David McCallum, a.k.a. Donald “Ducky” Mallard from “NCIS,” and his first wife, actress Jill Ireland welcomed three sons during their marriage

David McCallum, a British actor who portrayed Donald “Ducky” Mallard on “NCIS,” passed away at the age of 90. Although he was a fun figure to watch, the actor’s life actually contained a lot of exciting elements, including his 54-year marriage following a failed love.


David McCallum, a British actor, passed away at the age of 90. It was reported that the actor passed away quietly on Monday at New York Presbyterian Hospital, surrounded by his loved ones.

In a statement made on behalf of his family, his son Peter commended his father for being a loving grandfather and father to his eight grandchildren as well as for his commitment to his 56-year marriage to Katherine Carpenter.


According to Peter, his mother, who is 79 years old, was devastated by the death and wanted she could still live out her years with her husband. The reverence McCallum had for his work, which helped to make him the renowned performer he was, will also live on in the memories of his “NCIS” producers.

David McCallum on "NCIS" in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

In the 1960s, McCallum began to become more significant in the film industry. He played Illya Kuryakin in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”, which was one of his biggest roles. His captivating roles in a number of TV blockbusters helped him establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.


In addition to his remarkable professional background, McCallum’s personal life was fascinating because of his time as the lead in “The Great Escape.” He was able to lead an admirable life that was worth following, particularly considering his nearly sixty years of marriage. Nevertheless, he was devastated to lose Jill Ireland, his first wife, to Charles Bronson, a guy who boldly kidnapped her.


Ireland was a British actress and McCallum’s previous spouse. With hits like “Shane,” “The Mechanic,” and “Death Wish II,” she was a sophisticated on-screen diva. in the age of 54, she passed away in her hillside home surrounded by her children and husband, Bronson. She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before to her passing.


Ireland and McCallum got together on “Hell Drivers.” Ten years of their lives were spent together after the entertainers fell in love. During their marriage, they had three adoptive sons: Valentine, Paul, and Jason.

The divorce was unbearably traumatic; the actor had lost his first wife to Bronson, his co-star and friend. The two had collaborated on a movie called “Great Escape.” According to reports, Bronson told his friend, “I’m going to marry your wife,” after he first saw McCallum’s wife.

Jill Ireland (1936-1990) and David McCallum together at an event in 1958 | Photo: Getty Images

Ireland married Bronson following her divorce, however McCallum insisted he could not recall hearing his buddy make such a declaration. McCallum had to swallow a bitter pill, but once he did, the actor known as “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” was pleased. Along with a woman he met who transformed his life, he welcomed more children.

Despite going through a tragic event (their son Jason passed away in 1989 due to an accidental overdose), McCallum and Ireland both led happy lives with their spouses.

Ireland and Bronson were wed until 1990, when the actress lost her life to cancer. Despite having the illness for six years, she never lost hope and, to the very end, inspired courage and optimism in others by penning books that promoted positivism.

How McCallum Went to Marry His 56-Year Wife
Following his separation from Ireland, McCallum withdrew into his own world. A close friend said that he was extremely hurt and that his healing process took some time. That’s when he got to know model Katherine Carpenter, who was 21 at the time.

As McCallum got to know the model, their romance developed. When he eventually discovered Carpenter to be the missing component, it was difficult for close friends and the media to ignore their tight relationship.

In 1967, they exchanged vows. The couple had two children, Peter and Sophie, who went on to build lovely families of their own and have avoided involvement in any controversies involving Hollywood.

The Exceptional Couple & the Guideline
Carpenter and McCallum shared a long marriage. On September 16, the couple celebrated their 56th anniversary. They handled all of their business internally and adhered to rigorous regulations. However, this arrangement would have seemed unusual to others.

The opinions of others didn’t upset the actor. The couple created a guideline to aid them in both their romantic and professional lives for 56 years. McCallum’s devoted wife was stationed in New York, but he spent years mostly based in Los Angeles, where he filmed the crime hit series “NCIS.” She then collaborated with her interior design company without any problems.

With the exception of exceptional occasions like Thanksgiving, they were largely separate. Aside from that, the pair spoke on the phone all the time. In addition, the actor occasionally took a plane home to spend time with his family while he was working on a book.

They believed that their love and understanding of one another was the key to enduring such a long-distance relationship for years. As stated by the “NCIS” star:

“We marry out of instinct, but I believe the rule in marriage is to find out what the other person wants out of life and make sure they get it.”
He continued by saying that although they cared about supporting one another in achieving their objectives, their thought processes were comparable. He eventually looked at ways to break up with Carpenter while they were apart.

McCallum’s Amazing Life
McCallum had a number of highs and lows, including the loss of a child and a heart-wrenching failed marriage. He was still able to count his blessings. The actor proved in 2016 that despite his traumas, he had an amazing life.

The native Briton boasted that 99.9% of his many years on the planet had been spent in this manner. He was happy with his successful profession, aside from his personal life.

Being one of the most important characters on one of the most talked-about TV shows in the world, Donald “Ducky” Mallard, was an amazing accomplishment, according to the “NCIS” star. In addition, he wrote the best-selling book “Once a Crooked Man.”

Additionally, McCallum maintained a strong bond with his children and eight grandchildren. The actor intended to spend more time with his huge family during his free time.

Regarding his relationship with his grandchildren, the actor revealed that they refer to him as “grand-daddy,” “grand-ducky,” but never as “grandpa,” since it made him feel elderly.


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