How ‘NCIS’ Star David McCallum’s Son Jason Tragically Died

by Matthew Memrick
how-ncis-star-david-mccallum-son-jason-tragically-died

The tragic death of “NCIS” star David McCallum’s adopted son, Jason, will stay with him forever.

McCallum’s adopted son died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989, and the actor once expressed his pain to the Belfast Telegraph.

The actor said, “You never come to terms with the death of a child […] In the final analysis, he had the life he had. You just have to accept it.”

Now, at 87, the Scotland-born McCallum has pushed on in the decades since with his work. He’s a longtime fan favorite on the “NCIS.”

‘NCIS’ Actor’s Son Had A Tragic Death

Jason McCallum was found dead in his Laurel Canyon home on Nov. 7, 1989. His parents buried him days later.

According to the Los Angeles Times, actress and mother Jill Ireland documented McCallum’s drug battle. In her 1989 book, “Life Lines,” she revealed that her son had been undergoing medical treatments that year.

“I can never forget the horror of learning Jason was an addict,” Ireland said.

“NCIS” star David McCallum and Ireland adopted Jason McCallum at an early age. After the couple divorced, Jason McCallum grew up in Bel-Air with Ireland and her second husband, actor Charles Bronson.

In April 1989, Jason McCallum said he had been clean before relapsing. That same year, his mother battled a cancer diagnosis after fighting breast cancer.

After Jason McCallum’s death, Ireland expressed her love of her son and her hatred for drugs in a family statement. 

“Jason had shown signs of being on the road to recovery,” Ireland said. “The book meant a lot to Jason, and he hoped it would keep other young people from going through what he had gone through.”

The following month, the newspaper said the coroner found that Jason McCallum died from playing “chemical roulette.”

The “NCIS” star’s son died from a combination of painkillers and other muscle relaxants.

‘NCIS’ Star Still Grieves With Family

McCallum is currently starring as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the hit “NCIS” show. As one of the most popular characters on the show, he’s been beloved by fans for 19 seasons. 

He has acted for 74 years in film and television. The actor famously starred in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E” and “Perry Mason.” He also acted in “Law and Order,” and “Murder, She Wrote” over the years.

He’s kept busy outside the show with writing. In 2016, David McCallum wrote his debut crime fiction novel, “Once A Crooked Man.”  

McCallum has stayed close to his family. He’s been married to former model Katherine Carpenter since 1967. AmoMama wrote that McCallum took a break from the series and pulled back on his “NCIS” Season 16 work schedule to spend more time with his wife, kids, six grandchildren, and cat Nicky. 

Outsider.com