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David McCallum of NCIS Once Revealed Heartbreak over His Adopted Son's Death

Joe Akins
Jun 10, 2019
05:57 P.M.
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Seasoned actor and writer, David McCallum who plays “Ducky” in the crime series “NCIS” opened up about how he felt after the death of his adopted child, Jason.


In an interview, the 82-year-old "NCIS" star shared a lot about himself, including the milestones in his life. McCallum addressed the issue of how he dealt with the tragedy of losing his adopted son to drug overdose in 1989. 


McCallum's 26-year-old adopted child with ex-wife Jill Ireland — Jason — kicked the bucket at his residence in Laurel Canyon. He had battled with drug abuse for a while and was supposedly sober before his sad demise.  

“You never come to terms with the death of a child. The pain is very real, but it’s like an ache that turns into anger. At the same time, there is 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 just have to accept it." — McCallum said.

David McCallum at the Television Critic Association's Summer Press Tour | Photo: Getty Images


"The Man From U.N.C.L.E" star expressed his feelings of guilt and pointed out how his absence in Jason's life might have culminated to him keeping bad company. After the divorce between the actor and ex-wife Jill, she got the full custody of their three kids.

David's first wife, Jill Ireland wrote about her deceased son's challenges in a book, “Life Lines.” She said she had hoped that he combatted his drug problem and that his life will be an inspiration to youngsters faced with the same demons.

"My abiding regret is that I wasn't there for him during the time leading up to his death." — McCallum.

The iconic TV star proudly spoke about his other two sons which he had with his ex-wife, Jill Ireland. Paul, his first son, is a studio photographer, while Val, the younger son, is a guitarist.


Actor David McCallum attends the CBS 2012 Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel | Photo: Getty Images

“Ducky” as he is fondly called on his show, "NCIS" seems to be a determined and focused person. After his first marriage with Ireland (who left him for a co-actor, Charles Bronson, who he starred alongside in the movie “The Great Escape") hit rock bottom, he forged ahead in his career, as the incidence did not make him wither in his drive for success.


Apart from thrilling his fans with his outstanding depiction of characters over time, the "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." star happens to be a loving husband and grandfather, who wouldn't mind spending time with his family.

He expressed that his second wife, and current partner, Katherine Carpenter with whom he has two other kids with, appears to be an ambitious woman who he understands very much, even though they don't get to spend so much time with each other due to the nature of their jobs. 

David McCallum poses during the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival | Photo: Getty Images


He stated that in a union, there is a need for both partners to support one another in achieving their dreams and goals. 

David looks nothing like his age even without having to go under the knife, as he has gone to great lengths to stay in shape. The actor claimed that he maintains a healthy diet and tries to live a stress-free life. He also takes pride in his newly found career, which is writing, and seems to be having the time of his life by “counting new characters.”

The legendary actor serves as an inspiration to many, as he holds his family and profession in high regards!