David McCallum


British actor and musician David Keith McCallum Jr. is of Scottish descent. His role as secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the 1960s television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. helped him earn notoriety. Because to his portrayal of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, the NCIS medical examiner, in the American television series NCIS, McCallum has recently experienced a surge in popularity and recognition on a global scale. He is one of just three surviving actors from the 1963 classic The Great Escape, along with William Russell and John Leyton.

It is not unexpected that David McCallum first intended to pursue a career as an oboist because his parents, cellist Dorothy Dorman and first violinist David McCallum Sr., were both members of the London Philharmonic.

He attended the Royal Academy of Music for a short time. But he abandoned it to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Before starring as Lt. Wyatt in Billy Budd, which received critical acclaim, he produced over a dozen films in the UK (1962).


McCallum started working for the Glyndebourne Opera Company as an assistant stage manager in 1951. Beginning in 1947, he did kid voices for BBC Radio before landing small parts in British movies starting in the late 1950s. His debut performance was as a doomed royal in Whom the Gods Love, Die Young.

The Rank Organisation signed McCallum in 1956 after seeing a James Dean-themed portrait of him. However, McCallum claimed that he had really had his Equity card since 1946 in an interview with Alan Titchmarsh that was aired on November 3, 2010, and that was televised.

Early roles included a bandit in Robbery Under Arms (1957), Harold Bride, a young radio operator on the RMS Titanic in A Night to Remember (1958), and a young offender in Violent Playground (1959). (1958). Following a role in Peter Ustinov’s Billy Budd, his first American picture was Freud:

The Secret Passion (1962),[9] directed by John Huston. In the 1963 film The Great Escape, McCallum portrayed Lt. Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt, also known as “Dispersal.” In The Greatest Story Ever Told, which debuted in 1965, he played Judas Iscariot.

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Among his other television performances were two appearances on The Outer Limits and a cameo spot as Phillipe Bertain on Perry Mason in “The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman” in 1964.

The part of McCallum as the enigmatic Russian agent Illya Kuryakin was initially intended to be a supporting one. However, McCallum seized the chance to create a multifaceted figure whose attraction was partly due to what was mysterious and cryptic about him. McCallum was promoted to co-star status as soon as the producers saw Kuryakin’s appeal with the public and Vaughn and McCallum’s on-screen chemistry.

Throughout the four-year run of the program (1964–1968), McCallum got two nominations for Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the cerebral and reserved secret agent.

In the 1983 television movie Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E., McCallum and Vaughn played the characters of Kuryakin and Solo, respectively. The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair, a 1986 episode of The A-Team that featured McCallum and Vaughn once more, had “chapter titles,” the term “affair” in the title, the line “Open Channel D,” and similar scene transitions.

Even though McCallum did become a well-known face on British television in such programs as Colditz (1972–74), Kidnapped (1978), and ITV’s science fiction series Sapphire & Steel (1979–82) starring Joanna Lumley, he never quite replicated the public recognition he had acquired as Kuryakin until NCIS. He portrayed the lead role in The Invisible Man’s brief American run in 1975.

Run for Your Wife, which toured Australia from 1987 to 1988, featured McCallum on stage there. Jack Smethurst, Eric Sykes, and Katy Manning were also cast members.

In the Mother Love TV miniseries from 1989, McCallum co-starred alongside Diana Rigg. Between the television series Trainer, McCallum portrayed one of the main characters, the gambler John Grey, in 1991 and 1992. In an episode of Murder, She Wrote from 1989, he had the role of an English literature professor.

Since 2003, McCallum has played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, the team’s head medical examiner and one of the show’s most well-known characters, on the CBS television drama NCIS.

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What did Ducky look like as a child? is a question Special Agent Caitlin Todd of NCIS (Sasha Alexander) puts to Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) in Season 2 Episode 13 of “The Meat Puzzle.” Gibbs then responds, “Illya Kuryakin.”

McCallum and CBS-TV announced their agreement on a two-year contract extension at the end of April 2012. He would continue to work for NCIS past the age of 80 thanks to the decision. He agreed to a new two-year deal in May 2014. He agreed to a limited schedule when he signed an extension in 2016, and since then, he has renewed his contract for each season independently.

Basic Info

Real Name David Keith McCallum Jr.
Birth Date 19 September 1933
Age 88 years
Birth Place Glassgow, Scottland, United Knigdom.
Nationality British
Profession Actor, Musician
Religion Christian
Sun sign Virgo

Physical Statistics

Height 5′ 6″
Weight 80 kgs
Shoe Size Not known
Hair Color Grey
Eye Color Brown

Qualifications & Education

School University College School
College Not Known


Father David McCallum Sr.
Mother Dorothy
Sister #NA
Brother Iain McCallum

Marriage, Relationships & Family

Marital Status Married
  1. Jill Ireland (Divorced in 1967)
  2. Katherine Carpenter
  1. Paul
  2. Jason
  3. Valentine
  4. Peter
  5. Sophie

Personal Life

The second son of cellist Dorothy (née Dorman) and orchestral violinist David McCallum Sr., McCallum was born on September 19, 1933, in Maryhill, Glasgow.

His family relocated to London when he was three years old so that his father could perform as the conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was evacuated back to Scotland early in the Second World War, where he stayed with his mother at Gartocharn beside Loch Lomond.

McCallum received a scholarship to attend University College School, a boys-only independent school in Hampstead, London, where he studied the oboe under parental encouragement to pursue a career in music.

He started providing kid voices for the BBC radio repertory organization in 1946. At age of 17, he played Oberon in an open-air performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Play and Pageant Union. He was also active in local amateur theater.

At the age of 18, he dropped out of school to serve in the National Service. He enlisted in the Royal West African Frontier Force’s 3rd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

He received a promotion to lieutenant in March 1954. He enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (also in London) after leaving the army, where Joan Collins was a fellow student.

Actress Jill Ireland and McCallum were wed on May 11th, 1957 in London. The two fell in love while making the movie Hell Drivers. Ten years were spent in the marriage. Ireland then married Charles Bronson, whom McCallum had introduced to her while they were filming The Great Escape, after she parted ways with him (1963).

Paul, Jason, and Valentine were the three sons of McCallum and Ireland. Adopted child Jason overdosed on drugs unintentionally and passed away in 1989. Guitarist Val McCallum has collaborated intermittently with Jackson Browne since 2002, Lucinda Williams from 2011 to 2016, and several other artists. He is a member of the Jackshit fake-country band.

McCallum wed Katherine Carpenter in 1967. Peter, a son, and Sophie, a daughter, are their children. The United States Marine Corps is supported through charity organizations that McCallum and his wife are involved with.

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