Goodbye, Dana Elcar

By Lila Holland

Jun 10, 2005

Dana Elcar, famous for his MacGyver role of Pete Thornton, has died. The 77-year-old actor succumbed to complications from pneumonia in a Ventura, CA, hospital on Monday, June 6.

Elcar ran away from home at age 13, and spent a night repeatedly watching Citizen Kane in an all-night movie theater. His son, Dane Elcar, suggests that this experience was the inspiration for Elcar's 50-year career in television, film, and stage acting.

When glaucoma began to affect Elcar's vision during the fouth season of MacGyver, the show's producers decided to write his condition into the show instead of writing his character out. By the series' end, Elcar had lost nearly all of his eyesight. He continued to act despite his blindness, and he played blind men in guest appearances on Law & Order and ER.

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  • VirginiaKorle May 20, 2011

    I recalled he had eye problems, but I didn't understand till much later that its was glaucoma, also I missed when it he told MacGyver about it and most of the end this good show, now I understand better.
    I fight with glaucoma, on top of other eye problems, learning problem, and more RIP belatedly but you and this show is showing what a person can do.

  • ZAPKVR Oct 11, 2009

    I just finished watching Dana on Macguyger. I never even knew he was in it, I've never been a big fan. I remember him from Get Smart and the episode "And baby makes four" I can hardly beleive what a trooper he was R.I.P. Mr Elcar

  • WarthogDemon Jul 26, 2006

    Very said. He played his character in MacGyver excellently. :(

  • divdat Jun 02, 2006

    Great actor. Very, very sad news.

  • mytvshows05 Dec 01, 2005

    It is sad that he has passed though, cool that his role as Pete is part of tv history. Though on the first eposide he played someone else, which confused me.

  • KorreidasSeries Oct 02, 2005

    sad :/

  • VillaFan Jun 11, 2005

    I met him once when he was filming MacGyver in Vancouver many years ago. A really nice guy and will be missed.

  • jekyll Jun 11, 2005

    I remember him fondly from his days on MacGyver, and still remember him being on ER, in what turned out to be his final performance.

  • freaksngeeks Jun 11, 2005

    He always seemed like a real nice person. Sad news indeed.