David Keith McCallum

1933 - 2023

Actor. Born in Maryhill (Glasgow), McCallum was the son of the first violinist in the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in which his mother played the cello. Although the family moved to London in 1936, the young McCallum was evacuated back to Scotland, living with his mother in Gartocharn (West Dunbartonshire). He seemed destined for a career in music, but gave up his musical studies to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

McCallum has made more than 70 films, but is probably best known for his portrayal of the Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in the TV-series The Man from U.N.C.L.E (1964-68), which was nominated for a Golden Globe award (1966) and gave rise to various spin-off films. To some extent he became stereo-typed in the spy role, but was also successful in war films such as The Long and the Short and the Tall (1960), The Great Escape (1963) and Mosquito Squadron (1969). He also played the role of a British Officer in the BBC-TV series Colditz (1972). Other notable roles include a critically-acclaimed performance in Billy Budd (1962) and Sol Madrid (1968). Between 2003 and 2023 (just months before his death), he played the Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard in the US hit TV series NCIS. McCallum died in New York.

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