Posted in: CBS, TV | Tagged: cbs, David McCallum, Lauren Holly, Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, NCIS, obituary, The Man From UNCLE, tribute
NCIS family members and friends from across the entertainment industry paid tribute to the late David McCallum, who passed away on Monday.
It’s rare when an actor in Hollywood has sustained his/her career for as many decades as David McCallum. The Scottish sensation, who passed at the age of 90 on September 25th, made his on-screen debut in the 1953 mini-series The Rose and the Ring, becoming a staple in British entertainment before becoming a crossover success in the United States with memorable roles in 1963’s The Great Escape, TV’s Perry Mason and The Outer Limits before landing his first signature role as Illya Kuryakin in the espionage spy thriller series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opposite Robert Vaughn’s Napoleon Solo. With over 130 credits to his name, McCallum became a TV favorite doing a mix of live-action and, within the last 30 years, joined the voiceover world.
McCallum also dabbled in the music scene with his most famous contribution to The Edge, which became one of the most sampled tracks in pop culture. With his filmography spanning 70 years, he found his most successful is the role he would become most synonymous with in his final TV series NCIS as fan favorite Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. While no cast member has appeared in all 458 episodes of the CBS series in its 20-season span, McCallum came the closest in 457 credited appearances (including two in the spinoff NCIS: New Orleans) despite a more reduced role in a recurring capacity since season 15. Despite the actor appearing in every season, McCallum appeared in only four episodes physically in season 20.
Fans from across the entertainment industry from NCIS castmates past and present paid tribute to their friend in the “Ducky” actor, which includes executive producers Seven D. Binder and David North, and stars Mark Harmon (Gibbs), Lauren Holly (Jenny), Michael Weatherly (Tony), Brian Dietzen (Jimmy), Pauley Perette (Abby), Wilmer Valderrama (Nick), Diona Reasonover (Kasie), and Emily Wickersham (Ellie). Other tributes include William Shatner, Michael Beschloss, Rodney Marshall, and SAG-AFTRA.
“David lived a great, full, long life,” Harmon shared in a statement to TVLine. “I was in awe when I first met him and all of us on the show were honored to have toed a mark opposite him. My condolences go out to Katherine and his family.” “For over 20 years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” Binder and North wrote in their statement. “But as much as his fans may have loved him, those who worked side by side with David loved him that much more. He was a scholar and a gentleman, always gracious, a consummate professional, and never one to pass up a joke. From day one, it was an honor to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.” Wickersham wrote on her Instagram, “Had the pleasure of working with David for many years and he was the utmost professional and a true legend. I will miss you David. Sending all my love to your family.”
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