Born: 19 September 1933

 Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 Name: David Keith McCallum

 Best Known As: Russian U.N.C.L.E. agent Illya Kuryakin and "Ducky" Mallard NCIS.

David was educated at University College School, London. He began his career as a bit-part actor in British films of the late-1950s and early-1960s.


David himself admits that a tug-of-war raged inside him over music or theatre. It was natural that he was drawn to music. He had been brought up on it, and had almost decided to be an oboe- player. But as the birthdays passed, his need for the theatre grew stronger. When he was fifteen, he threw up his studies, sold his oboe, and went to The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art on the proceeds. He studied at RADA from 1949 to 1951. Jacqueline Hill was at RADA with him, and recalls that he was quite unlike other students because he was more interested in stage management than acting. 

 With his blonde hair, blue eyes, black turtlenecks, and brooding nature, David starred alongside Robert Vaughn in the series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. from 1964-68. David has had a long career on stage and has taken roles large and small in movies including The Great Escape (1963,) Mosquito Squadron and Hear My Song (1991). He also guest-starred on TV shows Such as Murder She Wrote (1989) to Sex and the City (1999). In 2003 he Did an audition tape for a very special role and began playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, a Navy medical examiner, in the TV crime series NCIS.


Multi-talented David McCallum has had many accomplishments over the years, including acting in movies, theatre, and TV, plus issuing his own music albums David is proficient at several instruments. McCallum was surrounded by music starting at an early age as his father was a violinist, and his mother a cellist. After giving cello a try David became entranced by such classic writers as Kipling, Dickens Chaucer, and Shakespeare, which inspired David the teenager to give acting a try

Before he could explore acting fully, David enlisted in the Royal West African Frontier Force on the African Gold Coast in the early '50s, which helped him prepare for what would become his signature acting role.

As the Iconic blond Russian agent Ilya Kuryakin in, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. which David played from 1964 through 1968. During the late '60s, David issued several albums that have since become fan cult items among collectors: A Part of Me, 1968's Music: A Bit More of Me, and 1969's Music: It's Happening Now! -- which mixed renditions of then-current hits (the Beatles' "Yesterday," the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction, along with McCallum originals.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, unexpectedly made David into a sex symbol, his blonde Beatle-style haircut providing a trendy contrast with Vaughn's rather traditional appearance. Hero Worship even led to a record, Love Ya, Illya, performed by Alma Cogan a huge hit in Britain in 1966. David subsequently became a familiar face on television, he was never able to achieve the same level of popular success as he had done with his role as Kuryakin. His best-known roles were in Sapphire and Steel With Joanna Lumley), as the lead in a mid-1970s remake of The Invisible Man.  Also The leading role the war series "Colditz"  1972-1974)

 He was married to the late actress Jill Ireland from 1957 to 1967. They had three sons: Paul, Jason (who died from an accidental drug overdose in 1985), and Valentine. He has been married to Katherine Carpenter since 1967. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie. David appeared on stage in Australia when he appeared in the play Run For Your Wife , during 1987-1988 and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast in the production were Jack Smethurst, Eric Sykes and Katy Manning. David also co-starred with Charles Bronson in The Great Escape.

 

Now 73, David McCallum shows no sign of slowing down. "I hope to keep working till I can't remember the lines anymore," he says. "I've always been a hustler. You've got to keep calling people and hassling your agent. The squeaky door gets oil. There are 90 TV channels here in the US , so there's always plenty of work. The thing is not to let the standard dip."

 

 Over the years, David has made several notable attempts to burst out of Kuryakin type-casting. He played a British prisoner in the memorable POW movie, The Great Escape - He also appeared as the Liverpool police chief in Hear My Song, the wonderful comedy about the singer, Josef Locke. He even starred for a couple of years in a West End run of Ray Cooney's Run for Your Wife. "That was not in the least in the Russian spy genre," David states, "but I still had UNCLE fans at the stage door saying 'We didn't know you could do comedy'." As of 2003, He is starring in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard.

According to the behind-the-scenes feature on the 2006 DVD release of season 1, it was said David took it upon himself to become an expert in forensics in order to better play the role of Dr. "Ducky" Mallard, including appearing at medical examiner conventions. David’s knowledge of the subject became so vast that Bellisario was seriously considering making him a technical advisor for the series.

 

An Inside joke on NCIS series Jethro Gibbs is asked,

"What did Ducky look like when he was younger?," Gibbs responds,

"Illya Kuryakin."

And That can't be bad can it! One of “The icons of the 60s” and adored by millions:)

Thanks David for many years of your hard work and skill. Although I am still Trying to work out Sapphire and Steel :):)

Daisy –Downunder