Does Ducky on ‘NCIS’ Have an Accent in Real Life?

Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard (David McCallum) is known by NCIS fans for being the wise and somewhat quirky chief medical examiner. On the show, he’s often seen talking to dead bodies and dishing out sage advice to his co-workers through anecdotes.

When did Ducky make his first appearance on ‘NCIS’?

McCallum made his NCIS debut in 2003. He first appeared in the episode entitled, “Yankee White.”

Three seasons of the hit show later, in Season 6 episode 17, “South by Southwest,” NCIS viewers learned why Ducky made a habit of talking to dead bodies.  “Their bodies tell me a great deal, it helps to reciprocate,” he said.

Who is David McCallum?

85-year-old actor, David McCallum, is best known for playing Ducky on NCIS. He first began acting in the 1950s when appeared in the mini-series, The Rose and the Ring. He made his big screen debut in the 1957 film, Night Ambush.

Actor David McCallum
Actor David McCallum as Donald “Ducky” Mallard on ‘NCIS’ episode, “Burden of Proof.” | Bill Inoshita/CBS via Getty Images

McCallum’s big break came in 1963 when he appeared in The Great Escape as Ashley-Pitt ‘Dispersal.’

Does Ducky on ‘NCIS’ have an accent in real life?

McCallum is a native of Glasgow, Scotland, so, yes, he does have the accent in real life.

McCallum studied music before acting

Music played a big role in McCallum’s early years. His parents, David McCallum Sr. and Dorothy Dorman, were both musicians. McCallum’s father was first violinist for the London Philharmonic and his mother, a cellist.

McCallum studied music at the Royal Academy of Music where he played the oboe then left for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. McCallum is known as one of the first British actors to study Method acting.

Is David McCallum leaving ‘NCIS’?

Lately, there’s been talk of cast members leaving NCIS. And yes, McCallum has been part of those discussions. He’s been eyed as one of the cast members likely to leave the show because he hasn’t had much screentime in Season 16. He reportedly worked a reduced schedule to spend more time with his family.  

The actor has recently become an author. He made his writing debut in 2016 when he released his first book, Once a Crooked Man.

Hints that the actor may, in fact, be leaving the show have been popping up this season. Specifically in the episode titled, “Bears and Cubs.”

During a conversation Ducky had with Anthony DiNozzo Sr. (Robert Wagner), he said, “This may be my last autopsy for a while, perhaps ever,” hinting that Ducky’s time on NCIS may be over.

Brian Dietzen and David McCallum.
Actors Brian Dietzen and David McCallum on ‘NCIS’ episode, “One Man’s Trash.” | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

His character continued, saying, “I’m not sure there’s a place for me here. Dr. Palmer is an exceptional medical examiner who has every right to resent my return. I daresay, I might feel the same way if the roles were reversed.”

Although Dr. Palmer (Brian Dietzen) assured his mentor he didn’t resent his actions, the idea of an exit had already been planted in Ducky’s mind.

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) then learns of Ducky’s possible exit. “I’m not entirely sure, but one thing I am certain of: My future will no longer include NCIS,” Ducky told Gibbs. “I’ve done all I have to do. It’s time for Dr. Palmer to be the permanent chief medical examiner. I’m sorry.”

These interactions between characters indicate that McCallum could very well be leaving the show although nothing has been confirmed.