While lots of actors often practice accents to represent their characters, “NCIS” actor David McCallum is not one of them. The beloved “Ducky” actor originally hails from Glasgow, Scotland. Like many aspects of the famed actor’s career, his accent is 100 percent authentic. McCallum moved several times before making his way here to the United States.
At the age of 10, McCallum and his family moved to London. His father then took over leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra. According to Empire, McCallum later relocated back to Scotland early during WWII and lived with his mother near Loch Lamond. After other earlier relocations, the famed “NICS” actor currently resides on Long Island, NY.
McCallum led an interesting and multifaceted early life. He first pursued a career as a musician like his mother and father. He later took an interest in acting and drama. McCallum left school at 18 to join the military and took up service in the West African Frontier Force. Interestingly, the actor said he attributes much of his acting influence to his time spent in the military.
David McCallum’s ‘NCIS’ Career and Others are Influenced by His Military Service
People often draw inspiration from many different places and experiences. McCallum shared that many of his roles are informed by his early military experience. According to Stay Thirsty Magazine, he credits his success with multiple shows to his knowledge of military workings. Several of these include “The Great Escape,” “Mosquito Squadron,” and the BBC series, “Colditz.”
Additionally, when the actor can’t pull inspiration from his own experience, he frequently goes looking for new methods and practices to inform his acting roles. For example, for his role as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the hit show, “NCIS,” McCallum actually took time to observe real-life autopsies. After several years spent observing and learning, he later was able to accompany Los Angeles medical examiners in their own autopsies.
“You can’t play a pathologist for ten years and talk about pathology without knowing what you are doing,” the dedicated actor and individual told Radio Times. McCallum also said that his family members jokingly call him “Dr. Death” because of his keen interest and dedication to his “NCIS” role.
David McCallum Gave Up A Music Career to Pursue Acting
Clearly, “NCIS” actor David McCallum has lead a multifaceted life with lots of unique experiences. While modern fans of the actor know him from the American hit show where he plays lead medical examiner, McCallum had initially set out to pursue a career as a musician.
According to Empire, McCallum was born the son of a cellist and an orchestral leader. He was awarded a scholarship to the University College School in London where he played the oboe. Despite the actor’s breadth of knowledge, he said in a 2016 interview with Stay Thirsty, “I have had no other formal education,” other than his University College School education.
He also said, “A career in music has many demands: great technique, constant practice, mastery of the instrument and considerable musicianship.” Acting required only that “you look the part and learn your lines,” McCallum pointed out. “And anyway, I was born to be on stage as an actor.”