Actor David McCallum, star of the series 'NCIS', has died - ForumDaily
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Actor David McCallum, star of 'NCIS', dies

David McCallum, star of the popular television series “The Agents of U.N.C.L.E.” and “NCIS”, died at the age of 90, reports EuroNews.

Photo: IStock

He died of old age surrounded by family at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, CBS said in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum. CBS was his home for many years. David was a gifted actor and author and loved by many around the world,” CBS said in a statement.

The actor played more than a hundred roles in films. Among the most famous is the role of forensic scientist Donald Mallard in the series “NCIS: Special Victims Unit.” He also played in “Sex and the City,” “Batman: Gotham Knight,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Murder, She Wrote.”

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In the 60s, he played KGB officer Ilya Kuryakin in the TV series The Agents of U.N.C.L.E. The success of the James Bond books and films caused a chain reaction, and the secret agents began to appear on the big and small screens. The series debuted in 1964, starring Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, an agent of a secret, high-tech crime-fighting squad. Despite the Cold War, the agency's staff was international, and McCallum played the role of Ilya Kuryakin, Solo's Russian pal.

The role was relatively small at first, McCallum recalled. The series received mixed reactions, but eventually caught on with teenage girls, who were attracted by McCallum's good looks and his enigmatic, intellectual personality. The series continued until 1968. He received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination for this role. Beginning in the 1960s, McCallu lived primarily in the United States.

“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put his family before himself. He looked forward to seeing his grandchildren and had a unique bond with each of them, said Peter McCallum, the actor's son. “He and his youngest grandson, 9-year-old Whit, would often sit in the corner of the room at family parties and have deep, philosophical conversations.”

“He was a true Renaissance man - he was fascinated by science and culture and turned these passions into knowledge. For example, he was capable of directing a symphony orchestra and could actually perform an autopsy if necessary, based on his decades of research as a forensic scientist on “NCIS,” McCallum's son said.

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He returned to television in 2003 as an eccentric medical examiner on the CBS series NCIS. His character Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service handled crimes related to the Navy or Marine Corps.

According to the actor, Ducky, who wore glasses and a bow tie and had his eye on beautiful women, “looked a little stupid, but it was a lot of fun.” McCallum himself took the role seriously, spending time in the Los Angeles coroner's office to gain experience.

McCallum was born in 1933 in Glasgow, UK, the son of a violinist and cellist. Already at the age of 17 he began acting in the London theater. In the early 1960s, the artist moved from Britain to the USA, where he began acting in films.

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McCallum has three sons from his first marriage, a son and daughter from his second, and eight grandchildren.

He was married from 1957 to 1967. on British actress Jill Ireland, who soon after their divorce married Hollywood star Charles Bronson. McCallum also quickly remarried. He was married to Catherine Carpenter for 56 years until his death.

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