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- just like he yearns for in real life


By Alex Burton

Richard Dean Anderson doesn't yet have the real-life child he dreams of, but the MacGyver star will get the next-best thing on his show's big finale.

For the ABC series' finale episode, scheduled for April 25, daredevil MacGyver walks off into the sunset with the son he never knew he had.

"It's more than a fantastic coincidence that MacGyver discovers a grown son in the finale, because in real life, Richard Dean Anderson has wanted to have children for so long" says an insider.

"I'm sure Richard had some input in the script since he's been on the show seven years, and was close to everybody in production.

"It's easy to see how the script mirrors Richard's yearning to experience the joys of fatherhood - even though he's still a bachelor."

On the episode, MacGyver investigates an illegal Asian import operation and makes friends with young photojournalist "Sam" Malloy (played by newcomer Dalton James). Incredibly, MacGyver discovers Malloy is his son.

"Dalton James and Richard really got along well" says the insider. "Besides the obvious father/son feelings called for in the script, they also enjoyed a real buddy friendship.

"There were some sad situations and tears in the actual shooting. Dalton would come back and say 'I had a good cry with Richard' There were some very emotional scenes. Of course, the fact, that it was the last episode added to Anderson's emotional burden"

Anderson, 42, is currently dating Justine Bateman after breaking off with longtime steady Dana Freedman, Arsenio Hall's publicist.

"I'm thinking I'd like to have a couple of kids of my own." Admits Anderson. "I get along famously with children.."

Dalton James' manager, Gary Scalzo. Tells STAR: "ABC and producers at Paramount auditioned over 100 top young actors for someone to play MacGyver's son. Dalton came in and beat them all, and he's only been in the industry about six month."

James, 21, is now filming C&C Riders, an ABC pilot with Robert Urich. Adds Scalzo: 'ABC and Paramount liked him so much, they were thinking about spinning off a 'young MacGyver' series for Dalton if the finale does really well in the ratings.

"Either way, it's definitely Richard Dean Anderson's farewell. Even if there was major excitement over the finale, I know Richard is through with the show."