Ferrer died Thursday from cancer

By Natalie Stone and Elizabeth Leonard
Updated January 19, 2017 08:22 PM

George Clooney is paying tribute to his late cousin Miguel Ferrer, who passed away Thursday after a battle with cancer.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, Clooney remembered the veteran actor, who he was fortunate to call a family member.

“Today history will mark giant changes in our world, and lost to most will be that on the same day Miguel Ferrer lost his battle to throat cancer. But not lost to his family,” Clooney said in the statement.

“Miguel made the world brighter and funnier and his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day, (monumental events), pale in comparison,” Clooney continued. “We love you Miguel. We always will.”

Credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

PEOPLE reported Thursday that the NCIS: Los Angeles and Crossing Jordan actor died at the age of 61 in his home surrounded by friends and family.

After news broke about Ferrer’s death, an outpour of Hollywood A-listers and his former industry colleagues took to social media to honor the actor.

Ferrer is survived by his wife Lori, and sons Lukas and Rafi, whom he felt were his most important accomplishments in life, according to an obituary released by NCIS: Los Angeles.