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MacGyver Online Forums > Characters > Harry Jackson

Posted by: MacGyverOnline 25 June 2008 - 02:51 PM

Harry Jackson

MacGyver's grandfather became a father-figure to MacGyver after his father and grandmother were killed in a car accident December 14, 1962 (see the episode "Phoenix Under Siege"). Harry taught the young MacGyver much about life, including the value of fair play (see "Harry's Will").

Seven years after the death of MacGyver’s father Harry left the MacGyver household without saying goodbye. He took a job in Alaska, sending regular payments back to MacGyver’s mother, thinking a steady income would be more beneficial than having him around the house.

Another sixteen years passed before he and MacGyver reconciled, and Harry would show up in town occasionally for holidays and Mac's birthday. In the fifth-season episode "Passages," he shared one final adventure with his grandson before succumbing to complications from a heart attack.

Posted by: Liz1976 25 June 2008 - 03:44 PM
Harry is one of my top three favorite recurring characters. I have seen John Anderson in quite a few other roles-including a car salesman in Psycho, and guest starring roles on TV, such as playing a recluse on Little House on the Prairie. Just amazing character actor.

Harry as a character is amazing for several reasons one being the actor, two being the impact Harry has on Mac's life.

Favorite Harry moments which number many:
Target MacGyver--Mac calls Harry "still as mean as a dirty boot" that whole scene where Mac tries to talk to Harry
Phoenix Under Seige--if I had to pick one--maybe the scene where Harry confesses the senior moment where he couldn't find his way back to his own barn the month before
Friends--the advice scene, and the part where Mac quotes Harry before blowing out the candles on the cake
Passages--Mac saying goodbye to Harry "Goodbye Grandpa",also where as Harry is passing out from the heart attack he clutches Mac's picture
Harry's Will--the ice scene in Mac's childhood

I vote excellent for this character--incredible

Posted by: annemjj 26 June 2008 - 12:05 PM
I think he is OK.. not much more to say about that. He is very average kind.

Posted by: MacsChick 26 June 2008 - 05:07 PM
He is a believable character with his faults and foibles, and despite his mistakes, he seems to be a steadying presence in MacGyver's life, being a moral compass and a source of wisdom.

Posted by: MacGyverOnline 26 June 2008 - 05:53 PM
He's a MacGyver version of Mr Miyagi laugh.gif

Wax on... Wax off

Posted by: trtlsoup 26 June 2008 - 06:45 PM
I've always liked Harry. A bit gruff, but ultimately kinda lovable.

Although I really disliked the "Target MacGyver" episode, John Anderson was a familiar and welcome surprise.

I would have liked to see him in more episodes, but "Passages" was a fitting tribute. (Also one of my favorite episodes.)

...think I'll go watch that. hmm.bmp

Posted by: Liz1976 27 June 2008 - 02:20 AM
I watched that (Passages) last night. So I understand. As for Harry being gruff, I think he reminds all of us at times of someone we know. For me personally, my dad was really gruff at times, so I identified with that.

Posted by: MacsChick 27 June 2008 - 05:55 PM
Exactly--he's a very human, and therefore realistic, character. He reminds me of relatives of mine as well. There's a familiarity that makes me feel comfortable and accepting of his character.

Posted by: Liz1976 2 July 2008 - 06:40 AM
So what is everyone's favorite Harry Jackson episode?

Mine would be Phoenix Under Seige, although Passages is close.

Posted by: MacsChick 2 July 2008 - 04:30 PM
Passages all the way--it is a fitting tribute to Harry.

Posted by: Liz1976 3 July 2008 - 06:32 AM
My 8 year old daughter agrees with you that Passages is the best.

Posted by: trtlsoup 4 July 2008 - 05:54 PM
Passages! happy.gif

Posted by: SHEILA 6 July 2008 - 08:39 PM
I do not think there is one episode of Harry Jackson the I could pin point as my faverite.I loved them all.I liked Harry being in MacGyer. Harry added something special to the show . the actor was real.I love actors who can pull off realness.Even RDA can do that.He said in an interview one time the his strongest ability as an actor was that he listen to what was being said in a scene with the outher actors.I think John Anderson was the same way. So when you see Mac and Harry acting togather you can tell they both listened instead of waiting for each outher to finish there lines.

