NCIS Star David McCallum Dies at 90

Photo from NCIS’ Instagram

NCIS Star David McCallum Dies at 90

By Movieguide® Contributor

Beloved actor David McCallum died of natural causes on Monday while surrounded by loved ones at a New York hospital.

“He was the kindest coolest, most patient and loving father,” said his son Peter in a statement on behalf of the family. “He always put family before self. He looked forward to any chance to connect with his grandchildren.”

McCallum is best known for his role as Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard on CBS’s crime drama NCIS, a character he played for 20 years.

“He was a true renaissance man—he was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge,” the statement continued. “For example, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and (if needed) could actually perform and autopsy, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS.”

Peter also recalled the love his parents had for each other, sharing a conversation he had with his mom after his father died.

“After returning from the hospital to their apartment, I asked my mother if she was OK before she went to sleep,” he explained. “Her answer was simply, ‘Yes. But I do wish we 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.”

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum and privileged that CBS was his home for so many years,” CBS said. “David was a gifted actor and author and beloved by many around the world. He led an incredible life, and his legacy will forever live on through his family and the countless hours of 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,” the network’s statement concluded. 

McCallum is survived by his wife Katherine; his children, Paul, Valentine, Peter and Sophie; and his eight grandchildren.

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