Miguel Ferrer was born in Santa Monica, California, one of five children of Puerto Rican Academy Award-winner José Ferrer (1909-1992) and American singer Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002). His siblings are Maria, Gabriel, Monsita, and Rafael (also an actor) and his cousin is actor George Clooney. Ferrer was raised in Hollywood, and as a teenager his interests shifted towards music. Ferrer played the drums on Keith Moon's Two Sides of the Moon. Band mate Bill Mumy ("Will Robinson" on the television classic Lost In Space) cast him as a drummer in his first television role, in the series Sunshine. He only took the role because Mumy talked him into it. Ferrer began his career in the early 1980s making guest appearances on episodic television. In 1983, he was given a small part as a waiter in the 1983 movie The Man Who Wasn't There. He also had a small part in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) as the Excelsior helm officer. He had a major role in the 1987 action movie RoboCop as aspiring, cocaine-snorting corporate executive Bob Morton. Since then, Ferrer has been cast in many major movies, usually in the role of flamboyant villains with a sense of humor. Ferrer's notable screen roles include a sinister biker in Valentino Returns (1988), a scientist who flips out in DeepStar Six (1989), Commander Arvid Harbinger in the comedy Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993), Lloyd Henreid in the Stephen King mini series The Stand (1995), investigative reporter Richard Dees in Stephen King's The Night Flier (1997), and Eduardo Ruiz in Traffic (2000). In the early 1990s, Ferrer appeared on three prime time TV series simultaneously: as D.A. Todd Spurrier in Shannon's Deal (1989-1991), as Cajun cop Beau Jack Bowman in Broken Badges (1990-1991), and as cynical, wittily-abrasive FBI forensics specialist Albert Rosenfield in Twin Peaks (1990–91). Ferrer reprised the role of Albert in the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). He played another medical examiner on the small screen, Dr. Garret Macy, in the television crime/drama series Crossing Jordan (2001–07). Ferrer performed as the voice of the Heretic leader in the video game Halo 2, as well as the protagonist Jack in the video game BioShock. In 1999, at the 41st Grammy Awards, he was nominated for "Best Spoken Word Album for Children" in Disney's The Lion King II, "Simba's Pride Read-Along". In 2003, Ferrer made his New York stage debut in the off-Broadway production of The Exonerated. Ferrer played a super villain called The Weatherman in the failed 1997 TV pilot, Justice League of America. Later in the year, Ferrer provided the voice for a similar character, Weather Wizard, in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Speed Demons". Ferrer also voiced Aquaman in another Superman: Animated episode, "A Fish Story". Ferrer has also provided voice-over roles in the TV series Robot Chicken (2006) and American Dad! (2007). Ferrer currently plays Jonas Bledsoe on NBC's Bionic Woman series.
Ferrer loves to golf and ski, and every year he helps to organize a golf tournament fund raiser for the UCLA Children's Hospital. He also finds time to play club dates with Mumy and their band The Jenerators. He is divorced from actress Leilani Sarelle and has two sons from that marriage. His eldest son is named Lukas (b. 1993) and his younger one is Rafael (b1996). He has a third son, Josè Robert Ferrer, born May 2004, with Kate Dornan. He has been married to Lori Weintraub since 2005. Ferrer was a close friend of actress Dominique Dunne, and in 1982 served as a pallbearer in her funeral.