NCIS star David McCallum has been playing medical examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard since the show began in 2003, but playing a beloved character on a popular TV series is nothing new for McCallum.
He gained recognition back in the ’60s for his role as secret agent Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Prior to that, McCallum appeared in the movie The Great Escape with Charles Bronson. McCallum was married to Jill Ireland at the time and during filming, Bronson charmed his co-star’s wife and she ended up leaving McCallum for him. But McCallum did find love again and married Katherine Carpenter.
Here’s more on his second wife, plus what the actor calls the best and worst moments of his life.
His feelings about Bronson and who McCallum is married to now
After Ireland left McCallum, she married Bronson. McCallum has spoken about he felt about the Death Wish star stealing his wife.
“I never hated him, Charlie was always a good friend,” McCallum said. “I find that when problems come along, worrying about them and getting anxious and negative is quite unnecessary. You can solve them, usually amicably. That’s what happened.”
McCallum and Ireland had three children together and the actor admitted that did make the situation tough on him.
He told The Mirror, “It was an extremely difficult time, not least because we had three children.”
Following his split with Ireland, McCallum met Carpenter, who worked as a fashion model for a number of years.
The pair wed in 1967, the same year his divorce from Ireland was finalized. The NCIS star and Carpenter have two children together — a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie.
Some of Carpenter’s family members were in the Marine Corps. Her father fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima and her brother was killed in the Vietnam War. Today, she and McCallum are involved in several charitable organizations that support the United States Armed Forces.
The best and worst moments of McCallum’s life
McCallum said that he feels he’s “had an incredible life” but has experienced terrible heartache.
In 1989, he and Ireland’s adopted son, Jason, died from an accidental drug overdose.
“The worst moment of my life was when I lost my son, there’s no question of that,” he revealed. “Losing people you love are always the most terrible moments, especially when they’re so young. Things remind you of the loss, birthdays and things. But it’s gone, it’s done. He’s not coming back, so I don’t dwell on it.”
These days, McCallum is enjoying spending time with his family and is thrilled with the success of NCIS as it still remains one of the most-watched shows on network television.
“The best moment of my life is right now,” he said.
In addition to acting, McCallum also authored a book titled Once a Crooked Man. He has an estimated net worth of $10 million.