‘NCIS’: How Old Is ‎David McCallum and How Long Will He Play Ducky?

NCIS star David McCallum has been playing medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard since the show began in 2003 but viewers are wondering if he will return after Season 16.

For the past several months, rumors have been swirling that one of the show’s cast members would be departing this season. Now many are speculating that, given his advanced age, McCallum is that person. Here’s more on the actor including how old he is and how long he’ll play the beloved character.

'NCIS' star David McCallum
‘NCIS’ star David McCallum | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

David McCallum’s age

David Keith MacCallum Jr. was born on Sept. 19, 1933, in Scotland to parents Dorothy Dorman and David McCallum Sr. who were both musicians.

He began acting in British movies during the 1950s but really gained recognition in the ’60s when he received the role of Russian secret agent Illya Kuryakin on the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He also played that popular character in the films To Trap a Spy and The Spy with My Face and the TV movie Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

In 1957, he married his first wife, Jill Ireland, an actress he met on the set of Hell Drivers. The couple had three children together — Paul, Jason, and Valentine. Jason was their adopted son and passed away from an accidental overdose. McCallum introduced Ireland to fellow actor Charles Bronson in 1963 and a few years later she left him and married Bronson.

McCallum then wed Katherine Carpenter in 1967 and they had two children — a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie.

How long will he play Ducky?

David McCallum
David McCallum | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

Reports that the actor may not return as Ducky past this season hit a fever pitch after the episode “Bears and Cubs” which touched on his character’s exit.

In the episode, Ducky stated, “This may be my last autopsy for a while, perhaps ever … 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.”

His character then made a more definitive statement to Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) saying, “One thing I am certain of: My future will no longer include NCIS. I’ve done all I have to do. It’s time for Dr. Palmer to be the permanent chief medical examiner. I’m sorry.”

Deadline previously reported that when McCallum signed on for Season 16, he agreed to do so if he was granted a lighter workload, which is why he has been appearing on the show less and less. His choice was so he could spend more time with his family, leading to speculation that he is ready to retire.

While it looks doubtful fans will have to stayed tuned to see if Ducky is a part of Season 17.

His net worth

'NCIS' David McCallum
David McCallum | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

In addition to NCIS, McCallum has also appeared in many other TV shows over the years including Colditz, The Invisible Man, Sapphire & Steel, and Team Knight Rider to name a few. Some of his film credits include Violent Playground, Robbery Under Arms, A Night to Remember, Freud: The Secret Passion, The Great Escape and The Greatest Story Ever Told. McCallum authored a book as well titled Once a Crooked Man.

Today, he has an estimated net worth of $10 million.

Read more: How Many Children Does ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Have and How Long Has He Been Married?

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