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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

George Clooney Praises Cousin Miguel Ferrer's Enthusiasm For Life

CBS Television
Miguel Ferrer as NCIS Assistant Director Owen Granger in 2015.

"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.

Credit CBS
A rare CBS photo of Miguel Ferrer smiling during a visit to CBS' "The Talk" daytime show.

"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."

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

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."

John Kiesewetter joined the WVXU news team as a TV/Media blogger on July 1 2015, after nearly 30 years covering local and national broadcasting for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’ll be posting news about Greater Cincinnati TV, radio and movies; updating your favorite former local TV/radio personalities or stars who grew up here; and breaking news about national TV, radio and media trends. You’ll also learn about Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting history.