NCIS is finishing its 16th season and one of the main characters on the show, Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, is played by David McCallum, who has been on the show since the beginning.
Though McCallum is probably best known for his starring roles in the hit TV shows NCIS and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as well as the film The Great Escape, there is far more him. Here are five fast facts you may not know about the star.
McCallum was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, but he spent most of his life in London! In fact, his family moved to London when he was just 3 years old so his father could play in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where Joan Collins was a classmate.
The music gene obviously runs in his family. Along with being a very good actor, McCallum is also a talented musician, much like his father. He played the oboe when he was growing up and his parents encouraged him to pursue it as a career. Alas, his love for acting on out but also afforded him the chance to record four albums.
While NCIS has been huge, nothing can beat the stardom being on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. did for him and yet the show was supposed to be for co-star Robert Vaughan. But his mysterious Russian agent Illya Kuryakin grew so popular, he was upped to co-star and he became a pop culture phenomenon.
Research For Roles
McCallum is known for taking his roles in television shows and movies very seriously and he always does research before shooting begins. In fact, for his role in NCIS, he trained with the Los Angeles Chief Pathologist and could perform autopsies! He was almost made a technical advisor on the show.
McCallum married English actress Jill Ireland in 1957 but in 1963, he introduced her to his Great Escape co-star Charles Bronson and she ended up leaving him despite the fact that the couple has three sons. He married his second wife, Katherine Carpenter, in 1967 and the two have been together ever since and have two kids.