Eighties television icon MacGyver has beaten Indiana Jones, James Bond and Jack Bauer as the fictional hero most Americans would want by their side in the event of a disaster.
In the survey, commissioned by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, participants were given a choice among seven fictional heroes for help in an emergency.
Twenty seven per cent of respondents said they would want MacGyver to help them out should disaster strike.
The ingenious secret agent, played by Richard Dean Anderson, became a household name in the 1980s with his ability to get out of life-or-death situations using everyday items. Among his many exploits he plugged an acid leak with chocolate, blew open doors with bombs made of chewing gum and patched a hot-air balloon using duct tape and a map.
Don Cooke, the McCormick Tribune Foundation’s senior vice president for philanthropy, told the Associated Press he was delighted that MacGyver was voted number one hero.
"I love MacGyver. You could give him a sock and a piece of string and he could somehow create electricity for the whole city," he said.
MacGyver was followed by Indiana Jones played by Harrison Ford (16 per cent); John McClane, played by Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films (14 per cent); James Bond (played by various actors) and Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon, (8 per cent each); and Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider and Jack Bauer of 24, played by Kiefer Sutherland (7 per cent each).