David Keith McCallum Jr. (19 September 1933 – 25 September 2023) was a Scottish actor and musician. He gained wide recognition in the 1960s for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. His other notable television roles include Carter in Colditz (1972–1974) and Steel in Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982). Beginning in 2003, McCallum gained renewed international popularity for his role as NCIS medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the American television series NCIS. On film, McCallum notably appeared in The Great Escape (1963).

David McCallum Early Life

McCallum was born 19 September 1933, in Maryhill, Glasgow, the second of two sons of orchestral violinist David McCallum Sr. and Dorothy (née Dorman), a cellist. When he was three, his family moved to London for his father to play as the leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Early in the Second World War, he was evacuated back to Scotland, where he lived with his mother at Gartocharn by Loch Lomond. McCallum won a scholarship to University College School, a boys’ independent school in Hampstead, London, where, encouraged by his parents to prepare for a career in music, he played the oboe.

David McCallum Career

McCallum began his acting career in the early 1950s with small roles in British films and television shows. His first major role was in the 1958 film Violent Playground. In 1961, he starred in the film Billy Budd, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.

In 1964, McCallum landed his most famous role, Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The show was a huge success, and McCallum became an international star. He played Kuryakin for four seasons, and also appeared in the feature films The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964) and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966).

After The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ended, McCallum continued to work in both film and television. He appeared in films such as The Great Escape (1963), Mosquito Squadron (1969), and The House on Haunted Hill (1999). On television, he starred in shows such as Colditz (1972–1974), Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982), and Outer Limits (1995–2002).

In 2003, McCallum joined the cast of the CBS television series NCIS. He played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, the medical examiner for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. McCallum remained on the show for 20 seasons, becoming one of its longest-serving stars.

David McCallum Personal Life

McCallum was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1957 to 1967. They had three sons together: Paul, Jason, and Val. In 1969, McCallum married Katherine Carpenter. They had two children together: Sophie and Peter.

McCallum died on 25 September 2023, at the age of 90, after a brief illness.

David McCallum Legacy

McCallum was a prolific actor with a career spanning over 70 years. He was best known for his roles in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS, but he also appeared in a wide range of other films and television shows. He was a talented and versatile actor who was able to bring his characters to life with his wit and charm.

McCallum was also a respected musician. He played the oboe and piano, and he released several albums of his music throughout his career.

McCallum was a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. He was known for his professionalism, his sense of humor, and his kind heart. He was a role model for many actors, and he will be deeply missed by his fans around the world.

Source: Wikipedia

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