Harry Jackson became MacGyver’s grandfather after his grandmother and birth father died in a car accident. After 18 years of estrangement, he turns up in the 10th episode of Season 1, called “Target MacGyver.” In the 5th season episode, “Passages,” Harry dies of a heart attack.
John Anderson had a long and distinguished career as an actor before playing Mac’s grandfather on “MacGyver.” Standing over six feet tall with a thin frame, he bore a striking resemblance to President Abraham Lincoln, whom he portrayed three times in his career. He appeared in classic television shows such as “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Rockford Files,” and “Dallas,” along with feature films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” He was one of many that appeared both in “MacGyver” and in one of the many “Star Trek” franchises.
Just as Anderson’s character, Harry, succumbed to a heart attack on the show, the actor suffered a fatal heart attack in his home at the age of 69 in 1992, only a few months after the show ended, per The New York Times.