Happy Birthday Scottish actor David McCallum who turns 88 today.
Born as David Keith McCallum, Jr in Maryhill, Glasgow, the second of two sons of Dorothy Dorman, a cellist, and orchestral violinist David McCallum Sr. When he was three, his family moved to London for his father to play as concertmaster in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Early in the Second World War, he was evacuated back to Scotland, where he lived with his mother at Gartocharn by Loch Lomond.
McCallum won a scholarship to University College School, a boys’ independent school in Hampstead, London, where, encouraged by his parents to prepare for a career in music, he played the oboe. In 1946 he began doing boy voices for the BBC radio repertory company. Also involved in local amateur drama, at age 17, he appeared as Oberon in an open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Play and Pageant Union. He left school at age 18 and was conscripted, joining the 3rd Battalion the Middlesex Regiment, which was seconded to the Royal West African Frontier Force. In March 1954 he was promoted to Lieutenant. After leaving the army he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (also in London), where Joan Collins was a classmate.
David McCallum’s acting career has spanned six decades; however, these days he is best known for his starring role on the police procedural NCIS as medical examiner as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. I first really remember McCallum for his role in another US show, The Invisible Man which ran for 13 episodes in the 70’s. McCallum by then was a veteran of many TV and Film roles, starting in the 50’s including Our Mutual Friend and The Eustace Diamonds, in the 60’s he was in several ITV Playhouse shows before moving across the Atlantic to take roles in The Outer Limits and his big break as Illya Kuryakin in several incantations of The Man from Uncle.
His most notable films were The Greatest Story Ever Told as
Judas Iscariot and of course Ashley-Pitt ‘Dispersal’ in The Great Escape.
As well as the aforementioned Invisible Man in the 70’s he took time to pop back over to our shores to star in two quality series, as Flt. Lt. Simon Carter in Colditz and Alan Breck Stewart in an adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Kidnapped.
The 80’s saw him team up with the lovely Joanna Lumley in Sapphire & Steel and several guest roles in the likes of The A Team, Hart to Hart and Murder, She Wrote as well as a one off reprise of Illya in the TV movie The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.
The 90’s saw David in Cluedo and Trainer on our TV screens over here and American science-fiction series VR-5 in the states..
A little know fact about oor David, is that in the 1960s, McCallum recorded four albums for Capitol Records, he has also appeared on duetting with Nancy Sinatra
During the last 20 years or so he has been in the kids TV show, Ben 10: Omniverse as the voice of Professor Paradox and of course Donald Horatio “Ducky” Mallard in over 400 episodes of the popular NCIS.
David has been married twice. He married his first wife Jill Ireland in 1957. They met on the set of the movie Hell Drivers. Together, they had two sons and a daughter, Paul, Jason and Valentine, with Jason being the only one who was adopted. In 1963, David introduced Jill to his co-star on The Great Escape, Charles Bronson, and she left David and married Charles in 1968. In 1967, David married Katherine Carpenter and they have two children together, a son Peter and a daughter, Sophie. He and Katherine currently live in New York, but he spends several months every year filming NCIS on the West Coast.
43 notes · View notes