David McCallum, an actor that became a popular TV star in the 1960s playing Russian spy Illya Kuryakin on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and then found new fame decades later as pathologist Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the “NCIS” TV series, died on Monday at the age of 90 years old.
McCallum, whose numerous film and TV credits included The Great Escape, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Outer Limits, Perry Mason, Colditz, and Sapphire & Steel, was also a classically trained musician. As I learned today, his composition “The Edge” was on the soundtrack of the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV and was sampled by Dr. Dre, Missin’ Linx, Masta Ace, John Legend, and Ren.
In January 1967, David McCallum released “It’s Happening Now!,” his 3rd album, which featured his version of Louie Louie!
His son Peter McCallum shared in a statement on behalf of the family. Here’s some selected words of that statement:
“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.”
“After returning from the hospital to their apartment, I asked my mother if she was OK before she went to sleep. Her answer was simply, ‘Yes. But I do wish we had had a chance to grow old together.’ She is 79, and dad just turned 90. The honesty in that emotion shows how vibrant their beautiful relationship and daily lives were, and that somehow, even at 90, Daddy never grew old.”
Wikipedia – David McCallum
People Magazine – NCIS Star David McCallum Dead at 90: ‘A Scholar and a Gentleman’