RIP David McCallum

Story  Another one from my youth.  People in the U.S. will perhaps remember him from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (for us oldsters) and NCIS (for the younger crowd).  Our British friends will remember him from Colditz and Sapphire & Steel.  He was also in The Great Escape, an old favorite of mine.

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  • A year before Batmania swept the nations schoolyards, UNCLEmania had us in its grip. David McCallum was one of the biggest reasons behind the shows popularity. Robert Vaughn was the title star but McCallum was everyones favorite.

    May he rest in peace.

  • Like doc photo, I have fond memories of The Man from UNCLE and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin. I also greatly enjoyed him as Donald "Ducky" Mallard in NCIS.

  • My sisters both had huge crushes on David McCallum during Man from U.N.C.L.E. They'd have been 8 to 12 and 10 to 14 years old when the show aired.

    I first encountered McCallum in an episode of Outer Limits, and remembered him when Man From U.N.C.L.E. began to air. (Apparently the Outer Limits episode, "The Sixth Finger," was memorable to my young self.) I recognized him again in The Great Escape.

    And yes, I liked Ilya Kuryakin better than Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn, whom I later recognized in Magnificent Seven). Who didn't?

    I need to watch some of those again, just to see if Kuryakin's Russian accent was better than Ensign Chekov's. Kuryakin spoke many languages, but he was referred to as a Russian, and a couple of episodes placed him in Ukraine during some of his formative years. In those days, "Russia" and "Ukraine" would have been thought of as interchangeable in the West, as both were part of the USSR. Little did we know!

    I never saw his later work. So he'll always be the same age in my memory, a young Ilya Kuryakin or Ashley-Pitt. I think I'll keep it that way.

    • Yes, I remember him from Outer Limits as well.

  • I need to watch some of those again, just to see if Kuryakin's Russian accent was better than Ensign Chekov's.

    I don't know about the accent, but Checkov's Monkees wig was better.

    (Robert Vaughn, whom I later recognized in Magnificent Seven)

    Alice Cooper's song "Desperado" was meant to be evokative of Vaugn's M7 character, especially...

    I wear lace
    And I wear black leather
    My hands are lightning upon my gun


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