David McCallum, Legendary NCIS Actor, Dead at 90

at .

David McCallum, best known for playing chief medical examiner Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS, has died.

According to reports, the Scottish actor died of natural causes surrounded by family at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

“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 current NCIS exec producers Seven D. Binder and David North in a statement obtained by Deadline.

Ducky Celebrates - NCIS Season 20 Episode 3

“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."

Actor David McCallum attends the 2010 CBS UpFront at Damrosch Park,

"From day one, it was an honor to work with him, and he never let us down," the statement adds.

"He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.”

CBS added, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum and privileged that CBS was his home for so many years."

"David was a gifted actor and author and beloved by many around the world," the statement continues.

Special Guest - NCIS Season 18 Episode 2

"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."

"We will miss his warmth and endearing sense of humor that lit up any room or soundstage he stepped onto, as well as the brilliant stories he often shared from a life well-lived."

"Our hearts go out to his wife Katherine and his entire family, and all those who knew and loved David.”

Ducky has been one of the most prominent NCIS characters, appearing in all 20 seasons and more than 450 episodes.

Department Historian  - NCIS Season 17 Episode 16

McCallum is survived by his wife of 56 years, Katherine McCallum; his sons Paul McCallum, Valentine McCallum, and Peter McCallum; his daughter, Sophie McCallum; and his eight grandchildren:

Julia McCallum, Luca de Sanctis, Iain de Sanctis, Stella McCallum, Gavin McCallum, George McCallum, Alessandro de Sanctis, and Whit McCallum.

“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father,” Peter McCallum said in a statement.

“He always put family before self. He looked forward to any chance to connect with his grandchildren and had a unique bond with each of them."

Back in the Field - NCIS Season 17 Episode 17

"He and his youngest grandson, Whit, 9, could often be found in the corner of a room at family parties having deep philosophical conversations.

“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."

Busy Day - NCIS Season 17 Episode 3

"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.”

In addition to NCIS, McCallum also starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Sapphire & Steel, and Colditz.

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 1933, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

David McCallum (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard) - NCIS

He later switched his attention to acting and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and kicked off his acting career by working on BBC Radio and became a firm fixture in theater productions.

He moved to America in 1961 and landed the role of Illya Kuryakin on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

On the big screen, he also appeared in The Great Escape, Mosquito Squadron, Billy Buddy, and A Night to Remember.

May David McCallum rest in peace.

If you want to relive any of Ducky's best moments, you can watch NCIS online right here via TV Fanatic.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

Show Comments
Tags: , , ,

NCIS Quotes

Bishop: Seriously? How'd you get that?
Tony: Well, it's like Gorillas in the Midst. You'll get to understand his grunts.

Torres: When I break out the glass, maybe I can rip out the bars.
Bishop: With what? Your superhuman strength?