David McCallum, an actor best known for his longtime role as Ducky on NCIS, has died. He was 90.
According to CBS — the network behind the long-running police procedural drama — McCallum died of natural causes while surrounded by his family at New York Presbyterian.
“David was a gifted actor and author, and beloved by many around the world,” a statement from CBS read on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Born in September 1933, the Scottish actor had his breakout role in the 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. after appearing in a number of British television shows. While starring as Illya Kuryakin, he was ultimately turned into a national sex symbol and earned two Emmy nominations over the show’s four-year run. He got his third Emmy nomination for his role as an educator struggling with alcoholism in an episode of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series titled “Teacher, Teacher.”
After The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ended, McCallum went on to star in the main cast of other series such as Sapphire & Steel (1979-1982), Mother Love (1989) and VR-5 (1995). He also appeared in movies like The Great Escape (1963) and A Night to Remember (1959) and lent his voice to animated shows like Disney’s The Replacements and Cartoon Network’s Ben 10.
However, audiences today would recognize him most for his role as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS. While McCallum was part of the main cast for the show’s first 15 seasons, he continued to hold a recurring role on the hit CBS series until his death. Despite not being full-time from Seasons 16 to 20, the actor was still credited for all the episodes — even when he wasn’t on them.
“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father,” his son Peter McCallum wrote in a statement from the family, per CNN. “He always put family before self.”
McCallum is survived by his wife of 56 years, Katherine McCallum, three sons Paul McCallum, Valentine McCallum and Peter McCallum, his daughter Sophie McCallum and his eight grandchildren.