British actor David McCallum, who played coroner Ducky on the crime series "NCIS" for 20 seasons, has died at the age of 90, according to several US media reports.
McCallum, also remembered for breaking more than one heart in the 1960s cult series "The Agent of C.I.P.O.L.," died surrounded by his family in a New York hospital, according to CBS.
"He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and caring father," his son Peter told the television station. "He was a true Renaissance man: he was fascinated by science and culture, and he turned those passions into knowledge," he added. "For example, he was able to conduct a symphony orchestra and (if necessary) could perform an autopsy, drawing on his decades-long studies for his role in 'NCIS.'"
After training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, McCallum appeared in the 1963 war epic "The Great Escape," with such luminaries as Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and Donald Pleasence.
But it was his role the following year as the enigmatic Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in "The Agent of C.I.P.O.L.", opposite Robert Vaughn in the role of Napoleon Solo, that cemented his fame.
With lush blonde hair, McCallum was a heartthrob in the Beatles era, who, according to the New York Times, was bullied by Louisiana students in 1965. The series only lasted four years, but the character followed McCallum for life.
In 2003, he took on the role of Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, forensic pathologist for the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in the series of the same name, a huge success with millions of viewers worldwide.