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Why Owen Granger From NCIS: Los Angeles Looks So Familiar

The direct superior to Operations Manager Hetty Lange (Linda Hunt) in the Office of Special Projects, Agent Owen Granger is first introduced on Season 3 of "NCIS: Los Angeles." Granger is originally a recurring character who questions Lange's leadership. However, Granger eventually proves himself with the other team members.

The veteran agent becomes a regular character on the series from Seasons 5 through 8. In his final season, though, Granger discloses that he's dying of cancer. After leaving the hospital before completing treatment, he leaves a note for Hetty, explaining that he wants to put his affairs in order. His daughter Jennifer (Malese Jow) confirms his death on a Season 9 episode.

The character in fact departed "NCIS: Los Angeles" because of actor Miguel Ferrer's real-life passing from throat cancer (via The Guardian). Here's where you have seen this beloved character actor before, from sci-fi blockbusters to a cult classic television series. 

Ferrer played a character in flashback on the original Magnum, P.I.

The son of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney, Miguel Ferrer acknowledged to The A.V. Club that he waited a long time before becoming an actor: "I just really wanted to try my hand, and thankfully it worked out for the most part," he said.

His first screen role was actually as a younger version of his father's character on a Season 1 episode of the original "Magnum, P.I." Jose Ferrer plays Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Caine, who hires Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) to find Diane Pauley (June Lockhart), the woman he married prior to the Pearl Harbor bombings, but believed was long dead. Miguel guest stars as a young Caine in flashbacks to 1941, alongside Lockhart's own real-life daughter, Anne Lockhart (via IMDb).

Ferrer remembered having fun shooting the episode in Hawaii, as well as enjoying the character and story. He told The A.V. Club that the episode "was one of the early things that I did outside of acting class, and it was just one of the best times I've ever, ever had, before or since."

He was the Enterprise's First Officer in Star Trek III

In the mid-1980s, Miguel Ferrer continued to find small appearances in films and on network TV, including "CHiPs" and "The Man Who Wasn't There." One of his highest-profile roles to date from this period is in "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock." The actor appeared as the Starfleet First Officer to Captain Styles (James B. Sikking) on the Excelsior. The Officer alerts Styles when Kirk (William Shatner) and other Enterprise crew members disable their system in order to steal the Enterprise back.

Ferrer called it "a small part, but one of the great, great thrills of my life" (via The A.V. Club). A noted science fiction and comic book fan (via Ben Herman), he considered "Star Trek III" director and Spock actor Leonard Nimoy a childhood hero.

The actor was excited to work with Nimoy, as he further recalled. "When he directed my scene, he didn't even have time to take off his ears, so there he was with his pointy ears behind the camera, telling us what to do," Ferrer said. It may have been a tiny role, but it was clearly a dream come true for Ferrer.

Ferrer is an ill-fated corporate exec in RoboCop

Miguel Ferrer explained to The A.V. Club that much like co-star Nancy Allen, he didn't know whether "RoboCop" would actually be a good film: "I knew that it was great fun to make, but while you're in the middle of these things, you just don't know how it's going to turn out." The famous RoboCop suit was also very difficult to get right on-screen (via Dallas Observer). But when he caught an early screening, he was impressed with the result. "I knew it was a really wonderful, different kind of picture, with sophisticated humor and yet good action and compelling characters and something that was really special," Ferrer said.

The gravel-voiced actor played Bob Morton, a young OCP executive who spearheads the "RoboCop" project at the massive conglomerate. Murdered police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) quickly becomes the guinea pig for Morton's concept of a super-sdx4Rstrong, powerful cyborg who will "uphold the law" and "protect the innocent."

Tragically, Morton fatally underestimates his company rival Dick Jones (Ronnie Cox). Jones has his criminal ally Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) shoot the poor man in the legs, then Boddicker blows up his house to finish the job. Ferrer's character meets a violent end, but the actor had no regrets. "RoboCop was maybe the best summer of my entire life," he told The A.V. Club.

Twin Peaks' Albert is an unforgettable character

Miguel Ferrer only appeared as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield for eight episodes of the original "Twin Peaks," but he easily played one of the most indelible characters on a show full of them. The actor didn't actually understand the surreal mystery series at first. Ferrer was puzzled upon reading the first scripts, but then watched a screener of the pilot and was stunned. "I couldn't believe that they were going to put this thing on TV. I could not believe it," he told The A.V. Club.

Albert is a forensics specialist who arrives in Twin Peaks to assist Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) with the investigation of Laura Palmer's (Sheryl Lee) death. The acerbic, condescending agent immediately clashes with Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Dr. Hayward (Warren Frost) about the autopsy, and later over releasing Laura's body for her funeral.

During another appearance, however, Albert refuses to get into fisticuffs with Truman, fervently explaining his belief in non-violence and love. Ferrer enjoyed this twist for how unusual, yet believable it all was. Despite the show's early cancellation, the actor got to return to the character in "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" and, decades later, for the sequel series "Twin Peaks: The Return."

Ferrer was a regular on Crossing Jordan

Miguel Ferrer had joined several shows as a regular cast member over the years, such as David Lynch's unusual sitcom "Off The Air" and the series "LateLine." But none of them had ever lasted very long. Therefore the actor was happy to appear in all six seasons and 117 episodes of the NBC drama "Crossing Jordan."

As Ferrer told The A.V. Club, "I loved that. Six years on the same show, working on the same lot. Got to go home and see my kids every night." Ferrer co-starred as Dr. Garrett Macy, the Massachusetts chief medical examiner as well as Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh's (Jill Hennessy) boss. Macy often has to deal with Jordan's insistence on solving unsolved violent cases. The doctor struggles meanwhile with his daughter Abby's (Alex McKenna) drug addiction, as well as his own sobriety as a recovering alcoholic.

Ferrer also got to direct some episodes of the show as well. "Crossing Jordan," however, was canceled by NBC shortly before the Season 6 finale aired in 2007 (via TV Series Finale).

He's the duplicitous Vice President in Iron Man 3

Shane Black's Marvel sequel "Iron Man 3" needed a likable, older character actor to play Vice President Rodriguez in order for his third act betrayal to have a greater impact. Who better for the part than a familiar face like Miguel Ferrer?

Rodriguez turns out to be a crucial figure in the plot, as he's eventually revealed to be in league with Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and his company A.I.M. Killian's plan is to use the "Mandarin" to kill the U.S. President, Matthew Ellis (William Sadler). With Rodriguez now installed as Commander in Chief, Killian would sell his Extremis soldiers to the Armed Forces. In exchange, Rodriguez's daughter will have her missing leg healed with A.I.M.'s Extremis therapy.

Rodriguez even receives a warning from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) about the attack on Ellis but keeps it to himself. However, the pair switch to their respective superhero alter-egos Iron Man and War Machine, and along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), they foil Killian's plan and rescue the president. This leads to A.I.M.'s takedown as well as Rodriguez's arrest.