‘NCIS’ Star David McCallum Celebrates Long-Lasting Love With Katherine Carpenter, His Wife Of 55 Years
“NCIS” is a television series that follows a fictional team of special agents, their work and their personal lives. The show combines elements of military dramas and police procedural genres, making for an extremely impactful show that has gone on to become a fan favorite and phenomenon. “NCIS” first aired back in September 2003 and has since gone into broadcast syndication as one of the longest-running scripted non-animated primetime TV series.
With such an impactful show, it’s no surprise that many of its main actors have gone on to have fulfilling careers and have garnered plenty of media attention. Some of the main stars over the years have included Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, Cote de Pablo, David McCallum and more.
McCallum was born on Sept. 19, 1933, in Maryhill, Glasgow. He is best known for his role as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS. The actor is also recognized for his roles in “The Great Escape” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
During his childhood, McCallum was encouraged to pursue a career in music, especially since his father – David McCallum Sr. – was an orchestral violinist. McCallum had learned how to play the oboe but eventually switched over to acting and began pursuing drama when he was in his late teens. He even went on to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England and was classmates with Joan Collins.
While McCallum has since led a very successful career, he has also found great success in finding love. Although his first marriage ended after ten years, the actor went on to find love again with a woman named Katherine Carpenter. Read on to find out more about their love story.
Ever since he was a child, McCallum has shown to have a great love for the arts. He grew up surrounded by culture and creativity, and it surely has seeped its way into McCallum’s work today.
According to The Scotsman, he is the second son of cellist Dorothy Dorman and orchestra leader David McCallum Sr. The latter ended up leading the London Philharmonic. “I was born by the Botanic Gardens, but 65 Clouston Street is where my grandfather lived, and most of the time I’d stay there,” McCallum explained. “Father, way back in the 1930s, was with the Scottish Orchestra, and so he would be working at the BBC there.”
He continued, “We moved to Hampstead in 1936, when Father became leader of the London Philharmonic. At the end of 1939 or the beginning of 1940, I was evacuated.” Afterward, the family went to stay with McCallum’s aunt for several years before finding a house to live in.
McCallum certainly experienced a lot throughout his childhood, but it’s evident that he was always surrounded by creative people. While the star first started out with an appreciation for music, he really began pursuing his passion for acting when he was a teenager. However, he had first begun acting during his childhood.
“I played The Little Prince in Shakespeare’s ‘King John,’ at one of those local things where people do skits and songs,” McCallum said. “Mine was the little prince having his eyes put out by this terrible man, and I acted it, evidently, very well, because I got a standing ovation. I wasn’t more than 8.”
From that moment on, McCallum began to really consider acting, as he stated that he found it “kinda cool.” While he still wasn’t completely sure what he wanted to do with his future, as he was still just a child, he couldn’t deny his new passion for performing on a stage. “I’m exactly the same to this day; the feeling has never left,” he added.
According to CBS, McCallum joined Actors’ Equity in 1946 after he started working on BBC Radio. He went on to appear in several theatrical productions before moving to the United States in 1961 with dreams of becoming a professional actor.
Around this time, McCallum was cast to play Illya Kuryakin in the TV series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” which earned him two Emmy Award nominations. According to The Press and Journal, McCallum reached a great level of fame thanks to his turn on the series alongside co-star Robert Vaughn.
Some of his fan encounters during this time were reminiscent of what it was like during Beatlemania – when the entire world seemed to fall head over heels in love with The Beatles. McCallum especially noticed a high level of fans in the New York City area, as he had a few high-volume and high-intensity encounters.
“I was rescued from Central Park by mounted police on one occasion,” McCallum recounted. “When I went to Macy’s department store, the fans caused $25,000 worth of damage and they had to close Herald Square to get me out of there.”
Looking back on this time, McCallum didn’t seem to have any grievances with the amount of fame and attention he was receiving. “That is pretty classic, but you just have to deal with it,” he said. “And then whoever was next came along, and you get dropped overnight, which is a relief.”
It’s clear that McCallum was really starting to make a name for himself as an actor around this time, especially in the world of television, as he continued to appear on more and more shows over the following years. Whether it was in a supporting role or in a main, recurring role, McCallum proved that he could adapt to his surroundings and portray whatever character he signed up for.
However, he also has plenty of film credits, with some of his most notable being “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “The Great Escape.” McCallum hasn’t been as active in the film industry in more recent years, though, as he has been incredibly busy with other work.
Based on his IMDB credits, it’s safe to say that the actor is most recognized for his work on television as that is the work he has consistently had over the years, whether it be in a live-action series or in an animated series. McCallum has also done plenty of voice acting work over the course of his career, mostly starting back in the 2000s. To this day, he has continued to showcase his litany of skills in the voice acting department by taking on plenty of eclectic roles.
