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Agent Rosenfield signs off. Miguel Ferrer (1955-2017)

The first time I saw “Twin Peaks” I was on holiday at my mother’s boyfriend’s place, looking for things to do, when it was suggested I duck down to the local video shop to get my rental on. I decided to rent the bulky VHS container carrying the first season of, well, a show everyone had been talking about, to help purge off boredom – “Twin Peaks”.

Now, I’d have to have been a Kardashian to not immediately recognize that the show was ‘the Coop Hour’ – what with Kyle MacLachlan’s fantastic, highly memorable and unarguably quotable agent stealing every scene he was in – but there were a couple of other players in the cast that immediately stood out too. Not to say everyone in “Twin Peaks” wasn’t great, they were – from Harry Goaz’s ‘Deputy Andy’ to Madchen Amick’s stunning ‘Shelley’ and Michael Ontkean’s everyman hero ‘Sheriff Truman’ – but it’s those larger-than-life turns by the likes of Ray Wise, Margaret E.Coulson, Lenny Von Dohlen, Michael Anderson, and one Miguel Ferrer that really brought the show to life. Even if some of them only had limited screen time, appearing only here and there throughout the two seasons, their presence was so impactful and sometimes groundbreaking, in performance, that you would think they’d be in each ep of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Magnum Opus.

Most would be surprised to learn that Miguel Ferrer, already known as a dependable character actor thanks to his work in films like “RoboCop” and “Star Trek III : The Search for Spock”, was only around for a few episodes of “Twin Peaks”. But we don’t remember it so because of how terrific and memorable Ferrer’s Albert Rosenfeild was. From his bullish entrance in Season One, where he arrived to assist Cooper on the Laura Palmer case, to the back-and-forward jabs he and Truman exchanged, and ultimately, his return to town for the big sting in Season Two, he spurred laughter, gasps and smiles with each appearance. Even after his initial entrance on “Peaks”, you knew you wanted more of the guy – he was a breath of arrogant fresh air in a world of nicely kook.
It was just as welcoming to see Ferrer back as Rosenfeild, if even briefly, for 1992’s “Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me”. It’ll be surreal now seeing him share scenes with –another also recently dearly departed icon – David Bowie, as Phillip Jeffries, in that FBI office sequence. Alas, he’s there all the same.

Whether it was as Albert, or Owen Granger on “NCIS : Los Angeles” or Garrett Macy on “Crossing Jordan” or Lloyd Heinreid in “The Stand” or Bob Morton in “RoboCop” , Miguel was a masterful actor. And he was everywhere. He worked harder than you and I combined. And he proved himself to be much, much more than just another ‘character actor’.

Many found out for the first time today, thanks to a lovely tribute from the ex-“E.R” star, that Hollywood megastar George Clooney is Ferrer’s cousin. Want to know why that hasn’t come up more often? Why haven’t you been made aware of that earlier? Because you didn’t need to know. Ferrer was not only his own man, and as much a talent as his cousin is, but he’s always been much more than someone’s cousin : He’s the people’s superstar. Our Miguel. Our Albert. Our Harbinger. Our Bob. Our Owen. And there’ll never be another like him. Even George knows that.

Ferrer will be back as Albert Rosenfeld on the new season of “Twin Peaks” this May on Showtime. Cherish the last hurrah.

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