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Old 06-10-2005, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default 'MacGyver' Actor Dana Elcar Dies at 77

'MacGyver' Actor Dana Elcar Dies at 77

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - Actor Dana Elcar, whose role as Peter Thornton on ABC's adventure series "MacGyver" depicted his real-life struggle with glaucoma and blindness, has died. He was 77.

He died Monday of complications from pneumonia at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Richard Dean Anderson, who played MacGyver, recalled working with Elcar.

"At a time when I had very little business being called an actor, he made things so easy for me," Anderson told the Times. "It was a learning experience that was very warm and loving for all seven years."

Elcar told producers he was going blind after four seasons with "MacGyver," but they simply adapted his character to match his medical condition.

"The fact that you are losing your eyesight does not mean you have forgotten how to act," Elcar, in a speech to the National Federation of the Blind in 1991, recalled producers telling him.

The show ended a year later, when he had become almost completely blind.

Elcar's television career spanned 50 years. He played in other drama series, including "Baretta" opposite Robert Blake and the Robert Conrad series "Black Sheep Squadron."

The actor also appeared in at least 40 films, including "The Sting,""2010,""All of Me" and "The Learning Tree."

"'The Learning Tree' was a big turning point for him, and a good performance in his mind," said his son, Dane Elcar. "He played a really bad guy really well."

Elcar also starred in off-Broadway plays, including the first American productions of Harold Pinter's "The Dumb Waiter" and "The Caretaker," Dylan Thomas'"Under Milk Wood" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."

Running away from home in Ferndale, Mich., at age 13 may have led Elcar to an acting career.

He and a friend tried to catch a ride on a train to Detroit, but Elcar missed it because he couldn't run fast enough. So he spent the night in a town far from home, watching "Citizen Kane" at an all-night theater.

"That kind of sparked him to be an actor. He watched it four or five times in one night," his son said. In addition to his son, Elcar is survived by three daughters, Nora Elcar Verdon, Chandra Elcar and Marin Elcar; a stepdaughter, Emily Prager; a sister, Marie E. Hewitt; a half-sister, Janet K. Melville; longtime companion Thelma M. Garcia; and a granddaughter.

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Old 06-10-2005, 03:54 PM   #2
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Wow, Dana Elcar ruled so much.

Rest In Peace, Dana Elcar. You will always be THE MAN.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:58 PM   #3
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R.I.P. Dana Elcar
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:02 PM   #4
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This is so sad. He was such a great actor and how he handled his blindness was remarkable. R.I.P. Dana.
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:26 PM   #5
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RIP Dana Elcar. You were a great actor and you will be missed.
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:32 PM   #6
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RIP Dana Elcar
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.F. Storm
Wow, Dana Elcar ruled so much.

Rest In Peace, Dana Elcar. You will always be THE MAN.
Dana Elcar was a very good man indeed, he will be missed. R.I.P
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:45 PM   #8
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I can remember watching MacGyver when I was extremely young and it was still in its first run. I didn't see a lot of it after it ended and it wasn't til it came back to TV Land that I started watching again.

I always did like Dana. Rest in peace.
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeAvEr FaN
Dana Elcar was a very good man indeed, he will be missed. R.I.P
it's hard to believe Dana Elcar is really gone, it seemed like he would live forever.
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:52 PM   #10
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R.I.P
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:06 PM   #11
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Here's another picture of Mac and Pete.
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:09 PM   #12
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This sucks.He is one of my favorite actors and is hilarious.
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:11 PM   #13
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Damn, I can't believe it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Elcar.
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:14 PM   #14
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I'm shocked. I always liked him on MacGyver. R.I.P. Dana.
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:32 PM   #15
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R.I.P. Dana Elcar

a true hero, and a great actor.
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