David McCallum is an actor, author, and former musician. He is best known to TV audiences as a member of the main cast of the long-running series NCIS where he plays the role of chief medical examiner Dr. Donald Mallard. McCallum is certainly not new to international stardom as his breakthrough role dates back to the 1960s when he starred as secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the classic spy-fiction series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
David McCallum’s Age
David Keith McCallum Jr. was born on September 19, 1933, in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland. His parents – Dorothy Dorman and David McCallum Sr. – were both musicians. The family relocated to London after his father landed a job as a concert director at the London Philharmonic Orchestra. McCallum Jr. studied at University College School in Hampstead, North-West London where he began his amateur career in music and drama. Though he got more support from his parents to pursue music over acting, McCallum settled for acting because it came naturally to him.
Still a teenager, David McCallum began to work as an actor and as a stage assistant in several theater productions. He graduated from high school at age 18 after which he was conscripted into Military Service. He served with the Royal West African Frontier Force and was commissioned as a lieutenant in March 1954. At the end of his military service, the talented youngster returned to his passion as he enrolled at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
He began getting minor roles in British films in the mid-1950s after getting signed to Rank Organisation, a British film company. His steadily growing profile earned him roles in notable films like Violent Playground (1957), Robbery Under Arms, (1957) and A Night to Remember (1958). The talented actor made his Hollywood debut in the biopic Freud: The Secret Passion (1962) which was followed by roles in Billy Budd (1962), The Great Escape (1963) as well as 1965’s The Greatest Story Ever Told.
David McCallum became a household name in Hollywood following his lead role in the spy-fiction series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68). Interestingly, his role as a Russian agent, Illya Kuryakin was initially intended to be a minor one, however, the prolific actor easily endeared himself to the audience. His enigmatic persona as Illya Kuryakin coupled with an impeccable on-screen chemistry with the lead actor caused the producers to elevate his role to that of a co-lead.
McCallum’s epic performance during the 4-year run of the show gained him a frenzy followership across various continents as well as 2 Emmy Award nominations. McCallum also reprised his iconic role in the 1983 film adaptation of the series Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Having gained international superstar status, David McCallum got acting jobs in the United States and also in different parts of Europe. However, none could replicate the success of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In 2003, the talented actor struck gold again when he landed a spot on the main cast of the CBS series NCIS. David McCallum has effectively renewed his international TV star status starring as one of the show’s most popular characters Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard.
Interestingly, McCallum had to study forensics for his role as NCIS‘s Chief Medical Examiner Mallard. In May 2005, the talented actor delivered a lecture at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. David McCallum released his first book Once a Crooked Man in 2016.
Is McCallum Returning to NCIS?
The hit police procedural series NCIS was renewed for a 16th straight season by the CBS network in April 2018. It has also been revealed that David McCallum who has appeared as a main character in every season since the inception of the series has also signed up for this season.
David McCallum’s acting career spans well over 7 decades and also cuts across different continents even though he has not starred in too many blockbuster movies. However, whatever McCallum missed out from the box-office hits, he adequately makes up for with his brilliant career on TV. The Scottish-born actor currently has a net worth of $10 million.
David McCallum is currently married to his wife of over 5 decades and former model Katherine Carpenter. The duo met in the mid-1960s during a magazine shoot in New York. They tied the knot on September 16, 1967. They have 2 children together; son Peter and daughter Sophie.
Prior to his current union, David McCallum was married to English actress and singer Jill Ireland. As aspiring actors, the duo met on the set of the British drama film Hell Drivers (1957). They tied the knot in May 1957 and they had 3 children, all boys, during their 9-year union; Paul, Valentine, and Jason. Their divorce was finalized on 8 February 1967.
A good number of David McCallum’s children have ventured into showbiz. Valentine McCallum is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Paul McCallum is an actor with a few movie credits to his name. Unfortunately, Jason McCallum, whom David adopted during his marriage to Jill Ireland passed on in 1989 from an accidental drug overdose. There is very little information on David McCallum’s younger 2 children. In addition to his 4 surviving children, McCallum also has a steadily increasing number of grandchildren.