DAVID MCCALLUM Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: David Keith McCallum                                                               
Born: 19 September 1933 Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom                               
David Keith McCallum, Jr. (born September 19, 1933) is a prolific Scottish actor         
and the son of concertmaster violinist David McCallum, Sr.. He is best known for         
his role as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian-born secret agent, on the popular 1960s           
television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and Ducky Mallard on the series NCIS.         
McCallum was born in Glasgow, and was educated at University College School, a           
boys' independent school in Hampstead, London. He began his career as a bit-part         
actor in British films of the late-1950s and early-1960s. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,       
intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, made McCallum into a sex symbol, his           
Beatle-style blond haircut providing a trendy contrast with Vaughn's traditional         
appearance. Hero worship even led to a record, Love Ya, Illya, performed by Alma         
Cogan under the name Angela and the Fans ("I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish, I             
wish that Illya loved me"), which was a pirate radio hit in Britain in 1966.             
Although McCallum became a familiar face on television, he never achieved the           
popular success as he had as Kuryakin. His best-known roles were in Sapphire and         
Steel (opposite Joanna Lumley), as the lead in a mid-1970s remake of The                 
Invisible Man, and as Judas Iscariot in The Greatest Story Ever Told.                   
In the 1960s, McCallum recorded albums for Capitol Records with producer David           
Axelrod, such as Music: A Bit More of Me (1966) and Music: It's Happening Now! (1967).   
The most well known of his pieces today is The Edge, which was sampled by Dr Dre         
as the intro and riff to the track The Next Episode. McCallum did not sing on           
these records, as many television stars of the 60s did when offered recording           
contracts, but used the opportunity to make a different statement. As a                 
classically trained musician, he conceived a blend of oboe, french horn, and             
strings with guitar and drums, and presented instrumental interpretations of             
hits of the day. The official arranger on the albums was H.P. Barnum, but               
McCallum conducted, and contributed a few original compositions over the course         
of four LPs. The first two "Music: A Part of Me", and "Music: A Bit More of Me"         
have been issued together on CD on the Zonophone label.                                 
McCallum co-starred with Charles Bronson in The Great Escape. He introduced his         
wife, Jill Ireland, to Bronson on the set and she left him and married Bronson.         
As of December 2006, he is one of only four surviving stars of the film, the             
others being Richard Attenborough, James Garner and John Leyton.                         
McCallum appeared on stage in Australia in Run For Your Wife during 1987-1988           
and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast were Jack               
Smethurst, Eric Sykes and Katy Manning.                                                 
McCallum also guest starred in the television series seaQuest DSV as the law-enforcement 
officer Frank Cobb of the fictional Broken Ridge of the Ausland Confederation,           
an underwater mining off the coast of Australia by the Great Barrier Reef during         
the series' first season.                                                               
In 1994, McCallum narrated the acclaimed documentaries Titanic: Death of a Dream         
and Titanic: The Legend Lives On for A&E Television Networks, the second Titanic-centric 
project he worked on. The first was the 1958 film A Night to Remember. A 1990s           
rock-rap group from Argentina named itself Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas in         
honor of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. character.                                             
In 2003 McCallum starred in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr Donald "Ducky"         
Mallard, one of the key characters. In an inside joke, when Agent Gibbs is asked,       
"What did Ducky look like when he was younger?," Gibbs responds, "Illya Kuryakin."       
According to the behind-the-scenes feature on the 2006 DVD of season 1, McCallum         
became an expert in forensics to play the Dr "Ducky" Mallard, including                 
appearing at medical examiner conventions. Bellisario says McCallum's knowledge         
became so vast that Bellisario (at the time of the interview) was considering           
making him a technical advisor.