Monday, 23 January 2017

MIGUEL FERRER: THE GUARDIAN OBITUARY

My obit of Miguel Ferrer, character actor and voice-over artist, is up at Guardian.co.uk. You can link to it here; it should be in the paper paper soon. It appears pretty much exactly as written; the one bit that was the story of his childhood friend Bill Mumy. Mumy was a successful child-actor, best known for his part as the youngest kid in Lost In Space. He was doing a sitcom in the mid-70s called Sunshine, in which he played in a band. Ferrer's TV debut apparently was the drummer (or a drummer) in the band. The story was interesting because much later in life the two would form another band, called Seduction Of The Innocent (after the infamous 1950s book condemning comic books) which would also include the writer Max Allan Collins. Mumy's career is like a distorted mirror-image of Ferrer's: he continued in music, very successfully, only occasional acting (including a guest shot in Crossing Jordan), and a lot of voice-overs.

If I'd had more space it might have been interesting to examine the dynamics of his parents' marriages, a fascinating story in itself. There is also an essay to be written somewhere about the nature of acting on the big screen as opposed to the smaller one, and why some actors can dominate the latter, but seem to shrink on the bigger. And I found it particularly interesting how Ferrer's face itself changed; it was an interesting one, not least for its flexible ethnicity (recall, his mother was Irish, his father Puerto Rican). The Harvest, which I mention, happened probably just about at the end of the time he had available to be a leading man, if only in character parts. As he grew older, and his face rounded, he came to look more like his father, with  the accompanying gravitas.

My closing was also edited out, so I'll include it here:  His cousin George Clooney, referencing the inauguration of a new president in Washington the next day, said “his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day, (monumental events), pale in comparison”

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