“NCIS pathologist” David McCallum dies at 90


Vienna, Brussels (26/9 – 36)

David McCallum – the British actor who played as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, a pathologist on hit CBS TV program NCIS, has died aged 90 on Monday (25/09/2023). McCallum died on Monday of natural causes, surrounded by his family, at New York Presbyterian Hospital, CBS said in a statement.

NCIS executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North shared their memories of working with McCallum. “For over twenty years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” they shared in a statement. “But as much as his fans may have loved him, those who worked side by side with David loved him that much more. He was a scholar and a gentleman, always gracious, a consummate professional, and never one to pass up a joke.” 

McCallum has been active in the world of acting since the 50s. The Scottish-born actor was a gifted actor and author and beloved around the world. “He led an incredible life, and his legacy will forever live on through his family and the countless hours on film and television that will never go away.”

His role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – in which he played a Russian agent – won him many fans, particularly young women charmed by his good looks. The series ended in 1968, but not before he received several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for playing the role of Illya Kuryakin on the show.

McCallum found roles in films including The Great Escape, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and A Night to Remember. He also guest starred on TV series Perry Mason and The Outer Limits.

His role on NCIS came after he appeared for a role in the show JAG, which led to the NCIS spinoff. NCIS itself later went on to generate other NCIS shows, including NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

McCallum also found work as a voice actor for children’s cartoons and video games. A statement issued by his family called him a “true renaissance man”. “He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put family before self,” son Peter McCallum said.