Posted by: MacsChick 7 July 2008 - 04:26 PM
Absolutely. The dialogue is much more realistic and authentic when an actor listens instead of simply waiting for the other actor to finish his lines. It's much less mechanical and flows more smoothly that way.

Posted by: John Litteral 4 December 2008 - 09:41 AM
I love Harry! The character is awesome as well as the actor who made him!

Posted by: SMeeceymouse 15 December 2008 - 10:19 AM
Passages is the one episode that I cry from begining to end. How many people would love to say good bye to people who have passed on that we love. Harry made Mac who he was. A tough but caring man. In a topsy turvy world. So to MacGyver and Harry Jackson. I say thank you and God bless you. sak.gif MacG.gif

Posted by: Beachbead 1 April 2009 - 03:25 PM
i cryed too when Passages first aired, thought it was a fiting ending to the char and to finally see his family.

Posted by: macsgirl1 5 May 2009 - 09:16 PM
I loved Harry he was exactly like my grand father. Passages was the best and saddest one with Harry. sad.gif
I wonder, are they related in real life (Harry and RDA)? hmm.bmp

Posted by: MacGyverOnline 5 May 2009 - 11:17 PM
QUOTE (macsgirl1 @ 6 May 2009 - 05:16 PM)
I wonder, are they related in real life (Harry and RDA)? hmm.bmp

No. They're not related at all in real life.

Posted by: SMeeceymouse 12 May 2009 - 09:31 AM
You all know that I'm a nurse with experience with the elderly, and my favorites are the one that are gruff. Because under all that gruffness is experience and love. I know I'm the biggest sap in the world. blush.gif

Posted by: Shiloh 28 September 2009 - 02:14 AM
QUOTE (SMeeceymouse @ 16 December 2008 - 06:19 AM)
Passages is the one episode that I cry from begining to end. How many people would love to say good bye to people who have passed on that we love. Harry made Mac who he was. A tough but caring man. In a topsy turvy world. So to MacGyver and Harry Jackson. I say thank you and God bless you. sak.gif MacG.gif

I totally agree.

Posted by: YopeGyver 17 March 2013 - 08:37 AM
I love Harry. smile.gif He reminds me of my dad a lot of times and he's how I picture my grandpa, had I been able to have met him. Sadly, both he and my grandma (on my dad's side) passed away before I was born.
But, yeah, I really enjoy the character of Harry.

Posted by: Scwilson 31 July 2013 - 09:32 PM
sak.gif Harry was the early guide in Mac's life. He was the grouch at times, kind of like my grandfather who passed on, still miss him.

Posted by: Daisy8577 1 August 2013 - 06:04 AM
Ya Harry reminds me of my grandpa too (dads side). He would let you work out a solution before he would help you. He is gone now too. Dearly missed!

Posted by: AussieMacFan 1 August 2013 - 12:22 PM
Actually, now that you mention it I can kinda relate my pop to him... he passed away in 2011. MacG.gif

Posted by: MacFan092985 1 August 2013 - 01:44 PM
I always loved the character Harry.

As far as my favorite Harry episode? I'd have to say all of them, as there was something in each that struck a cord with me.

In "Phoenix Under Siege" after Mac has dis-armed the bomb and Harry takes the second ticket out of Mac's pocket then hurry's out the door to catch what's left of the game, leaving Mac behind, it cracks me up.

In "Harry's Will" when Harry calls young MacGyver out on his tripping of the other hockey player and says, "You're no winner bud" it gives me pause. For a grandpa to employ tough love like that, to be able to say that to his grandson, in order to teach him a lesson, is powerful.

With regard to "Passages" it just occurred to me, the similarities between Mac saying, "Goodbye Grandpa" after having only ever called him Harry and Henry Jones Sr. saying, "Indiana. Indiana. Let it go." after having made fun of him and refusing to call him Indiana and instead always calling him Jr.

Posted by: MacCat 3 August 2013 - 06:53 AM
I loved Harry's character and every single episode he was in.

I remember getting a bit emotinal the first time I watched "Passages".

"Target MacGyver" and "Phoenix Under Siege" are my two personal favorite and top Harry Jackson episodes.


