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What Happened To The Cast Of The Original MacGyver?

1985 changed TV forever by introducing the world to Angus MacGyver, a secret agent of uncanny resourcefulness, bravery, and honor. As every episode of MacGyver amply demonstrates, he can turn whatever loose items are in his vicinity into just the tool necessary to save the day. He doesn't use a gun – all he needs is quick thinking and creativity.

After seven seasons and two television movies, the original MacGyver finally decided to hang up the glasses. But the show's legacy lives on. A reboot starring Lucas Till premiered in 2016, introducing an entirely new generation to the man in the aviators, and the Saturday Night Live parody character, MacGruber, managed to get a movie of his own in 2010.

But what's the original cast up to these days? Many have gone on to great careers, starring in many other TV shows and movies. Some have taken a few unexpected turns, including involvement in punk rock and environmental activism. Let's take a look at what the original cast of MacGyver has done in the years since the series ended. 

Richard Dean Anderson

Playing Angus MacGyver might have put Richard Dean Anderson on the map, but that doesn't mean it was an uncomplicated experience. As he stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "MacGyver was seven years of being in virtually every frame that was shot and having absolutely no life at all." 

His next big role would come in 1997 when he portrayed Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1. While he's had other roles in the years since, he hasn't exactly put MacGyver completely behind him. He played himself in The Simpsons episode "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore," in which he is kidnapped by Patty and Selma Bouvier, Marge Simpson's MacGyver-obsessed sisters. In 2009, he played MacGyver in two episodes of Saturday Night Live where he had the chance to act alongside Will Forte playing MacGruber, an explicit parody of Anderson's most famous role.

He seems to have taken a break from acting in recent years. His last role was in 2013, in which he played himself on an episode of Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. But don't count him out just yet: In 2018, he told fans at Fan Expo Canada that he would absolutely be willing to reprise his role in Stargate SG-1 if the opportunity arose.

Bruce McGill

Before he landed the role of Jack Dalton on MacGyver, Bruce McGill was best known for playing D-Day in National Lampoon's Animal HouseHis career has remained strong since MacGyver ended in 1992, encompassing numerous film and television roles. When it comes to the small screen, he has appeared on shows including Babylon 5, Psych, and NCIS, and played major roles as Detective Vince Korsak on Rizzoli & Isles, Stanley Gordon on Suits, and Lloyd Waterman on The Cleveland Show

McGill has also been a regular on the big screen. Some of the more well-known films he's starred in include Shallow HalCollateral, and Lincoln. Along with the rest of the cast of Lincoln, he was nominated for a 2013 Gold Derby Award for Best Ensemble Cast, and won the award for Best Actor at the 2019 Pasadena International Film Festival for his role as Mel in Waiting Game.

Robin Mossley

Robin Mossley portrayed Wilt Bozer, Angus' neighbor at the marina, for the first three seasons of MacGyver. He only appears in a few episodes during his tenure on the show, including "The Lost Amadeus" and "MacGyver's Women." Wilt Bozer did, however, make his way into the 2016 reboot of the show — but this time as an aspiring filmmaker and makeup artist.

Mossley has gone on to appear in many other television shows. One of his more prominent roles was on The X-Files. Uniquely, Mossley played three different doctors — Dr. Kingsley Looker, Dr. Vance Randolph, and Dr. Joe Ridley — in three different episodes. He also followed his MacGyver co-star Richard Dean Anderson onto Stargate SG-1, where he appeared on two episodes, again playing different characters in different episodes: Malikai in the 2000 episode "Window of Opportunity," and Dr. Reimer in the 2006 episode "Morpheus."

Mossley married Helen Jarvis, an art director known for her work on Watchmen and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, in 1995. They even worked together on the 1999 film Dudley Do-Right. Mossley's resume has been pretty bare since 2011 — his last credit to date is from 2011's R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour.

