Recurring MacGyver Characters
Below we've profiled some of the recurring characters in MacGyver's world, and we've listed episodes in which the characters appeared. (Note that information about MacGyver can be found here or here.)
For more details, read Pete's bio in The MacGyver F.A.Q.
Portrayed by Dana Elcar. MacGyver's friend and his boss at the Phoenix Foundation. Pete formerly worked for the DXS, and he is a self-proclaimed workaholic.
Note: Pete was in a lot of episodes; these are a few where he joined in on the action.
A Prisoner of Conscience
The Road Not Taken
Out in the Cold
The Odd Triple
Fraternity of Thieves
For more details, read Jack's bio in The MacGyver F.A.Q.
Portrayed by Bruce McGill. Jack is MacGyver's flighty pilot friend. Whenever Mac is around Jack, adventure follows because Jack's never-ending search for a way to get-rich-quick usually leads to trouble.
"You had to give Jack one thing: he knew how to have fun. High adventure, globetrotting, no-holds-barred fun." - MacGyver
"Jack Dalton. Rogue. Adventurer. Liar. Thief." - MacGyver
"Jack operates a lot on faith." - MacGyver
"Even drug-dealing desperados draw the line on what they'll fly - but not Jack. Oh, no." - MacGyver
Jack of Lies
Dalton, Jack of Spies
Lost Love (Part 1)
Lost Love (Part 2)
Jack in the Box
The Odd Triple
Mask of the Wolf
Rock the Cradle
On a Wing and a Prayer
Hind-Sight (in flashbacks)
For more details, read Murdoc's bio in The MacGyver F.A.Q.
Portrayed by Michael Des Barres. MacGyver's nemesis: Murdoc is a "top-level, world-class assassin." Besides being a master of disguise, Murdoc proved to be very hard to kill; every time MacGyver thought Murdoc was dead, Murdoc would re-appear later.
"Murdoc's just the kind to set these neat, perfect little traps." - MacGyver
Pete: Murdoc is an international terrorist. Specializes in disguises. He's half-chameleon, half rattlesnake. When he makes a hit, he always takes a picture of his victim. Dying.
MacGyver: Keeping an album, is he?
Pete: No. One shot goes to whoever paid for the hit, as proof. And a copy to us, the DXS, just for fun.
Jack: Who do we know who likes playin' games? Like dress-up, and murder?
For more details, read Penny's bio in The MacGyver F.A.Q.
Portrayed by Teri Hatcher. Penny and Mac met after she struck up a conversation while they were at an airport in Bulgaria. She introduced herself but admitted that Penny Parker isn't her real name: she changed it when she started working as a model. She's also a dancer and an actress. Like Jack, trouble also follows Penny, who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For more details, read Harry's bio in The MacGyver F.A.Q.
Portrayed by John Anderson. Harry Jackson is Mac's grandfather. They lost touch when Mac was younger, but starting in season one, they began to reconnect.
[Scene from a flashback.]
Young Mac: How come you want me to call you "Harry"?
Harry: That's my name.
Young Mac: But you're my grandpa.
Harry: Yep. But "Grandpa" is for an old man. Name's Harry.
MacGyver: Hey, Harry, remember you used to tell me about how the Indians fought this way?
Harry: Bud . . . a lot of that stuff I used to tell you was, uh, just stories.
MacGyver: Yeah, well a lot of it works.
Mac often quoted advice that Harry had given him:
"If you're afraid of the answer, don't ask the question."
About life: "a fellow's life wasn't worth mentioning if he hadn't shared it with some folks along the way."
About friendship: "friendship was a two-sided coin. It can turn out to be the best - or the worst - investment you ever made."
About snaring wild game: "They have a great sense of smell. They can run fast -- but they usually don't look down to see where they're stepping."
About fishing: "you just gotta think like a fish."
MacGyver: When I was a kid, my grandpa gave me two things I'll never forget: a subscription to Popular Mechanics and a chemistry set.
Harry Jackson, Mac's grandpa, was also in the episode "Passages". In this episode Mac was seriously injured and in a coma. At the same time Harry had suffered a heart attack and passed away. (Mac was unable to be by his bedside). Mac has an out-of-life experience; he sees Harry in the light and goes to him. Harry boards a big Cruise Liner for the dead and on it is Mac parents. Mac makes the decision of preferring to be with his parents and Harry, but Harry says it isn't his time and that people need him desperately. He shows Mac through a looking glass type object that Pete is in trouble and needs him. Hence Mac escapes the ship, leaving his loved ones behind and awakens from his coma to save Pete from the person whom put Mac in a coma in the first place.**
Nicole ("Nikki") Carpenter
Portrayed by Elyssa Davalos. Mac meets Nikki after his friend - Nikki's brother - is murdered. They bring the killers to justice, and later, Nikki is hired by the Phoenix Foundation. Working together has proven problematic for Mac and Nikki, as each one has their own ideas about how things should be done.
Frank (portrayed by Cleavon Little), Jesse (portrayed by Richard Lawson), and Billy Colton (portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr.) are brothers in the bounty-hunting business. Their mother (portrayed by Della Reese), affectionately known as Mama Colton, aids in the efforts by using her extensive network of contacts to track down names, telephone numbers, and addresses. After the events in The Black Corsage, the Coltons have a new addition: a bulldog named Frog.
Episodes with the Coltons
Ma Dalton (Jesse)
The Black Corsage (Frank)
Second Chance (Jesse)
Black Rhino (Billy)
Serenity (an Old West version of Billy, in Mac's dream)
Squeeze Play (Mama Colton)
The Coltons (Billy, Frank, Jesse, Mama Colton)
Portrayed by Kimberly Scott. Mama Lorraine owns the Haitian Creations Botanical Shango, a shop down the street from MacGyver's seventh-season apartment. Mac's assessment of her is that she is "...obsessed with taking care of the whole world" -- as her nickname Mama might imply.
Mama Lorraine Episodes
For more details about these and other recurring characters, check out The MacGyver F.A.Q.
* Thanks to Rob for reminding me to add this ep to Jack's episode list!
** Many thanks to Julie for the summary about Harry from the episode "Passages"!
*** Thanks to LG for reminding me to add this ep to Nikki's episode list!