British actor David McCallum, known for his role as Ducky in the hit crime series “NCIS,” passed away at the age of 90, several American media sources confirmed. McCallum, who also starred in the cult series “The UNCOL Agent” in the 1960s, died surrounded by his family in a New York hospital according to CBS network.
Described by his son Peter as the “kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father,” McCallum was a true Renaissance man. He had a vast range of interests, including science and culture, which he passionately pursued. His role in “NCIS” involved extensive studies, enabling him to even conduct a symphony orchestra and perform autopsies if needed.
McCallum began his acting career after training at the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. In 1963, he appeared in the epic war film “The Great Escape,” alongside notable actors such as Steve McQueen and James Garner. However, it was his portrayal of the enigmatic Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in “The UNCOL Agent” the following year, alongside Robert Vaughn, that solidified his fame.
With his attractive blond hair, McCallum became a heartthrob of the Beatles era and even faced harassment from Louisiana students in 1965, as reported by the New York Times. Although “The UNCOL Agent” only lasted four years, McCallum’s character remained influential throughout his life.
In 2003, McCallum embarked on a new chapter as he took on the role of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the immensely popular series “NCIS.” Portraying a forensic pathologist for the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service, McCallum captivated millions of viewers worldwide.