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David McCallum Resigned to Fate Concerning His Son's 1989 Death – inside the Family Tragedy

Ksenia Novikova
Jul 09, 2021
06:17 A.M.
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Nothing is more painful than losing a child, as anyone who has ever lost a child will agree, and celebrities are no different in how they are affected by such tragedies.


Actor and novelist David McCallum experienced this horrible loss when his adopted son, Jason, died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989. McCallum was distraught by the death of Jason.

The 87-year-old actor is known for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the hit U.S. crime series "N.C.I.S.," now in its 19th season. Despite his age, he still exudes so much energy, leading some to brand him as the Peter Pan of pathology.

David McCallum at the 2016 CBS, CW, Showtime Summer TCA Party | Source: Getty Images



Jason McCallum was found dead in his home on November 7, 1989, from a lethal drug mixture injected and ingested. Even though he was buried on November 11, his family, especially his father, never got over his death. David McCallum said to Belfast Telegraph:

"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."

David reinvented himself as a novelist, releasing his debut novel, "Once A Crooked Man," in 2016. He admitted that he was still in pain over the death of his adopted son in 1989. Not many knew that behind his vibrant aura was a grieving father.



For the older generation, the Scottish-born actor is best known as the hunky Russian spy, Illya Kuryakin, from the '60s cult series, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

He is one of the highest-earning British TV stars in the U.S., thanks to his role in "N.C.I.S." and says he has never "shaken off a certain boyish enthusiasm for life" and that "it kept me going." 

Even though McCallum has been involved with "N.C.I.S." for more than a decade, family comes first for the actor. He also took a short break from the series and shortened his work schedule in season 16 to spend more time with his wife, kids, grandchildren, and cat Nicky.



David McCallum and his first wife, Jill Ireland, got married in 1957. However, their marriage ended in divorce after she left him for his co-star Charles Bronson.

David and Jill adopted three boys during their 9-year union; Paul, Valentine, and Jason. In 1967, David married his current wife, a former model, Katherine Carpenter. They have been together for over five decades.

Katherine McCallum and David McCallum at The Paley Center for Media, 2017 | Source: Getty Images


The duo met in the mid-1960s while filming for a magazine in New York. They married on September 16, 1967. They have two children together; son Peter and daughter Sophie.

David McCallum's acting career spans over seven decades and several continents, even though he hasn't starred in many successful films. However, whatever McCallum has lost from box office hits, he has adequately made up for with his brilliant career on T.V.