- Film And TV
- 26 Sep 23
The actor passed away surrounded by his family at a New York hospital.
David McCallum, the star of iconic film The Great Escape, has died at the age of 90 after a seven-decade career in the film and television industry.
Also starring in the television series The Man from UNCLE, he's known to most modern audiences for his role as medical examiner Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard in the crime series NCIS.
He was born in Glasgow, Scotland and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before starring alongside Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Garner and more in the 1963 war film The Great Escape. However, it was his role as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in The Man from UNCLE, opposite Robert Vaughn, that cemented his fame.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum and privileged that CBS was his home for so many years. David was a gifted actor and author, and beloved by many around the world. He led an incredible life, and his legacy will forever live on through his family and the… pic.twitter.com/1UgOz7pQ8g
— The NCISverse (@ncisverse) September 25, 2023
"He was the kindest, coolest, most patient, and loving father. He always put family before self," his son Peter McCallum said, according to CBS. "He was a true renaissance man - he was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge. For example, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and [if needed] could actually perform an autopsy, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS."
McCallum was also responsible for one of the most recognisable samples in hip-hop history: Dr Dre sampled McCallum’s 1966 instrumental record The Edge on his iconic 2000s single 'The Next Episode' which also features rapper Snoop Dogg. He was credited on the track and received international attention for the song, nearly forty years after it was first released.
— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) September 25, 2023