MacGyver is an American television adventure series that aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992. The show chronicled the adventurous life of Angus MacGyver, a resourceful spy who escapes and solves any situation using ordinary everyday materials. He used only his Swiss Army knife, duct tape and only in the direst of needs, used matches to get out of a jam.

A scene from the show where MacGyver uses his Swiss army knife to jimmy a lock

The term ‘MacGyver’ even made it into the Oxford dictionary as a verb which defined it as,

Make or repair (an object) in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are at hand.”

A 2016 reboot of the series portraying a younger MacGyver played by actor Lucas Till features a host of new and original characters running in its 3rd season. With the success of the new MacGyver show, you may be wondering what happened to the cast of the original MacGyver? Let’s find out.

MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson)

After the show ended in 1992, he starred in films such as Through the Eyes of a Killer, Pandora’s Clock and Firehouse with little success.

A still of Richard Anderson in his role of Angus MacGyver. He is wearing a green shirt

In 1997, he returned to television as the main cast of the military sci-fi adventure series Stargate SG-1, a spin-off of the 1994 film Stargate. He was a series regular for eight seasons and made guest appearances in seasons 9 and 10. That series ended in 2007.

A picture of a much older Richard at a red carpet eventt

His last credited role was his cameo in the sitcom, Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23 back in 2013. In 2016, he released a statement on why he wasn’t part of the new reboot.

“So many people have responded to the attempted ‘reboot’ of the MacGyver franchise, and a lot of people have asked me if I’m going to be in the new show, or am I going to produce it, or, yada. And all I can say is, I’m not considering being a part of a project that has overlooked the insanely LOYAL FANS of the original character and has proceeded without considering how and why they all became and STAYED loyal fans. Yes, I was asked, but no, I won’t be involved in the MacGyver reboot. I have tried to recognise that there really is a balance to be found here. Hence, my loyalty to my fans.”

Peter Thornton (Dana Elcar)

Following MacGyver, he appeared in shows like For Their Own Good, Law & Order and The Magic School Bus.

A picture of Dana Elcar from Any Old Port in a Storm. He is wearing a blue suit and yellow shirt

His last credited role was on season 8, episode 13 of ER in 2002. The beloved film and television character actor passed away at the age of 78 on June 6, 2005.

Jack Dalton (Bruce McGill)

Jack appeared in many shows after MacGyver, including The Cleveland Show and Rizzoli & Isles. His other notable roles include playing Daniel Simpson’s “D-Day” Day in John Landis’ Animal House, Com. Eugene Matuzak in Timecop and Reverend Larson in Shallow Hal.

A promo pic of McGill. He is wearing a brown suit and glasses as he looks at the camera

He is currently the narrator for the Fox News series Scandalous and is set to appear in the 2019 movie Poms.

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Murdoc (Michael Des Barres)

Following MacGyver, the English actor and rock singer appeared in The New WKRP in Cincinnati and Melrose Place. He most notably played in David Lynch’s classic 2001 movie Mulholland Drive. Michael appeared on MacGyver (2016 TV series) as Nicholas Helman in 2018.

A recent picture of actor and singer Michael Des Barres at a red carpet event. He is wearing a sleek black suit and transparent blue lens shades

He also famously replaced Robert Palmer in the rock band, The Power Station and fronted the bar at the 1985 Live Aid concert.

Nikki Carpenter (Elyssa Davalos)

Elyssa Davalos, who played the recurring role of Nikki Carpenter in the show’s season 3, went on to play a recurring role in How the West Was Won

A picture of Elyssa Davalos in her youth. She is wearing a grey coat and has short, wavy hair

Elyssa started her career with the 1973 movie, The Student Teachers, which appeared in TV shows throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s and last appeared in the 2007 film Nancy Drew.

Harry Jackson Grandfather of MacGyver (John Anderson)

John Anderson played MacGyver’s grandfather, Harry Jackson. Jackson took care of our young hero after his grandmother and father were killed in an accident. He first appeared in the musical, Paint Your Wagon! And later, Anderson worked in Hawaii Five-O, M*A*S*H and almost every good show of the 60s and 70s.

John Anderson played the grandfather of MacGyver

He last appeared as Pat Knight on The Last Gunfighter’s show, which aired six months before his death. Mr. John Anderson passed away at the age of 69 in 1992.

Do you like the new MacGyver series or the old one? Let us know in the comments below!

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