‘NCIS: Los Angeles’: Late Star Miguel Ferrer Convinced a Hollywood A-Lister to Start Acting

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Francois G. Durand/WireImage

The late “NCIS: Los Angeles” star Miguel Ferrer was a staple of acting, appearing on both the big and small screens. But he had an even more famous cousin.

That’s right Ferrer and Hollywood A-lister George Clooney are related. In fact, Clooney may have never become an actor at all if not for Ferrer’s intervention. Ferrer caught the entertainment bug early in life and passed it on to his cousin. Hollywood would have lost one of its leading men otherwise.

At the time, Clooney was a student at Northern Kentucky University. And he wasn’t doing well in school. The future actor wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. But according to WVXU, Ferrer and his father Jose were filming at Lexington. They convinced a young Clooney to join the film as an extra.

While ultimately that film never released, Clooney loved the experience. An actor was born on that set. He even invited the cast and crew to his house for dinner one night. But Clooney’s father was against the idea. Miguel urged Clooney to move out to Hollywood. He told his cousin that he could stay at Ferrer’s mother’s house until he got on his feet.

That was 1982. Both Ferrer and Clooney ended up going to the same auditions together. They also ended up performing on stage as well, as Clooney recounted in 1990.

“We’ve done seven or eight plays together. No film or TV,” Clooney said.

George Clooney Repays ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star

Breaking into Hollywood isn’t guaranteed. In fact, it took George Clooney 14 years to finally land his lead role on “ER” in the 1990s. So what did Clooney do to repay his cousin? He helped Ferrer land a guest role as a patient on the very first episode of the show.

And both cousins remained actors in Hollywood. Clooney branched out from sitcoms like “Roseanne” to making large budget films. Meanwhile, Ferrer found a rhythm on television appearing on shows like “Miami Vice,” “Twin Peaks” and much later “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

Sadly, Ferrer passed away in 2017 following an extensive battle with throat cancer. His “NCIS” family and friends mourned his loss.

“Miguel was a man of tremendous talent who had a powerful dramatic presence on screen, a wicked sense of humor, and a huge heart. Our thoughts go out to his wife Lori, his sons, and his entire family. He will be greatly missed,” producer R. Scott Gemmill said in 2017.