David McCallum, a popular actor in Hollywood and on television, has died at the age of 90.
McCallum starred as the title character in the blockbuster espionage thriller “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s and later appeared as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the popular television series “NCIS.”
Peter, his son, wrote a statement after his passing in which he praised his dad as the “kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father.”
David Mccallum Cause of Death
How did David McCallum, who played Ducky on NCIS, actually perish? A CBS official confirmed McCallum’s death to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, September 25, 2023, at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. His age was given as 90. TV Line reports that McCallum passed away of natural causes. His wife of 56 years, Katherine McCallum, will go on after him.
“For over 20 years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” said NCIS producers Seven D. Binder and David North said in a statement to TV Line. “But as much as his fans may have loved him, those who worked side by side with David loved him that much more. He was a scholar and a gentleman, always gracious, a consummate professional, and never one to pass up a joke. From day one, it was an honor to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.”
A spokesperson for CBS added in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum and privileged that CBS was his home for so many years. David was a gifted actor and author, and beloved by many around the world. He led an incredible life, and his legacy will forever live on through his family and the countless hours on film and television that will never go away. We will miss his warmth and endearing sense of humor that lit up any room or soundstage he stepped onto, as well as the brilliant stories he often shared from a life well-lived. Our hearts go out to his wife Katherine and his entire family, and all those who knew and loved David.”
When asked about his father’s role as Ducky on NCIS, Peter McCallum, one of McCallum’s four children, described him as “the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father” and a “true renaissance man” in an interview with TV Line.
He was the epitome of the Renaissance guy, someone who could channel his enthusiasm for science and culture into insightful understanding. Based on his decades of research for his job on NCIS, “he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and, if necessary, could actually perform an autopsy,” Peter added.
Peter said, “When we got back to their apartment from the hospital, I checked on my mom to make sure she was doing all right before she went to bed. ‘Yes,’ was her short and sweet response. But I do regret that we didn’t get to spend our golden years together.
Dad recently turned 90, and mom is 79. The sincerity of such feelings demonstrates how full of life their relationship and everyday interactions were, and how Daddy, at age 90, managed to retain his youthful vitality.
Director James Whitmore Jr. recalls hiring McCallum as Ducky in 2003 in an oral history of NCIS published by The Hollywood Reporter in September 2023, celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary. The studio flatly refused to put the aging character actor in the part, saying, “No way.” ‘If you don’t, we’re not making the program,’ Don [Bellisario], one of the creators of NCIS, reportedly remarked. In that sense, he meant it. The production company agreed with him, because David McCallum is, of course, priceless.
After McCallum passed away, CBS broadcast an NCIS marathon commemorating the show’s 20th anniversary and included an “in memoriam” card for the late actor.
Who was David McCallum?
David McCallum’s portrayal of the mysterious Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in the famous espionage drama series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” brought him global fame in the 1960s. McCallum gained legions of admirers, especially among young ladies who were charmed by his attractive looks and the show’s exciting espionage storylines.
He became a household name because of his outstanding performance in the series, which garnered him a slew of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
McCallum’s film and television performances ranged far beyond the realm of spies and secret operatives. His abilities were on display in such films as “The Great Escape,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and “A Night to Remember.” Because of his skill as an actor, he could switch between different types of roles with no noticeable change in his ability to enthrall viewers.
David McCallum started off as a musician; he was born in Glasgow to parents who were also classical musicians. His artistic path, however, changed course when he decided to try acting, a decision that would bring him lasting fame and adoration throughout generations.
A pathologist named Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard was one of his most memorable characters in a later stint on the popular CBS TV show “NCIS.” He won the hearts of a whole new audience in this role, and the show’s success spawned several spinoffs, including “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”
David McCallum’s impact won’t be remembered just for his work in Hollywood. He was a talented performer, but he was also a respected writer and a guy with many pursuits. His loved ones remember him as a “true renaissance man” with a lifelong curiosity for the arts and sciences. His insatiable curiosity led to an abundance of insights, which he generously shared with the world.
The time and effort he put into preparing for parts was indicative of his commitment to his profession. His decades-long research, for example, paid off when he played a pathologist on “NCIS” and was able to accurately represent autopsy techniques when they were called for.
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