Dana Elcar

Dana Elcar played Angus MacGyver's best friend and boss at both the Phoenix Foundation and the Department of External Services, Peter Thornton. In 1991, in the middle of filming MacGyver, Elcar began to develop glaucoma. The creators of the show actually worked his condition into the series: In season six, Peter Thornton also starts to struggle with glaucoma, and in "Hind-Sight," the season finale, Thornton's eye surgery is used as a framing device to produce a clip show.

Dana Elcar embraced his condition and played blind characters on various television shows, including Law & OrderER, and The Magic School Bus. He also made his way to the stage, portraying Vladimir in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Dana Elcar was married three times throughout his life and had four children. Toward the end of his life, he was with his long-time partner, Thelma Garcia. Sadly, he passed away from pneumonia on June 6th, 2005 in Ventura, California at the age of 77.

Elyssa Davalos

Elyssa Davalos joined the cast of MacGyver in the third season as agent Nikki Carpenter. She's a major foil to Angus MacGyver — the two butt heads fiercely and frequently, especially when she first comes on board. However, as the seasons wear on, the two eventually grow to respect one another's methods. The character was rebooted in the 2016 version of the show, this time as MacGyver's former girlfriend who's actually an undercover agent working for the CIA.

Davalos has had various guest roles on other television shows in the years since MacGyver's end, including Doogie Howser, M.D., Matlock, and The Division. Her last acting role was in 2007's Nancy Drew as the Twin Palms manager.

She was married to photographer Jeff Dunas from 1982 to 1988. The couple has one daughter together, Alexa Davalos, who has gone on to become an actor in her own right, starring in series like The Man in the High Castle and The Punisher

Michael Des Barres

Michael Des Barres played Murdoc, MacGyver's longest-running nemesis on the series. Murdoc is both a master of disguise and a master assassin who can take out anyone he wants to ... except MacGyver. Murdoc's incompetence when it comes to killing MacGyver becomes a bit of a running joke, in fact: Repeatedly, Murdoc attempts to kill MacGyver, "dies" after each encounter, then, miraculously, appears once again, newly obsessed with defeating his enemy.

Des Barres has had a lot of work in the years since the show ended. He's had recurring roles on The New WKRP in Cincinnati and Melrose Placein addition to making guest appearances on everything from Gilmore Girls to Batman: The Animated Series

Beyond acting, Des Barres has enjoyed an incredibly accomplished music career. He was the touring singer for The Power Station, a spin-off group from Duran Duran. He's also played alongside members of The Sex Pistols and Blondie as part of Chequered Past, a British-American rock supergroup. Des Barres has also been sober since 1981, and helped create the organization Rock Against Drugs in the mid-1980s.

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Before he was an Academy Award-winning actor, Cuba Gooding Jr. appeared in four episodes of MacGyver as Billy Colton. While he was then a relatively unknown actor, that status wouldn't last long. In 1991he starred as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood, and his career took off like a rocket. He would go on to have roles in acclaimed movies including A Few Good Men and Outbreak, but his biggest break of all arrived in 1996 in a little movie called Jerry Maguire.

Cuba Gooding Jr. won Best Supporting Actor at the 1997 Academy Awards for his performance as Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire. After this Oscar win, he went on to star in Pearl Harbor and Radio. Many of his roles in the 2000s weren't as well-known as his earlier work, but he's enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as of late, most prominently evidenced by his portrayal of O.J. Simpson in the acclaimed miniseries, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. 

Cuba Gooding Jr. married Sara Kapfer in 1994. The couple has three children together. The couple separated in 2014, and in 2017, Cuba Gooding Jr. officially filed for divorce

Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher had a recurring role as Penny Parker in MacGyver from 1986 to 1990. In her first appearance on the show, Parker tries to use MacGyver in an attempt to get him to smuggle some jewels out of the country for her. She continues to make trouble for the titular hero over the course of six appearances on the show.

