the actor instantly when he stepped into his first scene, because Ferrer had played a pretty famous forensics expert on a different show long before he joined the cast of Crossing Jordan.
In 1990, Ferrer was cast as FBI agent Albert Rosenfeld on the eerie series Twin Peaks. Although the show only lasted two seasons, its slow creep would eventually unsettle fans for long enough that they demanded multiple revivals, first through a movie, then through the series revival in 2017. Ferrer would appear in both revivals, forever a fixture of that strange universe.
Of course, Ferrer was no stranger to unusual circumstances before he joined agent Dale Cooper as a forensics expert whose deep expertise makes him perfectly suited to helping Kyle MacLachlan's iconic character solve the riddle of Laura Palmer's murder. The actor's first big break came when he was cast in Robocop as Bob Morton, the guy behind the entire Robocop program.
In the hit movie, he plays a notoriously patronizing character, but rumor has it that after casting Ferrer, Robocop writers had to adjust the character because Ferrer is just too likeable to be as evil as the original Bob Morton. Anyone who watches Crossing Jordan can attest to that fact, as we see Ferrer tackle not just the unpredictable behavior of his colleage Jordan, but also all the issues that arise from Dr. Macy's extended family.
When it comes to Ferrer, the reason why his true nature seems to get in the way of his portrayals is that the actor himself is a true character. His mom was Rosemary Clooney, and you can occasionally hear his mother's songs like "Black Coffee" on Crossing Jordan's soundtrack, and his dad was José Ferrer, the first Hispanic actor to win an Oscar. Before he caught the acting bug from dad, Miguel got into music first, recording drums on The Who drummer Keith Moon's debut solo album when he was just 19 and later joining Lost in Space star Bill Mumy's band Seduction of the Innocent.
It was his decision to drum for Mumy that actually led to his first TV role, playing a drummer on Mumy's 1975 series Sunshine. The Eighties transitioned Ferrer fully from drummer to actor, as he began appearing in crime dramas like Magnum, P.I.,CHiPs and Hill Street Blues, and getting cast in movies like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
In the Nineties, the variety of roles Ferrer was offered off the strength of his Robocop performance increased. We watched him play a biker, a vigilante, a commander and a drug informant, proving his acting chops go beyond forensics examiners we know him best from TV shows like Crossing Jordan and Twin Peaks. Most recently, the actor can be found doing voice work for the animated series Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters, giving voice to the 1977 popular toy Stretch Monster.
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