In showbiz, you won’t find too many stars who have signed up in film, writing, and music. David McCallum did just that. He is an actor, writer and former musician who became known to television audiences through his portrayal of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Donald Mallard in the popular television series NCIS.
With more than seven decades of acting experience, McCallum has been involved in all aspects of television, film and video games. However, he is best known for his role in the spy fiction series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., where he was given the memorable role of Illya Kuryakin. David not only has hundreds of productions to his credit, but he has accomplished much in his career both in Hollywood and on the road.
A Breakdown of David McCallum’s Career Successes
David Keith McCallum Jr. was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland and on September 19, 1933, of his parents (Dorothy Dorman and David McCallum Sr.) who were both musicians. The family soon moved to London after his father was offered a position as concert director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
McCallum Jr. studied at University College School in Hampstead in north-west London, where he began his amateur career in music and theatre. Although he received more support from his parents to give music the priority overacting, McCallum chose acting because it seemed natural to him. Below is a breakdown of his professional achievements to date:
His Time with the Military
After graduating high school at the age of 18, David was drafted into military service. He served in the Royal West African Frontier Force and was made a lieutenant in March 1954.
At the end of his military service, the talented young man returned to his passion and enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.
The Beginning and Breakthrough of David’s Acting Career
His earliest projects were already as a teenager as an actor and stage assistant in various theatre productions. Already in the middle of the 1950s, he began to get smaller roles in British movies after a contract with the British film company Rank Organisation.
Slowly he established himself in the industry and earned remarkable roles in movies like A Night to Remember (1958) and in 1957 in Robbery Under Arms and Playground. David McCallum then made his Hollywood debut with the biography Freud: The Secret Passion, published in 1962.
Thanks to the spy fiction series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which ran from 1964 to ’68, the doors in Hollywood were opened for him. His role as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian agent, was initially only a supporting role. But then he soon became a fan favorite and that turned things around for him.
He continued to get more roles in Hollywood, but he was unable to repeat the success of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. until he got a spot in the main cast of the CBS series, NCIS, in 2003. The spectacular actor has appeared in nearly fifty films and over 70 TV shows. He has also starred in a number of video games, including NCIS Video Game in 2011 and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls in 2014.
His Accomplishments as a Writer and Musician
Even though his acting career is what he became famous for, it was the music he was first exposed to. That’s why he’s also a musician who has released four albums; Music…A Part of Me, Music…A Bit More of Me, Music…It’s Happening Now! and McCallum, all in the 1960s.
The actor-musician is also a published author with two books. His first book, Lassie Come Home, was published in 1972, followed many years later by a crime thriller (Once a Crooked Man), which was published in 2016.
Awards and Net Worth of David McCallum
The NCIS star actor has not won any major awards in his career except the Laurel Award, which he received in 1966. However, he has received 3 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Teacher, Teacher (1969) and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination.
David McCallum’s acting career spans 7 decades and also spans different continents, although he has not starred in too many blockbuster movies. What McCallum missed at the box office hits, he makes up for with his brilliant career in television. Although music and writing have also contributed to his income, his most important source of income is his acting career. It is estimated that the actor has net assets of $10 million
Details of The Actor’s Family Life
As you might expect, David McCallum is a family man who has been married for more than fifty years. In the mid-60s he met Katherine Carpenter, who was working as a model during a magazine shoot in New York. They went to the altar on September 16, 1967.
Before he met the woman with whom he spent over half a century, David McCallum was married to an English actress and singer named Jill Ireland. He was a young and promising actor when he met Jill on the set of the British drama Hell Drivers (1957).
It wasn’t long before they decided to spend the rest of their lives together and walked down the aisle in May 1957. Unfortunately, the marriage was not to last forever, as it ended in divorce almost 10 years later in 1967. Ireland then married Charles Bronson, with whom she remained together until her death in 1990.
What Do We Know About David McCallum’s Kids?
Since his first marriage the actor was blessed with 3 boys; Paul, Valentine and Jason McCallum. His second marriage produced a son named Peter and a daughter named Sophie.
Valentine McCallum (Val) has followed in his father’s footsteps. He is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Paul McCallum also followed the same path and became an actor. Unfortunately, his adopted son Jason McCallum died in 1989, just one year before Ireland. It was pointed out that he had fought against alcohol and drug abuse before the tragic event.
Not much is known about David McCallum’s younger children. In addition to his 4 surviving children, McCallum also has grandchildren.
Is McCallum Returning to NCIS?
Since 2003, David McCallum has been one of the main actors in every season of the show. Since the show will return for the 18th season in 2020, it is expected that he will return to his role as Dr. Donald.
More importantly, his future in the show will remain very bright as long as his life and health are maintained.