'He Had the Life He Had': The Catastrophe That Changed David McCallum's Life

Nothing is more painful than losing a child, 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 the late eighties.

McCallum said to Belfast Telegraph, "You never come to terms with the death of a child."

Actor David McCallum attends the 2010 CBS Upfront. Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

Actor David McCallum attends the 2010 CBS Upfront. Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

McCallum is known for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the hit U.S. crime series "NCIS." He still exudes so much energy, leading some to brand him as the "Peter Pan of Pathology."

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

David at an NCIS event in 2015. Source: Shutterstock

David at an NCIS event in 2015. Source: Shutterstock

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

He admitted that he was still in pain over the death of his adopted son. Not many knew that behind his vibrant aura was a grieving father.

David McCallum at the NCIS Monte Carlo Television Festival 2009. Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

David McCallum at the NCIS Monte Carlo Television Festival 2009. Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine

He said of his son:

"In the final analysis, he had the life he had. You have to accept it."

David had two other children with his first wife, Jill Ireland. The couple eventually divorced, but David said he doesn't blame himself for his adopted son's death because his wife had full custody of all three of their children.

McCallum and the NCIS cast. Source: Getty images

McCallum and the NCIS cast. Source: Getty images

He married former model Katherine Carpenter after his divorce from Jill and went on to have two more children. David said of his son's death:

"At the same time, there's a frustration that you couldn't really have done anything about it, which makes it even worse. In the final analysis, he had the life he had. You have to accept it."

Amazingly, he still managed to entertain people despite what he was going through in his personal life. Our hearts go out to David.

If you or anyone you know is at risk, please make an attempt to find help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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