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Professor Gregory "Gregg" O'Hara is the tritagonist of the 1998 Disney film Mighty Joe Young.
He is a refuge director who convinces Jill Young that her giant gorilla Joe will be much safer from poachers if they move to Los Angeles. Jill agrees and Gregg starts to fall for Jill. But evil poacher Andrei Strasser is back for revenge on Joe and Jill and Greg must do whatever they can to save him.
He is portrayed by the late Bill Paxton, who also played Private William Hudson in the 1986 film, Aliens, Simon in the 1994 film, True Lies, Fred Haise in the 1995 film, Apollo 13, Bill Harding in the 1996 film, Twister and Hank Mitchell in the 1998 film, A Simple Plan.
Having traveled from Los Angeles to Uganda, Gregg O'Hara is first seen arriving to town where he meets a tour guide named Pindi. Accompanied by Pindi and his men, Gregg goes to a forbidden mountain despite the legend of N'Gai Zama he has been told of before. After Pindi's men have captured a leopard single-handedly, Gregg collects a blood sample from it before ordering it to be set free again. However, Pindi, who is secretly under the employment of a ruthless hunter masquerading as a wildlife preserve owner in Botswana named Andrei Strasser, suggests that Gregg allows him and his men to take him to his employer instead. Suddenly, a roar is heard and out of the trees comes out a 15 feet high gorilla named Joe who comes to free the leopard before dashing off again. Amazed and aiming to capture him, Gregg promises Pindi and his men more money if they help him capture the giant ape, which they agree to.
After a prolonged chase which results in damaged vehicles and traps, Pindi and his men give up whereas Gregg, more than determined to find and catch Joe, follows him into the jungle on his own where he finds himself caught, held by the foot by his target, and about to be pulverized until Joe's protector and friend, Jill Young arrives in the nick of time to save Gregg before he is knocked down unconscious.
Gregg wakes up in the hospital where he meets Kweli to whom he recounts the tale of Joe a.k.a. N'Gai Zama. A few days later, Gregg follows Jill to the jungle with a camera in his hand this time where he witnesses both her and Joe playing hide-n-seek until he is discovered by Joe and saved by Jill once again.
Determined to keep Joe's existence a secret, Jill coldly smashes Gregg's camera against a tree and threatens to just let Joe have his way with Gregg next time. However, Gregg manages to convince Jill that they would be much safer from poachers if they relocated to a preserve in the United States despite the years Jill has spent trying to protect Joe herself ever since the death of her primatologist mother, Dr. Ruth Young who was killed along with Joe's mother by poachers 12 years ago.
The trio goes to Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, and win the hearts of the refuge staff, who are so impressed by Jill's relationship with Joe that they put her in charge of the Gorilla. One day, Jill is approached by Strasser, who is now running a fraudulent Animal Preserve in Botswana while actually selling animal organs on the black market. He has seen a news report about Joe and is now eager for revenge. At first, Jill does not realize Strasser was the poacher who killed both her and Joe's mothers since Strasser's right hand is hidden in his coat pocket. Strasser tries to convince Jill that Joe would be better off in his wildlife refuge back in Africa. Later, during a gala, Strasser's henchman, Garth, uses a poacher's noisemaker to scare Joe into a frenzy. Joe trashes the gala, recognizes Strasser, and tries to attack him. Joe is then captured and placed in a concrete bunker. Before their departure, Gregg has fallen in love with Jill and he kisses her goodbye. Shortly after Jill leaves, Gregg discovers a poacher's noisemaker that the maintenance had found, making him realize that Strasser is a poacher and he goes after them to save Jill and Joe.
On the way to the airport, Jill notices the half-glove covering Strasser's missing fingers and finally realizes who he really is. Greg pursues the huge truck in his car. Strasser notices and pulls out revolver, but Jill punches him in the chest, then leaps out of the truck and into the street. Joe sees her and rocks the truck over onto its side and escapes. Greg finds Jill, who reveals to him that Strasser killed her mother and plans to kill Joe and they rush off to find him.
The duo eventually locate Joe at a carnival where he is playfully wreaking havoc. Strasser arrives and attempts to shoot Jill, but Garth pushes Strasser's gun away from Jill and causes him to fire at a spotlight, subsequently starting a fire and causing the Ferris wheel to break down. Realizing how ruthless Strasser truly is, Garth says that he quits, but Strasser knocks Garth unconscious with his gun. Strasser eventually confronts Jill and attempts to kill her, but Joe sneaks up behind them and tosses Strasser into the air, where he grips onto electrical wires over a transformer. Just before this, Jill, noticing Joe approaching Strasser, coldly tells him goodbye in response. Short two fingers on the hand holding the wire, as he lost his thumb and trigger finger, Strasser is killed when he loses his grip and he falls into the transformer, electrocuting him, and leaving only the half-glove hanging from the wiring.
Later, at the Santa Monica Pier, Joe tries to save a child from atop the burning wheel, but the fire burns it down and Joe and the child fall to the ground, where Joe jumps off of the burning wheel, protecting the boy and knocking himself unconscious as the police cruisers are smashed into chunks. Joe survives the fall and awakens and they mention that they need to raise money to open a preserve for him. The young boy Joe saved donates some change to Jill after hearing this, prompting the rest of the crowd of onlookers to contribute.
Joe is returned to Uganda where Greg and Jill open the "Joe Young Preserve." In the final scene, Joe runs off into the distance, enjoying his newfound freedom.
Joe holds Greg up by his foot
Jill and Gregg at the gala
Greg & Jill's kiss
Gregg discovers a poacher's noise maker that the maintenance found causing him to realize that Strasser is a poacher.
Gregg speeding his car to save Jill
Jill and Greg open a new wildlife preserve for Joe
Jill and Gregg happily watch Joe roam free in his new enclosure.