|Portrayed by:||Dana Elcar|
- MacGyver's boss and best friend, Pete Thornton is an operative at the Department of External Services (DXS), also referred to mistakenly as DSX in several episodes, which is where he is impressed by Mac's ingenuity while tracking down Murdoc, an international assassin. When Pete takes the position of Director of Operations at the Phoenix Foundation seven years later, he brings MacGyver into the program.
- He was born on December 18, 1933 (revealed as a combination guess in "Lost Love (Part 2)")
- Pete has a son named Michael.
- In the pilot episode, actor Dana Elcar plays a completely different character named "Andy Colson". The Pete Thornton character doesn't appear until episode 1.11, "Nightmares".
- Elcar appears in the dream sequence/time travel episode "Good Knight, MacGyver" as King Arthur; whether this is because Pete is one of Arthur's distant descendants or because Mac subconsciously based his hallucination of Arthur on him is uncertain.
- In 1991, actor Dana Elcar began to develop glaucoma, a degenerative condition of the eyes that causes blindness. This condition was written into the show, and Elcar's character also develops the disease. A number of public service announcements were composed and shown at the end of many of the later episodes, encouraging viewers to get checked early and often for the condition.