Hatcher's career exploded post-MacGyver. In 1993, she starred in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman as the eponymous Lois. After the show ended in 1997, she appeared in small roles on shows including Frasier and Seinfeld, as well as movies like Tomorrow Never Dies and Spy Kids. 2004 saw her score another lead role when she was cast as Susan Mayer in the hit TV series Desperate Housewives. Among other awards, her performance as Mayer won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Hatcher has also dabbled in voice work, most notably portraying the fearsome Other Mother in Coraline.

Hatcher has been married twice before and has one child. In 2007, she began writing a monthly column for Glamour magazine.

Patricia McPherson

Patricia McPherson makes quite the impression in the 1986 MacGyver episode, "Jack of Lies," in which she plays an adventurous college buddy of MacGyver's. Prior to that appearance, she was already well-known to audiences thanks to the role of Bonnie Barstow on Knight Rider. She's made a few guest appearances on various television shows in the years since, including Murder, She Wrote and Matlock. However, she officially retired from acting in 1991.

Since the announcement of her retirement, McPherson has thrown herself into tireless conservation work. One of her most well-known efforts involves helping preserve the Ballona Wetlands in southern California. She's worked alongside the Ballona Wetlands Trust to hold the Playa Vista community in southern California accountable for failing to take action regarding methane in the area. 

Though she did briefly come out of retirement to star in an episode of Warehouse 13 in 2009, for the most part, McPherson doesn't seem like she plans to make a big return to acting. But considering her passionate work for the environment, it's clear she's still making a difference every single day.

Bruce Harwood

Bruce Harwood appears in five episodes of MacGyver, but he's credited as two separate roles. During his first appearance in the 1987 episode "Blow Out," he plays Juice. He returned to the series several years later, this time portraying Willis, a Phoenix Foundation technician who appears in four episodes.

Since MacGyver ended, Harwood has had a successful career making guest appearances on various other television shows. He appeared throughout the 1990s on shows like 21 Jump Street, The Outer Limits, and The X-Files. In the latter series, he portrays John Fitzgerald Byers, who would go on to feature prominently in The X-Files spin-off show, The Lone Gunmen. He would later reprise this role in 2016 in The X-Files reboot.

Harwood remains busy to this day appearing in various TV productions. His most recent appearance was as Professor Darby in a 2020 episode of Batwoman. This wasn't his first time venturing into the DC TV universe — he also appeared on The Flash in 2014, as Dexter Myles.

Brigitta Stenberg

Brigitta Stenberg had a prominent career as an actor throughout the 1990s. The role most people know her from, however, is Maria Romburg, who features in two episodes of MacGyver. In the episode "The Game," Romberg appears to be a woman reunited with her long-lost grandfather. However, it's soon revealed that she's been turned into a secret agent involved in a nefarious plot to steal her grandpa's fortune. She later appears in "MacGyver's Women," which sees her burgeoning relationship with MacGyver flame out. Romburg takes off for Rio, leaving the show for good.

Stenberg had other roles in film and TV through the rest of the 1990s, including a role as a stewardess in the Sylvester Stallone film, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Her last film role was in the 1999 film Five Aces, in which she plays Jessica alongside Charlie Sheen and Christopher McDonald. She's kept a low profile in the years since — it doesn't seem like she'll return to the big or small screen any time soon. 

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik has enjoyed a long, illustrious career. It all started back in the 1980s when she landed the role of Lisa Woodman on three episodes of MacGyver. Her time on that show may have been short-lived, but it wasn't long until she was off to a starring role of her own. From 1990 to 1995, she played the titular lead of the hit TV show, Blossom

Bialik got regular work throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but she didn't let her education fall to the wayside. She earned an undergraduate degree at UCLA in 2000, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. Her dissertation was entitled — brace yourself — "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative and satiety behaviors in Prader–Willi syndrome." Her intelligence lended itself nicely to her next major role: Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory. She played Fowler, Sheldon's brilliant love interest, until the show ended in 2019. No matter what she decides to do next, Bialik is sure to succeed.