David McCallum is an actor, author, and former musician. He is best known to television audiences as a member of the main cast of the long-running series NCIS, in which he plays the role of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Mallard. McCallum is certainly no newcomer on the international scene, as his groundbreaking role dates back to the 1960s when he appeared 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 19 September 1933 in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland. His parents – Dorothy Dorman and David McCallum Sr. The family moved to London after his father obtained 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 for giving music priority overacting, McCallum chose acting because it seemed natural to him.
As a teenager, David McCallum began working as an actor and stage assistant in various theater productions. At the age of 18, he finished high school and was drafted into military service. He served in the Royal West African Frontier Force and was made a lieutenant in March 1954. After completing his military service, the talented young man returned to his passion when he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.
In the middle of the 1950s, he began to get smaller roles in British movies after he was signed on by the British film company Rank Organisation. His steadily growing profile earned him roles in remarkable films like Violent Playground (1957), Robbery Under Arms (1957), and A Night to Remember (1958). The talented actor made his Hollywood debut in the biography Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), which was followed by roles in Billy Budd (1962), The Great Escape (1963), and in 1965 in The Greatest Story Ever Tolded (1965).
David McCallum became a well-known name in Hollywood after his leading 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 originally intended as a supporting role, but the prolific actor easily gained popularity with the audience. His enigmatic role as Illya Kuryakin, coupled with impeccable chemistry with the leading actor on screen, prompted producers to elevate his role to that of co-leader.
McCallum’s epic performance over the four-year run of the show earned him an enthusiastic following on several continents and two Emmy Award nominations. McCallum also repeated his iconic role in the 1983 film adaptation of the series Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
After David McCallum achieved the status of an international superstar, he got acting jobs in the United States and also in different parts of Europe. However, none of them could match the success of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In 2003, the talented actor struck again when he gained a spot in the main cast of the CBS series NCIS. David McCallum has effectively renewed his status as an international TV star with Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard as one of the series’ most popular characters.
Interestingly, McCallum had to study forensics for his role as NCIS Mallard’s chief medical examiner. In May 2005, the talented actor gave a lecture at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. David McCallum published his first book Once a Crooked Man in 2016.
Is McCallum Returning to NCIS?
In April 2018, the successful police procedure series NCIS was extended by the CBS network for the 16th consecutive year. It was also announced that David McCallum, who has starred in every season since the series began, has also signed up for this season.
David McCallum’s Wife
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 married on September 16, 1967, and have 2 children; son Peter and daughter Sophie.
Before his present union, David McCallum was married to the English actress and singer Jill Ireland. As aspiring actors, the duo met on the set of the British drama Hell Drivers (1957). They got married in May 1957 and had three children during their 9-year marriage, all boys; Paul, Valentine, and Jason. Their divorce was finalized on February 8, 1967.
David McCallum’s acting career spans well over 7 decades and also spans different continents, although he has not acted in too many blockbuster movies. But what McCallum missed at the box office hits, he makes up for appropriately with his brilliant career on TV. The Scottish-born actor currently has net assets of $10 million.
Many of David McCallum’s children have made the leap into show business. Valentine McCallum is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Paul McCallum is an actor with some film lectures. Unfortunately, Jason McCallum, whom David adopted during his marriage to Jill Ireland, died in 1989 from an accidental drug overdose. There is very little information about David McCallum’s two younger children. In addition to his 4 surviving children, McCallum also has a growing number of grandchildren.