To his Gibbs, he’ll always be Ducky. Following the loss of his co-star David McCallum, NCIS alum Mark Harmon paid a touching homage to him.
McCallum, who played Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS from Seasons 1 to 20, d1ed of natural causes on Monday, September 25, 2023. He was ninety years old. Katherine McCallum, McCallum’s wife of 56 years, survives him. Harmon, who played NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from Seasons 1 to 19, told TV Line about the first time he met McCallum while filming on NCIS.
“David lived a great, full, and long life,” Harmon remarked. “I was in awe when I first met him, and everyone on the show was honored to have toed the line alongside him.” My heartfelt sympathies go out to Katherine and his family.
McCallum d1ed at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. A spokesman for CBS confirmed his d3ath. “For over 20 years, David McCallum endeared himself to audiences around the world playing the wise, quirky, and sometimes enigmatic, Dr. Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard,” NCIS producers Seven D. Binder and David North said in a statement at the time. “But, as much as his fans adored him, those who worked alongside David adored him even more.
He was a scholar and a gentleman, always cordial and professional, and never missed a joke. It was a privilege to work with him from the start, and he never let us down. He was, simply put, a legend. He was also a member of the family and will be greatly missed.”
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of David McCallum and privileged that CBS was his home for so many years,” a CBS official said in a statement. David was a talented actor and playwright who was well-liked by people all around the world. He lived an amazing life, and his legacy will carry on forever via his family and the numerous hours of cinema and television that will never be forgotten. We shall miss his warmth and delightful sense of humor, which brightened each room or studio he entered, as well as the fascinating anecdotes he often told from a life well-lived. Our thoughts are with his wife Katherine, his entire family, and everyone who knew and loved David.”
In a statement to TV Line, Peter McCallum, one of McCallum’s four children, praised his father “the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father” and a “true renaissance man” for his work as Ducky on NCIS. “He was a true Renaissance man, fascinated by science and culture and turning his passions into knowledge.” “For example, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and — if necessary — could actually perform an autopsy,” Peter added.
“After returning from the hospital to their apartment, I asked my mother if she was OK before she went to sleep,” McCallum’s son continued. ‘Yes,’ she replied simply. But I wish we could have grown old together.’ She is 79 years old, and her father is 90. The sincerity in their sentiment demonstrates how vibrant their magnificent relationship and daily lives were, and how, even at 90, Daddy never aged.”
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