The Scottish actor David McCallum, who was known for his role as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the CBS television series NCIS, died on Monday morning, a week after he celebrated his 90th birthday.
According to CBS, McCallum died of natural causes in a New York hospital, surrounded by his closest family members.
“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put his family before himself. He looked forward to any chance to play with his grandchildren, and had a unique bond with each of them,” said his eldest son, Peter McCallum, in a statement on behalf of the family with People shared.
McCallum was born in Glasgow, Scotland and initially pursued a career in classical music before finding work as an actor.
He gained fame in the 1960s for his portrayal of the spy, Illya Kuryakin, in the television series, The Man from UNCLEa role for which he garnered several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
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
For his role as NCIS said dr. Mallard, who he played since 2003, McCallum became an expert in forensic investigations and continuously attended medical examiner conferences where he presented talks about the portrayal of forensic medical examinations on television.
He has this role in others as well NCISseries starring, incl NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.
NCIS ‘s executive producers, Steven D. Binder and David North, expressed their condolences and described McCallum as a “learned and loving man”.
“For more than twenty years, David McCallum has won the hearts of audiences around the world for his beloved portrayal of the quirky and sometimes enigmatic Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” they wrote in a statement.
“He was a consummate professional, and never missed an opportunity for a joke.”
Mark Harmon, who played the role of Leroy Jethro Gibbs opposite McCallum between 2003 and 2019 NCIS starred, also paid tribute to his long-time co-actor.
“David lived a wonderful, full, long life. I was in awe when I first met him and all of us on the show were honored to share the screen with him,” Harmon shared in a statement to TVLine.
McCallum is survived by his wife, Katherine, four children and six grandchildren.
Sources: BBC, People, TVLine.