David McCallum, who plays Dr. Ducky Mallard on NCIS, starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in the mid-1960s. What did he do between those two TV series?
—Phil Towery, Princeton, Ky.
The laundry list of McCallum’s credits between wrapping up his role as super spy Illya Kuryakin in 1968 and taking on Ducky in 2003 on NCIS, which recently celebrated its 200th episode, is long, but here are some of the highlights: He returned to the U.K. and starred in the series Colditz (1972–1974), Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982), Cluedo (1991–1993), Trainer (1991–1992) and the 1989 suspense-thriller TV miniseries Mother Love. In the U.S., he starred in The Invisible Man in 1975, Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), The Education of Max Bickford (2001-2002), and he is the voice of Paradox in Ben 10 and C.A.R. in The Replacements.
He’s also appeared in JAG, Sex and the City, The Outer Limits, Law & Order, Babylon 5 and Murder, She Wrote.
The Glasgow, Scotland-born actor, 78, was twice married. His first wife was the late actress Jill Ireland, who left him after he introduced her to Charles Bronson, whom she later married. They had two biological sons and one adopted, who is deceased.
He married Katherine Carpenter in 1967 and they have two children.
McCallum, whose parents both had careers in music, had little knowledge of science prior to signing on to play the chief medical examiner on NCIS. But now, he says his family calls him “Dr. Dave.”
“I have yards and yards of books on the subject of death,” he says. “When we started this show, I didn’t know anything about pathology, and I didn’t know anything about NCIS. I learned the commitments of excellence that all of those special agents have. But for me, I love this show because it gives me a chance to do what I was born to do in the best possible way.”