WASHINGTON (TND) — David McCallum, the Scottish actor perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS, had died. He was 90-years-old.
Deadline reports he passed away peacefully of natural causes at New York Presbyterian Hospital Monday morning, surrounded by 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,” said NCIS executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North.
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 1, 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.
McCallum was no stranger to television screens or silver screens by the time he arrived on the set of the CBS military and police procedural show in 2003 (he stayed on until his death, becoming the only original cast member in the 20th season).
After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and acting in several films, McCallum broke out as an actor and pop culture icon with his portrayl of Russian secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the 1960s show "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." He would also be nominated for two Emmy awards during the show's four-year run.
While he would reprise Kuryakin in a made-for-television movie and on "The A-Team," he would not achieve the same kind of wide-spread, mainstream recognition he had between 1964 and 1968 until he started portraying the fictional NCIS chief medical examiner and later historian.
A mini-marathon of NCIS episodes airing Monday night, marking the 20th anniversary of the show's launch, will include an "In memoriam" card for McCallum.