HomeEntertainmentDavid McCallum, star of hit TV sequence 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and...

David McCallum, star of hit TV sequence 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and 'NCIS,' dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who grew to become a teen heartthrob within the hit sequence “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” within the Sixties and was the eccentric medical expert within the in style “NCIS” 40 years later, has died. He was 90.

McCallum died Monday of pure causes surrounded by household at New York Presbyterian Hospital, CBS mentioned in an announcement.

“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,” mentioned an announcement from CBS.

Scottish-born McCallum had been doing nicely showing in such movies “A Night to Remember” (in regards to the Titanic), “The Great Escape” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (as Judas). But it was “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” that made the blond actor with the Beatlesque haircut a family identify within the mid-’60s.

The success of the James Bond books and movies had set off a sequence response, with secret brokers proliferating on each massive and small screens. Indeed, Bond creator Ian Fleming contributed some concepts as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” was being developed, in keeping with Jon Heitland’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Book.”

The present, which debuted in 1964, starred Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, an agent in a secretive, high-tech squad of crime fighters whose initials stood for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Despite the Cold War, the company had a global employees, with McCallum as Illya Kuryakin, Solo’s Russian sidekick.

The position was comparatively small at first, McCallum recalled, including in a 1998 interview that “I’d never heard of the word ‘sidekick’ before.”

The present drew blended opinions however finally caught on, notably with teenage women attracted by McCallum’s beauty and enigmatic, mental character. By 1965, Illya was a full companion to Vaughn’s character and each stars had been mobbed throughout private appearances.

The sequence lasted to 1968. Vaughn and McCallum reunited in 1983 for a nostalgic TV film, “The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” through which the brokers had been lured out of retirement to save lots of the world as soon as extra.

McCallum returned to tv in 2003 in one other sequence with an company identified by its initials — CBS’ “NCIS.” He performed Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, a bookish pathologist for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, an company dealing with crimes involving the Navy or the Marines. Mark Harmon performed the NCIS boss.

McCallum mentioned he thought Ducky, who sported glasses and a bow tie and had a watch for fairly girls, “looked a little silly, but it was great fun to do.” He took the position severely, too, spending time within the Los Angeles coroner’s workplace to achieve perception into how autopsies are carried out.

The sequence constructed an viewers step by step, finally reaching the roster of high 10 exhibits. McCallum, who lived in New York, stayed in a one-bedroom condominium in Santa Monica when “NCIS” was in manufacturing.

“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, said a statement from ”NCIS” Executive Producers Steven D. Binder and David North.

McCallum’s work with “U.N.C.L.E.” introduced him two Emmy nominations, and he acquired a 3rd as an educator battling alcoholism in a 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama referred to as “Teacher, Teacher.”

In 1975, he had the title position in a short-lived science fiction sequence, “The Invisible Man,” and from 1979 to 1982 he performed Steel in a British science fiction sequence, “Sapphire and Steel.” Over the years, he additionally appeared in visitor pictures in lots of TV exhibits, together with “Murder, She Wrote” and “Sex and the City.”

He appeared on Broadway in a 1968 comedy, “The Flip Side,” and in a 1999 revival of “Amadeus” starring Michael Sheen and David Suchet. He additionally was in a number of off-Broadway productions.

Largely based mostly within the U.S. from the Sixties onward, McCallum was a longtime American citizen, telling The Associated Press in 2003 that “I have always loved the freedom of this country and everything it stands for. And I live here, and I like to vote here.”

David Keith McCallum was born in Glasgow in 1933. His mother and father had been musicians; his father, additionally named David, performed violin, his mom performed cello. When David was 3, the household moved to London, the place David Sr. performed with the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic.

Young David attended the Royal Academy of Music the place he realized the oboe. He determined he wasn’t ok, so he turned to theater, finding out briefly on the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. But “I was a small, emaciated blond with a caved chest, so there weren’t an awful lot of parts for me,” he commented in a Los Angeles Times interview in 2009.

After outing for navy service, he returned to London and commenced getting work on reside tv and films, In 1957 he appeared in “Robbery Under Arms,” an journey set in early Australia, with a rising actress, Jill Ireland. The couple married that very same yr.

In 1963, McCallum was a part of the big forged of “The Great Escape” and he and his spouse grew to become pleasant with Charles Bronson, additionally within the movie. Ireland finally fell in love with Bronson and he or she and McCallum divorced in 1967. She married Bronson in 1968.

“It all worked out fine,” McCallum mentioned in 2009, “because soon after that I got together with Katherine (Carpenter, a former model) and we’ve been very happily married for 42 years.”

McCallum had three sons from his first marriage, Paul, Jason and Valentine, and a son and daughter from his second, Peter and Sophie. Jason died of an overdose.

“He was a true Renaissance man—he was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge. For example, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and (if needed) could actually perform an autopsy, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS,” Peter McCallum mentioned in an announcement.

In 2007, when he was engaged on “NCIS,” McCallum instructed a reporter: “I’ve always felt the harder I work, the luckier I get. I believe in serendipitous things happening, but at the same time, dedicating yourself to what you do is the best way to get along in this life.”


Bob Thomas, a longtime Associated Press journalist who died in 2014, was the principal author of this obituary.

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