David McCallum, the actor who gained fame as a teenage heartthrob in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. during the 1960s and later portrayed an eccentric medical examiner in NCIS four decades later, passed away at the age of 90.
McCallum, originally from Scotland, peacefully succumbed to natural causes on Monday, while surrounded by his family at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
In a statement, CBS, the American broadcasting network, expressed, “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 countless hours on film and television that will never go away.’
McCallum had featured in notable movies like “A Night to Remember” (depicting the Titanic), “The Great Escape,” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (portraying Judas).
However, it was his role in the spy drama “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” during the mid-1960s that catapulted McCallum to widespread fame, making him a household name.
The popularity of the James Bond books and films triggered a wave of secret agent-themed content on both the big and small screens.
Upon his passing, executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North of “NCIS” released a statement, describing McCallum as a scholar and a gentleman, consistently gracious, a consummate professional, and always ready with a joke. They regarded him as a legend and expressed their honor in working with him.
To commemorate his legacy, an “In Memoriam” card was planned to be featured during a primetime marathon of “NCIS” on its 20th anniversary.
McCallum’s career included notable achievements such as two Emmy nominations for his work in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and a third nomination for his portrayal of an educator grappling with alcoholism in the 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama, “Teacher, Teacher.”
David Keith McCallum was born in Glasgow in 1933. His parents were musicians; his father, also named David, played violin, his mother played cello. When David was three, the family moved to London, where David Sr. played with the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. Young David attended the Royal Academy of Music where he learned the oboe. He decided he wasn´t good enough, so he turned to theater, studying briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
David McCallum’s passing elicited heartfelt tributes and condolences on social media from both peers and fans:
NCIS star Lauren Holly remembered him as “the kindest man” and thanked him for being himself.
Michael Weatherly, also from NCIS, emphasized McCallum’s ability to make every moment count, both in life and on set. He raised a toast to celebrate a “funny, fantastic, authentic man” and shared his appreciation for McCallum’s autograph.
Actor Michael Warburton simply paid his respects with “RIP David McCallum.”
A post from the NCISverse account expressed how McCallum’s warmth and endearing sense of humor brightened every room and soundstage he entered, along with the appreciation for the captivating stories he shared from his rich life.
According to People magazine, McCallum’s family intends to hold a celebration of life service for him in the future. They have also suggested that those who wish to make donations in his memory can contribute to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
David McCallum had three sons from his first marriage, named Paul, Jason, and Valentine, and a son and daughter from his second marriage, named Peter and Sophie. Tragically, Jason passed away due to an overdose, marking a painful chapter in McCallum’s life.