McCallum in 1969.
Born David Keith McCallum, Jr.
19 September 1933
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Occupation Actor Years active 1957—present Spouse Jill Ireland (1957-1967)
Katherine Carpenter (1967-present)
David Keith McCallum, Jr. (born 19 September 1933) is a Scottish actor and musician. He is best known for his roles as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian-born secret agent, in the 1960s television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as interdimensional operative Steel in Sapphire & Steel, and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the series NCIS.
McCallum was born in Glasgow, the second of two sons of Dorothy Dorman, a cellist, and orchestral leader David McCallum, Sr. When he was 10, his family moved to London. Involved in local amateur drama, aged 17 he appeared as Oberon in an open-air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Play and Pageant Union.
McCallum became Assistant Stage Manager of the Glyndebourne Opera Company in 1951.
He began his acting career doing boy voices for BBC Radio in 1947 (Daily Mail interview), and began taking bit-parts in British films from the late 1950s, and his first acting role was in Whom the Gods Love, Die Young playing a doomed royal. A James Dean-themed photograph of McCallum caught the attention of the Rank Organisation, who signed him in 1957. However, in an interview with Alan Titchmarsh broadcast on 3 November 2010, McCallum stated that he had actually held his Equity card since 1946.
Early roles included a juvenile delinquent in Violent Playground (1957), an outlaw in Robbery Under Arms (1957) and as junior RMS Titanic radio operator Harold Bride in A Night to Remember (1958). His first American film was Freud the Secret Passion (1962), directed by John Huston, which was shortly followed by a role in Peter Ustinov's Billy Budd. McCallum played Lt. Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt "Dispersal" in The Great Escape which was released in 1963. He took the role of Judas Iscariot in 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told. Notable pre-U.N.C.L.E. television roles included parts in The Outer Limits and Perry Mason.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E, intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, vaguely made McCallum into a sex symbol, his Beatle-style blond haircut providing a trendy contrast with Vaughn's traditional appearance. McCallum's role as the mysterious Russian agent Illya Kuryakin was originally conceived as a peripheral one. However, McCallum took the opportunity to construct a complex character whose appeal rested largely in what was shadowy and enigmatic about him. Kuryakin's popularity with the audience and Vaughn and McCallum's on-screen chemistry were quickly recognised by the producers and McCallum was elevated to co-star status.
Although the show aired at the height of the Cold War, McCallum's Russian alter-ego became a pop culture phenomenon. The actor was inundated with fan letters and a Beatles-like frenzy followed him everywhere he went. He was popularly referred to as 'the blond Beatle'.[dead link] While playing Kuryakin, McCallum received more fan mail than any other actor in MGM's history. Hero worship even led to a record, "Love Ya, Illya," performed by Alma Cogan under the name Angela and the Fans, which was a pirate radio hit in Britain in 1966. A 1990s rock-rap group from Argentina named itself Illya Kuryakin and the Valderramas in honour of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. character.
McCallum received two Emmy nominations in the course of the show's four-year run (1964–68) for playing the intellectual and introverted secret agent.
McCallum reprised the role of Kuryakin in a 1983 TV movie, The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.
In an interview for a retrospective television special, David McCallum told of a visit to the White House during which, while he was being escorted to meet the President, a Secret Service agent told him "You're the reason I got this job."
McCallum never quite repeated the popular success he had gained as Kuryakin. Though he did become a familiar face on British television in shows such as Colditz (1972–1974), and in ITV's science-fiction series Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982) opposite Joanna Lumley. He also played the title character in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man in 1975.
The dream of finally seeing Illya Kuryakin star with Emma Peel was realized by the BBC in a 1989 suspense-thriller TV mini-series Mother Love starring McCallum and Diana Rigg. Their characters were not at all like their Kuryakin and Peel personas, though the series was generally well received (8.6/10 on IMDb).
In 1991 and 1992 McCallum played gambler John Grey, one of the principal characters in the British television series Trainer.
In the 1990s McCallum guest starred in two U.S. television series: in the first season of the television series seaQuest DSV he appeared as the law-enforcement officer Frank Cobb of the fictional Broken Ridge of the Ausland Confederation, an underwater mining camp off the coast of Australia by the Great Barrier Reef; he also had a guest star role in one episode of Babylon 5.
In 1994, McCallum narrated the acclaimed documentaries Titanic: Death of a Dream and Titanic: The Legend Lives On for A&E Television Networks. This was the second project about the Titanic on which he had worked: the first was the 1958 film A Night to Remember, in which he had a small role.