McCallum even lent his voice to the Disney animated series “The Replacements.” The actor also voiced the character of Alfred Pennyworth in a few Batman projects, including “Batman: Gotham Knight” in 2008 and “Son of Batman” in 2014.
He has also done voice work for video games for some of his cartoon characters, including Alfred Pennyworth. According to IMDB, McCallum was also in a few spin-offs of the animated series “Ben 10,” and voiced the character of Professor Paradox in a handful of related projects.
McCallum has definitely made an impressive mark on the entertainment industry in more than one way. While he is most known for being an actor, he also has talents as a writer. He published a crime novel called “Once a Crooked Man” in 2016.
According to the Washington Post, the novel follows the life of the character Harry Murphy, an actor who is in his 30s and lives in New York. One day, the mainly commercial star overhears a conversation about a potential crime, and the story quickly begins to unfold. However, the Washington Post explained that McCallum wrote the book in a way that uses light comedy to tell the story of a pretty serious crime.
While it’s clear that McCallum has accomplished a lot in his life, he will most likely always be remembered for his work on television. Nothing quite compares to McCallum’s substantial role in the TV series “NCIS,” a role that he has held for almost two decades. In the series, McCallum portrays Ducky, a medical examiner turned historian.
The show has been a pivotal turning point in the careers of many actors and actresses over its 20 seasons. When it was announced that the show was renewed for its 20th season, fans were excited about being able to see plenty of their favorite characters back in action, including McCallum in his beloved role as Ducky.
Speaking with The Press and Journal, McCallum reflected on how he first landed his iconic role. “I was working with Jim Dale on (New York’s) Park Avenue back in 2002 when I got a call from my agent asking me if I was interested in auditioning for the role of a lecherous doctor in a new medical drama,” he explained.
The star continued, “I thought to myself, ‘why not?’ so I read the script. I thought it was quite interesting and then I was asked to go to California to audition for CBS. It went OK and I was told the very same afternoon that I had got the part.”
While McCallum said that it’s hard to know if a show will work out in the long run, he has been blown away by the success of “NCIS.” He said, “But ‘NCIS’ has been a phenomenon, (it) has attracted huge audiences all over the world, and now I’m hearing from people who have watched me in programs from the 1960s and 1970s after first noticing me in ‘NCIS.’”
Ever since the series began, McCallum has been portraying Ducky. And while it’s impressive that the actor has held onto the role for such a long time, it’s even more remarkable to see just how long his current marriage has lasted.According to the Washington Post, McCallum was once married to actress Jill Ireland. She is best known for her work in film but has also had several appearances on television over the course of her career. She even appeared alongside McCallum in a handful of episodes of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” over the first three seasons.
The couple first met while working on the 1957 film “Hell Drivers.” They stayed together from 1957 to 1967. During their relationship, they had two sons and a daughter and moved to California together in the early 1960s, according to The Scotsman. However, Ireland reportedly left him for actor Charles Bronson – McCallum’s previous co-star from “The Great Escape.” During her life, Ireland had worked with Bronson on 15 films.
It’s clear that McCallum didn’t stay heartbroken for too long, though, as he married his current wife, Katherine Carpenter, the very same year. According to Express, they had previously met in 1965 during a photoshoot for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” in New York while Carpenter was working as a model. Carpenter was 21 years old at the time, while McCallum was 32.
The beginnings of McCallum and Carpenter’s romance may be questionable to some, as Express reported that they spent plenty of time together while McCallum was still married to Ireland. They were reported to be “inseparable,” as Carpenter joined McCallum on a publicity tour around Australia and Asia while he was promoting a film. On top of that, McCallum and Ireland’s marriage appeared to be struggling at the time.
McCallum’s marriage with Ireland came to an end after both parties seemed to exhibit somewhat questionable loyalty, but McCallum made his way to his new love. According to Express, McCallum proposed to Carpenter shortly after his marriage with Ireland was officially over, and the new couple tied the knot just a few months later.
It’s evident that McCallum and Carpenter truly make each other happy, and the couple has since gone on to have a son named Peter and a daughter named Sophie, as well as several grandchildren.
It’s also clear that Carpenter has always been a beautiful woman, both inside and out. While her stunning appearance was once a major factor in her career, her heart of gold is what has kept her striving for more passionate projects in more recent years.
Carpenter is best known for being a former model and actress. CBS reported that she is now an interior designer and currently lives in New York with her long-time husband. Nowadays, she is reported to work alongside McCallum on multiple philanthropic projects, including helping with the United States Marine Corps.
To this day, McCallum and Carpenter are still married, meaning they have been married for 55 years. According to Inspired Stories, the pair once even danced together for hours! However, many other details surrounding their love life and family have been kept out of the media, as McCallum has proven to be a bit of a more private person. Even though much of their romance has since been kept out of the spotlight, the couple seems to be very supportive of each other and still very much in love.What do you think about David McCallum and Katherine Carpenter’s relationship? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your family and friends, too.