David McCallum, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. And NCIS Star, Dies Aged 91

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David McCallum at a CBS event in 2016
David McCallum at a CBS event in 2016

British actor David McCallum has died at the age of 90.

David first rose to prominence in the 1960s for playing Russian secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the spy drama The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and later joined the cast of NCIS as the eccentric medical examiner Donald “Ducky” Mallard.

He died of natural causes on Monday, surrounded by his family at New York Presbyterian Hospital, US broadcaster CBS said in a statement.

David McCallum in character as Illya KuryakinDavid McCallum in character as Illya Kuryakin

“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 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.”

David’s role in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. lasted four years, during which time he was nominated for two Emmys, and became a global heartthrob. He also reprised the role of Illya Kuryakin in a number of spin-off films.

His additional credits included the films The Great Escape, A Night To Remember, Around the World Under the Sea and The Greatest Story Ever Told, as well as TV shows like The A-Team, Murder She Wrote and the aforementioned NCIS.

In his later years, David voiced Alfred Pennyworth in a number of DC Comics projects, including Batman vs. Robin and Batman: Gotham Knight.