David Keith McCallum, Jr. is a Scottish actor and musician. He first gained recognition in the 1960s for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In recent years, he has gained renewed international recognition and popularity for his role as NCIS medical examiner Dr. Donald Mallard in the American television series NCIS.
About David McCallum in brief
David Keith McCallum, Jr. is a Scottish actor and musician. He first gained recognition in the 1960s for playing secret agent Illya Kuryakin in the television series The Man from U. N. C. L. E. In recent years, he has gained renewed international recognition and popularity for his role as NCIS medical examiner Dr. Donald Mallard in the American television series NCIS. He is the son of orchestral violinist David McCAllum Sr. and cellist Dorothy. He was born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to London when he was three. He left school at age 18 and was conscripted for National Service. He joined the British Army’s 3rd Battalion the Middlesex Regiment, which was seconded to the Royal West African Frontier Force. After leaving the army he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where Joan Collins was a classmate. In 1951 he became assistant stage manager of the Glyndebourne Opera Company. He began his acting career doing boy voices for BBC Radio in 1947 and began taking bit parts in British films from the late 1950s. His first American film was Freud: The Secret Passion, directed by John Huston.
He took the role of Judas Iscariot in 1965’s The Greatest Story Ever Told. Other television roles included two appearances on The Outer Limits and a guest appearance on Perry Mason in 1964 as defendant Phillipe Bertain in \”The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman\”. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, made McCallums into a sex symbol, his Beatle-style blond haircut providing a trendy contrast to Vaughn’s clean-cut appearance. Although the show aired at the height of the Cold War, McCallom’s Russian alter ego became a pop culture phenomenon. While playing Illya, he received more fan mail than any other actor in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s history, including popular MGM stars Elvis Presley and Clark Gable. Fans, under the name Angela Cogan, even performed a record, Love Ya Ya Ya, performed by Alma Cogan and the Valderramas in 1990s. In 1983 he reprised his role of Illya in the film Return of the U.S. Man, a film of the same name. He received two Emmy Award nominations in the course of the show’s four-year run for playing the secret agent.