Posted by: denizen 17 March 2014 - 10:23 PM
Harry was a great character. John Anderson really took this role and made it his own. He was the perfect stubborn grandparent with a heart of gold.

The steady progression of Mac & Harry's relationship was a nice rendition of overcoming the past and building a stronger bond.

Posted by: Duckt tape 7 May 2014 - 10:54 AM
I love Harry's character. Makes me wish I'd had a grandpa like Harry. It's a pity he appeared in so few episodes. And I love it how much Mac appreciates him always remembering what grandpa Harry taught him and how clear it is they love eacothers. I think Harry really made MacGyver the person he is, being a tough role model to young Mac and also showing him that all people make mistakes and with all those lessons he gave Mac. My favorite Harry episode... well I love them all but probably.. I'd say Target MacGyver. The troubled relationship Mac and Harry had in this episode reminds me about the troubled relationship I had with my late grandfather but with alternative ending: actually having a possibility to forgive one another and fix their relationship before the grandfather passed away. Makes me wonder what would I have said to my grandfather if I'd met him one last time. For me Harry is like an example of loving grandparent I always wished for and never had and it's so great to see those episodes Harry's in and imagine how it would feel like to have one love.jpg

Posted by: Joe SAKic 9 August 2014 - 01:50 AM
I snapped the following picture last year of an older fellow heading into the back country for a little trout fishing. Looked just like Harry to me .... in fact, I wouldn't have been at all surprised if a younger fellow in a Calgary Flames hat jumped into the scene and joined him biggrin.gif ......

Posted by: Harry1982 9 August 2014 - 02:38 AM
I love Harry Jackson a lot and John Anderson is a wonderful actor. Even though my own grandpa wasn't exactly like Harry (seems more like my dad), he reminds me of the time we spent together, fishing and all. It's easy to identify to MacGyver as he spends time with his grandpa Harry, it evokes a lot of memories. I absolutely love how he calls Mac as "Bud", because my own grandpa also used to call me with a nickname.

Target MacGyver, Phoenix Under Siege and Passages belong to the best of episodes on my list.

I'm a big fan of 1960 Psycho also and I love this scene between John Anderson and Janet Leigh

user posted image

Posted by: cmbj67 9 August 2014 - 10:22 AM
I like Harry, even if I don't know exactly why. unsure.gif He seems a grouch, but he's a good heart and loves Mac. I like episodes with him.

What a coincidence: RDA's real grandpa's name was John Anderson, but he wasn't this John Anderson. smile.gif

Posted by: tvero 20 August 2014 - 04:52 AM
I like him too. He reminds me of my grandfather.

Posted by: Fly_airdalton 10 September 2014 - 07:42 PM
A really loveable character. Too bad "passages" was his final episode.

Posted by: DropjawBertone 5 January 2015 - 02:01 PM
John Anderson stood just over 6'5". Richard Dean Anderson is just under 6'2". Yet in all the MacGyver episodes that John appears in as Harry, it seems that Richard is always at least as tall and sometimes taller than John. This has always puzzled me for years. Anyone else notice this?

Posted by: KiwiTek 5 January 2015 - 04:55 PM
According to he was 6'2", same height as RDA.

People tend to shrink with age too, due to change in posture so that may have attributed to the appearance of height difference in some scenes.

Posted by: Jediferret 5 January 2015 - 05:27 PM
This is true. I'm actually the tallest of my family (5'10"), though my Dad was shorter then me by an inch. He's now 75 years old, and I tower over the poor man.

Posted by: MacGyverGod 6 April 2019 - 04:15 AM
In a discussion on KateR's forum somebody says MacGyver build a wall around himself due to the early passing of his father and the upbringing of Harry. Then that same person also says that Harry didn't seem nice all the way.

Saying that Harry wasn't nice all the way, is something I don't agree with. We all love the old grouch but it makes me wonder, do you think Harry was nice? Can you describe him as nice?

Yes, he did just leave for years without telling anyone and may have been grumpy but in the way how Mac talks about him, I just can't see Harry not being nice. He taught him everything he knew but I think he and Mac are the same. They don't like to talk about their emotions, because they're hurting over the losses of their loved ones. To be honest, do you think Harry ever got over Celia's death?

Just curious here but hearing someone say that Harry wasn't nice, don't really fit the idea I have of Harry.

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