‘NCIS’: David McCallum’s Bold Advice to Those Considering Writing Their Own Novel

by Joe Rutland

If you are looking to become a novelist yourself, then listen to this personal advice from writer and “NCIS” star David McCallum.

McCallum, who plays Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the CBS drama, wrote a novel called “Once A Crooked Man.” Here’s his blunt advice for writers as he spoke to SHOTSMAG CONFIDENTIAL in 2016.

“The moral of the story is if you want to write a book all you have to do is put your butt on a seat and get on with it,” he said. “That’s all I did!”

Outsiders, take this advice to heart. Anyone who has ever written a book understands exactly what McCallum is talking about.

‘NCIS’ Star Will Return To Show As It Changes Nights To Mondays

McCallum also will return to “NCIS” this fall in his role as “Ducky,” who is an NCIS historian. For his first 16 seasons on the show, the actor played chief medical examiner. But Mallard retired from that role and stayed with the team as its historian.

That’s a fitting role for McCallum, who loves to do research and learn. He’ll be a part of the CBS crime drama when it returns on Monday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central.

“NCIS” will act as a lead-in show for another spin-off, “NCIS: Hawai’i” starring Vanessa Lachey. Its other spin-off, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” will air on Sunday nights, making both nights must-see TV for this franchise’s fans.

The timeslot is a change for “NCIS,” which had been a Tuesday night staple for many seasons.

McCallum, though, is not a newcomer to being on a popular TV series. Classic TV fans among Outsiders will recognize him from playing Russian spy Illya Kuryakin on the 1960s NBC spy show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” McCallum co-starred on that show with Robert Vaughn, who played American spy Napoleon Solo.

He was a superstar around the world during the time that this show was on TV.

McCallum Once Appeared In ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Episode

McCallum had a bit role in 1989 as Cyril Grantham in a “Murder, She Wrote” episode titled “From Russia … with Blood.” Broadway legend Angela Lansbury was the show’s star as mystery author/sleuth Jessica Fletcher.

According to IMDb, Fletcher is detained in Moscow when a spy attempts to smuggle a film out of the Soviet Union in her handbag. So, we’ve got Fletcher in Moscow and McCallum in the episode.

Obviously, the episode’s title is a spoof of the James Bond movie title “From Russia… with Love.” What’s interesting in this episode is that the “NCIS” star did not play any Russian role. But the show’s title and McCallum’s appearance do lend themselves toward harkening back to his earlier TV character.

He’s been married twice, once to actress Jill Ireland and to Katherine Carpenter since 1967.