Home News ‘NCIS’ actor David McCallum has sadly passed away at 90

‘NCIS’ actor David McCallum has sadly passed away at 90

by Terra
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David McCallum, the actor who gained popularity as a teenage heartthrob in the 1960s hit series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and later portrayed the peculiar medical examiner in the well-liked “NCIS” four decades later, has passed away at the age of 90.

According to a statement from CBS, McCallum passed away on Monday at New York Presbyterian Hospital due to natural causes while being surrounded by his family.

According to a statement from CBS, David, who was a talented actor and author, was deeply loved by numerous people worldwide. He had an extraordinary life, and his family, as well as the countless hours of film and television he left behind, will ensure that his legacy lives on eternally.

Scottish-born McCallum had achieved success through his appearances in films such as “A Night to Remember” (based on the Titanic), “The Great Escape,” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (where he portrayed Judas). However, it was his role in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” during the mid-’60s that catapulted him to fame and made him a well-known figure with his Beatlesque hairstyle.

The success of the James Bond books and films has sparked a chain reaction, with secret agents spreading across screens big and small. In fact, the creator of the Bond film series, Ian Fleming, contributed some ideas as “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Developed based on John Hetland’s book “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

The show, which first aired in 1964, featured Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo, who was an agent in a covert, technologically advanced team of crime fighters. The team’s initials represented the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Despite the ongoing Cold War, the agency had a diverse staff from different countries, including McCallum who played the role of Illya Kuryakin, Solo’s Russian partner.

The role was initially quite small, McCallum remembered, mentioning in a 1998 interview that he had never heard of the term ‘sidekick’ before.

The show received mixed reviews initially but eventually became popular, especially among teenage girls who were drawn to McCallum’s attractive appearance and mysterious, intellectual character. By 1965, Illya became an equal partner to Vaughn’s character and both actors were overwhelmed by fans during their public appearances.

The series lasted until 1968. In 1983, Vaughn and McCallum reunited for a nostalgic TV movie titled “The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, in which the agents were enticed out of retirement to save the world once again.

McCallum came back to television in 2003, appearing in a different series called “NCIS” on CBS. In this show, he portrayed Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, a studious pathologist who works for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. This agency is responsible for investigating crimes related to the Navy or the Marines. Mark Harmon portrayed the boss of NCIS.

McCallum expressed his belief that Ducky, who wore glasses and a bow tie and was attracted to attractive women, “appeared somewhat silly, but it was immensely enjoyable.” He also approached the role with seriousness, dedicating time to observe autopsies at the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office in order to gain an understanding of the procedures.

The series gradually built an audience and eventually became one of the top 10 shows. McCallum, who resided in New York, stayed in a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica during the production of “NCIS”.

McCallum worked with “U.N.C.L.E.” It brought him two Emmy Award nominations, and he earned a third as a teacher struggling with alcoholism in the 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama “Teacher, Teacher.”


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