David Keith McCallum (born 19 September, 1933) is a Scottish-born actor, musician, forensic science expert, and now author whose career has spanned more than six decades. Many of his acting roles have been in "genre" films and television, a few of his more famous roles are quite frankly iconic. His most famous 20th century role was that of Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but in the new millennium, he is equally or more well known as Dr Donald "Ducky" Mallard in NCIS.
Although his roles have been many and varied (he has worked on stage, television and films on at least three continents: Europe/UK, North America and Australasia), some common themes crop up from time to time. He once (or twice) joked that his tombstone would read "Here lies Illya Kuryakin" and not only did he reprise the role for the Reunion Show of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in the 80s, but also when he guest-starred on The A-Team later that decade the character he played was a thinly disguised parody of Illya. Also his character in Sapphire and Steel was in some ways a supernatural version, being a coldly efficient transdimensional agent. Another theme is World War II Allied POWs intent on escaping, which describes his characters in The Great Escape and Colditz. And he is one of only five actors to have appeared in both the 1960s and 1990s versions of The Outer Limits.
His musical exploits are less well known, but also varied. He plays oboe and guitar, sings, composes and has been known to conduct the occasional orchestra. During the height of his fame with The Man from U.N.C.L.E., he wrote and played guitar on a duet he sang with Nancy Sinatra in one episode and also released four instrumental albums. His 1967 instrumental tune "The Edge" was famously sampled by Dr. Dre on his 2000 single "The Next Episode".
McCallum's first novel, a crime thriller called Once a Crooked Man, was published in January 2016.
To say that he is a multi-talented veteran with a long and successful career might be considered something of an understatement.
- Robbery Under Arms (1957) - Jim Marston
- Violent Playground (1958) - Johnnie Murphy
- Freud (1962) - Carl von Schlossen
- The Great Escape (1963) - Ashley-Pitt "Dispersal"
- The Outer Limits (1963) - Gwyllim Griffiths in "The Sixth Finger" and Tone Hobart in "The Forms of Things Unknown"
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) - Judas Iscariot
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Illya Kuryakin
- Also reprised the role for the Reunion Show The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.
- Teacher Teacher (NBC, 1969) Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, based on a play by Ellison Carroll. excerpt here.
- Colditz - Flt. Lt. Simon Carter
- The Invisible Man (1975 U.S. TV Series) - Dr. Daniel Westin
- Kidnapped (1978 TV Mini-Series) - Alan Breck Stewart
- Sapphire and Steel - Steel
- The Watcher in the Woods (1981) - Paul Curtis
- The Outer Limits (1995) - Joshua Hayward in "Feasibility Study"'
- VR 5 - Dr. Joseph Bloom
- NCIS - Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
- Ben 10: Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ben 10: Omniverse, Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall: Professor Paradox
- Batman: Gotham Knight, Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin: Alfred Pennyworth.