David McCallum Has Four Living Children and His Deceased Son’s Child Is Close to His Family

Edduin Carvajal
Dec 17, 2021
11:00 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail

"NCIS" star David McCallum learned that his deceased son, Jason, had a child a few months after his passing. Jason's kid is now part of McCallum's family.

Advertisement

At 88 years old, David McCallum has lived a long and prosperous life. He achieved fame in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," had five children, and married for over five decades.

However, he experienced a parent's worst nightmare in the late 1980s when Jason, his adopted son, passed away. He left behind a son, Tory, and McCallum learned about him months after Jason died.

David McCallum on June 18, 2012 in New York City [left]. McCallum and Katherine Carpenter on June 11, 2009 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco [right] | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

MCCALLUM'S LOVE LIFE

Born in September 1933, McCallum launched his acting career in the early 1950s with minor roles in "The Rose and the Ring," "Violent Playground," "A Night to Remember," and "Robbery Under Arms." 

His career skyrocketed in 1964 when he portrayed Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." To younger generations, McCallum is best known as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard from "NCIS."

The actor has kept himself active in the entertainment industry for over six decades, but he has not done it alone. His two wives Jill Ireland and Katherine Carpenter, supported him along the way. 

Advertisement

David McCallum at London airport circa 1966 | Photo: Getty Images

The actor met actress and singer Ireland in March 1957 while filming "Hell Drivers." The former couple quickly fell in love and married later that year. Although they didn't have biological children, they adopted Paul, Jason, and Valentine. 

Advertisement

McCallum and Ireland divorced in 1967, but they parted ways a few years earlier. The late actress cheated on McCallum with his former co-star from the 1963 film "The Great Escape" Charles Bronson.

Jill Ireland and David McCallum at the Hampstead Playhouse Cinema, London on April 4, 1961 | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

In 1965, McCallum met actress and model Katherine Carpenter in New York during a photoshoot for "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Although Carpenter was just 21 years old, and McCallum was 11 years her senior, they fell in love and became inseparable. 

Carpenter was by McCallum's side when he made a publicity tour for the action-comedy series around Australia and Asia. Their relationship attracted a lot of attention because he was still married to Ireland.

McCallum didn't know that Jason was an expectant father when he died.

David McCallum and Katherine Carpenter on January 18, 1968 | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

Shortly after McCallum and Ireland officially divorced in 1967, he married Carpenter in a small ceremony. The actor prefers keeping details of his life away from the spotlight and rarely speaks about his family in public.

However, he and Carpenter have one of the longest-lasting marriages in showbiz (54 years and counting). They also share two biological children, Sophie and Peter.

Portrait of David McCallum from "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," circa 1965 | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

MCCALLUM'S LIVING CHILDREN

Out of McCallum's four living children, Valentine is the most famous. He is a talented guitarist and has worked with Lucinda Williams, The Wallflowers, Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, and many other musicians. 

Valentine has also been a fixture in Jackson Browne's band on and off for over two decades. He has released three solo albums and has a teenage daughter, Stella, with his wife of 26 years, Shelli.

The rest of McCallum's children are keeping their lives away from the public eye. Paul tried to follow in his dad's footsteps and took a few acting gigs between 1982 and 1987, but he is no longer involved in showbiz. Nowadays, he is a studio photographer and also has a daughter.

Advertisement
Advertisement

DEATH OF MCCALLUM'S SON, JASON

McCallum's life changed forever in November 1989 when his son, Jason, passed away. He was 27 years old. Jason's girlfriend discovered his lifeless body on the bathroom floor of his rented apartment in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. 

The Los Angeles Police spokeswoman Marie Reid said they didn't find signs of foul play or trauma. One of his friends described him as a shy and withdrawn person who didn't work. Ireland and Bronson financially supported him.

McCallum never wondered if he could have done something different with Jason.

Advertisement

David McCallum on June 10, 2009 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco | Photo: Getty Images

Initially, Jason's cause of death was unknown. Suicide was not an option, though, as he was "not unhappy" and had just moved into the Lauren Canyon apartment with his girlfriend.

Advertisement

Ireland then released a statement and revealed that drugs were involved. After writing that she hated drugs, the late actress admitted that Jason was "on the road to recovery."

David McCallum at Beverly Hills Hotel on November 15, 2012 | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

She shared more details about her son's battle with drug and alcohol addiction in her book "Life Lines." The troubled young man started doing cocaine, alcohol, and heroin as a teen.

Although he went to rehab several times, he could never kick his addictions. Jason, who died from an accidental drug overdose, hoped that "Life Lines" would keep other young people from experiencing what he did.

David McCallum on May 14, 2014, in New York | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

NEW FAMILY MEMBER

McCallum didn't know that Jason was an expectant father when he died. He received a letter from Jason's girlfriend and learned they had a son named Tory a few months after his death.

Tory, who McCallum called Jason's lasting legacy, is in his 20s and became friends with his uncles. The actor hopes Tory becomes "as fine a person as his dad."

David McCallum on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

In 2016, McCallum opened up about Jason's passing and said a parent could never come to terms with the death of a child. He described the pain as an "ache that turns into anger." McCallum added

"At the same time, there's a frustration that you couldn't really have done anything about it, which makes it even worse."

The actor admitted he never wondered if he could have done something different with Jason because Ireland got full custody of their three children after the divorce.

Photo of David McCallum from the series "NCIS" | Photo: Getty Images

Advertisement

Although McCallum lost touch with his three adopted kids and had no control of what happened with them, he regrets not being present during the time leading up to Jason's death.

McCallum confessed that, with biological children, parents have a broad idea of what to expect because of the genetic similarities. It is a different case with adopted children, like Jason.

Still, his son delighted him and Ireland because he was one of the most "wonderful people" ever. McCallum finally said that Jason had the life he had, and all he had to do was accept it. Rest in peace.

Advertisement