NCIS star David McCallum has died aged 90.
The British actor played Chief Medical Examiner Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard in the long-running police drama – having joined the show when it first aired in 2003 – and was the last remaining original cast member in the TV series.
He also starred in the 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Tragically, McCallum died on September 25 at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
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The actor reportedly died from natural causes while surrounded by family in his final moments.
In a statement shared by NCIS executive producers Steven D. Binder and David North, they paid tribute to the longtime star.
They said: “For over twenty years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard.
“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.
“From day one, it was an honour to work with him and he never let us down. He was, quite simply, a legend. He was also family and will be deeply missed.”
Meanwhile, NBC and CBS have also paid tribute to McCallum – describing him as a ‘gifted actor and author’.
“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 reads.
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.
The Great Escape actor was born in Glasgow in 1933 and was conscripted for National Service after he left school – where he served in West Africa and was eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
After leaving the army he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London where Joan Collins was a classmate.
He landed a number of roles, appearing in The Greatest Story Ever Told, Mosquito Squadron, Billy Budd, Freud and A Night to Remember before starring in NCIS.
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The show entered its 20th season this year and will be airing a 20th-anniversary NCIS marathon.
It has now been confirmed that will include an ‘In Memoriam’ card in remembrance of McCallum.
Along with acting, he was also a musician and recorded four albums for Capitol Records.
Fans of NCIS have taken to social media to pay tribute to the actor who played ‘Ducky’, with one writing: “Farewell, the absolute legend that was David McCallum. Was there ever a cooler Glaswegian?”
Someone else pens: “I’m gutted. Another amazing actor is gone. Ducky was one of my favourite characters in NCIS! Rest in peace, David McCallum.”
Another fan adds: “Very sad to hear this. I’m a big fan of NCIS and he was so much fun to watch. Condolences to all who knew and loved him.”
“Very sad. He once said he was very lucky to have had two such prominent roles which made him known to different generations,” writes a fourth person.