British actor David McCallum, who played forensic pathologist “Ducky” on “NCIS” for 20 seasons, has died at the age of 90, several U.S. media outlets reported Monday.
The actor, who first became known to the public in the 1960s for his role as the charming Ilya Koryakine on the series “Very Special Agents,” died Monday in a New York hospital surrounded by his family, the channel reported.
“He was the kindest, best, most patient and loving father,” his son Peter said, according to Chanel.
“He was fascinated by science and culture and turned these passions into knowledge,” she added, noting that his father could even perform an autopsy based on his decades of research for his role on NCIS.
A student at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, David McCallum made his first film appearance in 1963 in “The Great Escape”, notably with Steve McQueen.
But his career really took off the following year when he was cast as the enigmatic Soviet secret agent Ilya Kuryakin in “Very Special Agents.”
With lush blonde hair and turtlenecks, David McCullum represented a certain charm.
The “Very Special Agents” series only lasted four years, but his character followed him for life.
“It’s been over 30 years, but I can’t escape,” he told the New York Times in 1998.
Since 2003, a forensic pathologist with NCIS, the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Dr. He began his role as Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the series of the same name. A true success, it will be followed by millions of viewers in the United States and around the world, during its 20 seasons on American television.
Along with his characteristic bow ties, he would appear in all but one episode of the first 15 seasons before appearing sporadically from season 16 onwards.
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