Dana Elcar has a sister, Marie E. Hewitt, and a half sister, Janet K. Melville.
Before his death, Dana Elcar operated a small theater in Santa Paula.
Dana Elcar debut in stage was in the production of Moon in Capricorn.
Dana Elcar attended the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and studied drama there.
Dana Elcar once worked as an ambulance and cab driver.
Dana Elcar grew up on his family's farm.
Dana Elcar had four children: one son, Dane Elcar, and three daughters, Nora Elcar Verdon, Chandra Elcar, and Marin Elcar.
In 1954, Dana Elcar debuted in television as Dr. Clay in A Time to Live.
He was married and divorced three times.
He died the same day as Anne Bancroft.
In 2002 he guest starred as a blind character on the show ER.
When he started going blind, his character Peter Thornton on MacGyver was also written with the same affliction. His blindness was also written into his guest appearance on Law & Order, resulting from Diabetic Retinopathy.
His body double on MacGyver was Don S. Davis who would later star on Stargate SG-1 with Elcar's co-star Richard Dean Anderson.
He did not appear in either of the two "MacGyver" TV movies: MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday.
Dana Elcar: I did not admit to myself, for a long time, how serious it was. But at a certain point, you can reach out for something and it's not there, or you find that it's further away, or that you just don't find it, or you can't really see what it is you need to see.
Dana Elcar: (about going blind) I went through a lot; I bawled. I was mad; I was frustrated. Angry with the world, my wife, my family.
Dana Elcar:(In a speech to the National Federation of the blind in 1991) The fact that you are losing your eyesight does not mean you have forgotten how to act.