U.N.C.L.E. the Show
Background and History
Contributors Behind the Scene
The Return Movie
DAVID MCCALLUM began his career at the age of ten or so doing character voices on the radio, having been bitten by the showbiz bug at a tender age. He dutifully played the oboe and French horn to please his musician parents, but it gradually became apparent that his future would be better served in the wilds of RADA (where he enjoyed fencing lessons with future UNCLE guest star Joan Collins.) After a brief stint in the Army, he spent some time toiling in English rep theater working properties and electric, among other various production jobs. His James Dean themed photo was
After some more character parts on network television (Outer Limits,
Perry Mason, Profiles in Courage, etc.), he managed to schmooze
his way into the MGM commissary at the right time, and was offered the
role of Illya Nickovetch Kuryakin. Originally only marginally conceived
as Solo's Russian sidekick with a collection of jazz records hidden under
the bed, McCallum seized the opportunity to turn that very lack of specifics
into an enigmatic foreigner with a vague accent about whom no assumptions
could be made. Despite the sketchy outline of the character, McCallum
made the most of him, and had great success with the teenage fans of the
show, as well as college students, middle-aged housewives, and the television
community in general --- he received two Emmy nominations for the role.
Beatle-like adulation haunted him for several years. He continued in films
(some not quite so prestigious) and starred in the Sapphire and Steel
and Colitz series in the UK, and The Invisible Man and VR5
in America. Most currently he stars in the CBS television series NCIS.
He remains active in the theater, television, audiobooks, and movies in
New York, where he resides with wife and family.
TV-NOW provides a monthly schedule for McCallum's appearances on television. Note, however, that it does not cover local stations. If you want that information also, go to the search engine at TV GUIDE or ClickTV or another online television schedule. Some of these sites may require registration.
Back to ACTORS Index Page