In the same year, McCallum hosted and narrated the TV special Ancient Prophecies. This special, which was followed soon after by three others, told of people and places historically associated with foretelling the end of the world and the beginnings of new eras for mankind. The series remains a critical and fan favourite. McCallum's distinctive voice is known for lending appropriately haunting atmospheres to many of the films in which he is involved.
Since 2003 McCallum has starred in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr Donald "Ducky" Mallard, the Medical Examiner and one of the key characters. In an inside joke, NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is asked, "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" Gibbs responds, "Illya Kuryakin."
According to the behind-the-scenes feature on the 2006 DVD of NCIS season 1, McCallum became an expert in forensics to play Mallard, including appearing at Medical Examiner conventions. In the feature, Bellisario says that McCallum's knowledge became so vast that at the time of the interview he was considering making him a technical advisor on the show.
McCallum appeared at the 21st Annual James Earl Ash Lecture, held May 19, 2005 at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, an evening for honoring America's service members. His lecture, "Reel to Real Forensics," with Cmdr. Craig T. Mallak, U.S. Armed Forces medical examiner, featured a presentation comparing the real-life work of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner staff with that of the fictional naval investigators appearing on NCIS.
In the 1960s, McCallum recorded four albums for Capitol Records with producer David Axelrod: Music...A Part Of Me (Capitol ST 2432, 1966), Music...A Bit More Of Me (Capitol ST 2498, 1966), Music...It's Happening Now! (Capitol ST 2651, 1967), and McCallum (Capitol ST 2748, 1968). The best known of his pieces today is "The Edge," which was sampled by Dr. Dre as the intro and riff to the track "The Next Episode."
McCallum did not sing on these records, as many television stars of the 60s did when offered recording contracts. As a classically trained musician, he conceived a blend of oboe, french horn, and strings with guitar and drums, and presented instrumental interpretations of hits of the day. The official arranger on the albums was H. B. Barnum. However, McCallum conducted, and contributed several original compositions of his own, over the course of four LPs. The first two, Music...A Part Of Me and Music...A Bit More Of Me, have been issued together on CD on the Zonophone label.
He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1957 to 1967. They had three sons: Paul, Jason — an adopted son who died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989 — and Val (short for Valentine). He introduced Ireland to Charles Bronson when both were filming The Great Escape. She subsequently left McCallum, and went on to marry Bronson in 1968.
He has been married to Katherine Carpenter since 1967. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie. David and Katherine are active with charitable organizations that support the United States Marine Corps: Katherine's father was a Marine who served in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and her brother lost his life in the Vietnam War.
The McCallums live in New York.
- n.b. for credit listings reference
Year(s) Series or film title Episode title Role 1961 Sir Francis Drake "The English Dragon" Lord Oakshott 1963 The Outer Limits "The Sixth Finger" Gwyllm Griffiths 1964 The Outer Limits "The Forms of Things Unknown" Tone Hobart The Great Adventure "Kentucky's Bloody Ground" Captain Hanning The Great Adventure "The Siege of Boonesborough" Captain Hanning Profiles in Courage "John Adams" John Adams Perry Mason "The Case of the Fifty-Millionth Frenchman" Phillipe Bertain The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters "The Day Of The Search" Prophet 1964–1968 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (series regular) Illya Kuryakin 1966 Please Don't Eat the Daisies "Say U.N.C.L.E." Illya Kuryakin 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame "Teacher, Teacher" Hamilton Cade Hallmark Hall of Fame "The File On Devlin" Kenneth Canfield 1971 Night Gallery "The Phantom Farmhouse" Dr. Joel Winter The Man and the City "Pipe Me A Loving Tune" 1972 Colditz (series regular) Flight Lieutenant Simon Carter 1973 Frankenstein: The True Story (TV movie) Henry Clerval The Six Million Dollar Man "Wine, Women and War" Alexi Kaslov 1975–1976 The Invisible Man (series regular) Daniel Westin 1979 Kidnapped Alan Breck Stewart 1979–1982 Sapphire & Steel Steel 1982 Strike Force "Ice" William Hadley 1983 As the World Turns Maurice Vermeil The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (TV movie) Illya Kuryakin 1984 The Master "Hostages" Castile 1986 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense "The Corvini Inheritance" Frank Lane Hart to Hart "Hunted Harts" Geoffrey Atterton The A-Team "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair" Ivan 1987 Matlock "The Billionaire" Phil Dudley 1988 Alfred Hitchcock Presents "Murder Party" Monsters (TV series) "The Feverman" the fever man 1989 Murder, She Wrote "From Russia...With Love" Cyril Grantham Mother Love Sir Alexander "Alex" Vesey McCloud (TV series) "The Return of Sam McCloud" Inspector Craig 1990 Boon "The Belles of St. Godwalds" Simon Bradleigh Lucky/Chances (miniseries) Father Dowling Mysteries Murder, She Wrote "Deadly Misunderstanding" Drew Garrison 1991 Trainer (every episode) John Grey Cluedo Professor Plum 1993 seaQuest DSV "seaWest" Frank Cobb 1994 Babylon 5 "Infection" Dr. Vance Hendricks Titanic: The Complete Story Narrator Heartbeat "Arms and the Man" Cooper 1995 VR-5 Dr. Joseph Bloom 1996 Mr. & Mrs. Smith "The Impossible Mission" Ian Felton 1997 Law & Order "Past Imperfect" Craig Holland The Outer Limits "Feasibility Study" Joshua Hayward 1997–1998 Team Knight Rider Mobius 1998 Coming Home (TV serial) Billy Fawcett 1999 Sex and the City "Shortcomings" Duncan 2000 Deadline "Lovers and Madmen" Harry Hobbs 2001 The Education of Max Bickford Walter Thornhill 2002 Jeremiah (TV series) "Things Left Unsaid" Clarence 2003 JAG "Ice Queen (1), Meltdown (2)" Donald "Ducky" Mallard 2003–Present NCIS (every episode) Donald "Ducky" Mallard 2006–2009 The Replacements (every episode) The voice of C.A.R. 2008–2010 Ben 10: Alien Force "Paradox", "War of the Worlds" and "Time Heals" Professor Paradox 2009 Batman: The Brave and the Bold "Day of the Dark Knight!" Merlin Ambrosius 2010 - 2011 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien "Recurring Character" Professor Paradox 2011 Generator Rex "Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United" Professor Paradox
Man from U.N.C.L.E. films
- To Trap a Spy (1964)
- The Spy with My Face (1965)
- One Spy Too Many (1966)
- The Spy in the Green Hat (1966)
- One of Our Spies is Missing (1966)
- The Karate Killers (1967)
- The Helicopter Spies (1968)
- How to Steal the World (1968)
- Ill Met By Moonlight (1957)
- These Dangerous Years (1957)
- Robbery Under Arms (1957)
- Hell Drivers (1957)
- The Secret Place (1957)
- A Night to Remember (1958)
- Violent Playground (1958)
- The Long and the Short and the Tall (1961)
- Jungle Street (1961)
- Freud the Secret Passion (1962)
- Billy Budd (1962)
- The Great Escape (1963)
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
- Around the World Under the Sea (1966)
- Three Bites of the Apple (1967)
- Casino Royale (1967) (cameo, uncredited)
- Sol Madrid (1968)
- Mosquito Squadron (1969)
- La Cattura (1969)
- She Waits (1972)
- The Kingfisher Caper (1975)
- Dogs (1976)
- King Solomon's Treasure (1977)
- The Watcher in the Woods (1980)
- Terminal Choice (1985)
- The Wind (1987)
- The Haunting of Morella (1990)
- Hear My Song (1991)
- Fatal Inheritance (1993)
- Dirty Weekend (1993)
- Healer (1994)
- Cherry (1999)
- Batman: Gotham Knight as the voice of Alfred (2008)
- ^ http://www.davidmccallumfansonline.com/sexsymbol.htm
- ^ "David McCallum, Actor - Interview". dangerousink.co.uk. http://www.dangerousink.co.uk/news/david-mccallum-actor-interview.html.
- ^ a b c d "U.N.C.L.E. Actor - David McCallum". manfromuncle.org. http://www.manfromuncle.org/mccallum.htm.
- ^ "David McCallum Biography". Fandango (ticket service). http://www.fandango.com/davidmccallum/biographies/p46912.
- ^ "ttp://legacy.charlotteobserver.com/200/story/79512.html". http://legacy.charlotteobserver.com/200/story/79512.html.
- ^ Feeney, Mark (2008-11-02). "Audiences in the '60s swooned over the cool men from U.N.C.L.E.". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2008/11/01/in_the_company_of_spies/?page=2.
- ^ "The Man from UNCLE: Behind the Scenes of a TV Classic". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_NHKW_2lMI&feature=related.
- ^ "The Meat Puzzle". NCIS. 2005-02-08. No. 13, season 2. 21:37 minutes in.
- ^ "David McCallum discusses medical examiner work". Davidmccallumfansonline.com. http://www.davidmccallumfansonline.com/afip.htm. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- ^ NCIS Actor's Portrayal is Dead On CNN, February 3, 2009
- ^ "David McCallum: Credit Listings". Tv.com. http://www.tv.com/david-mccallum/person/18393/appearances.html. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
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