Farewell to a legend: Honoring David McCallum’s Enduring Impact on NCIS

Image of David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS.


NCIS bid a heartfelt farewell to one of its beloved stars, David McCallum, who portrayed the eccentric but brilliant investigator Donald “Ducky” Mallard for two decades. McCallum, the last original cast member, passed away on September 25 at the age of 90, leaving behind a legacy that resonates deeply with fans and colleagues alike.

David McCallum – The Stories We Leave Behind:

The episode titled “The Stories We Leave Behind” served as a poignant tribute to McCallum’s contributions to the show. It opened with a somber scene as Jimmy Palmer discovers Ducky’s lifeless body in his home, marking the end of an era for NCIS.

Image of David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS.

Celebrating a Life Well-Lived:

Despite the sadness of Ducky’s passing, the episode celebrated his rich and fulfilling life through flashbacks of memorable moments shared with fellow team members. Director Leon Vance aptly remarked that Ducky would want his life celebrated, emphasizing the importance of cherishing the stories and memories he left behind.

Image of David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS.

Seeking Justice:

Amidst the emotional farewells, the team embarked on one final case left unfinished by Ducky, highlighting his unwavering commitment to justice. Through their investigation, they honored his legacy by ensuring that the truth prevailed and justice was served.

A Touching Tribute:

The tribute episode not only honored McCallum’s character but also paid homage to the man behind the role. Brian Dietzen, who co-wrote the episode, shared insights into the process of crafting a fitting farewell to his longtime colleague and friend.

Remembering David McCallum:

McCallum’s impact extended beyond his on-screen presence, as colleagues and fans alike reminisced about his dedication, professionalism, and infectious enthusiasm. Wilmer Valderrama, reflecting on McCallum’s work ethic, described him as an inspiration who left a lasting impression on everyone he encountered.

Image of David McCallum as Donald "Ducky" Mallard on NCIS.

Embracing Legacy:

As NCIS continues its journey without McCallum, his spirit and legacy remain ingrained in the fabric of the show. The team’s commitment to upholding his principles and values serves as a testament to the profound impact he had on each member and the audience.


David McCallum’s legacy will forever endure in the hearts of NCIS fans worldwide. Through his portrayal of Ducky Mallard, he brought warmth, wisdom, and humanity to the screen, leaving an indelible mark on the show’s legacy. As we bid farewell to a true legend, we cherish the stories he left behind and carry his memory forward with reverence and gratitude. Rest in peace, David McCallum, your legacy lives on.



Q1. Who was David McCallum?

A. David McCallum was a renowned actor best known for his role as Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS. He had a prolific career spanning decades, with notable roles in television and film.

Q2. How did NCIS pay tribute to David McCallum?

A. NCIS dedicated a special episode titled “The Stories We Leave Behind” to honor McCallum’s memory. The episode featured heartfelt tributes, flashbacks of memorable moments, and a storyline that highlighted Ducky’s enduring legacy.

Q3. What was David McCallum’s impact on NCIS?

A. McCallum’s portrayal of Ducky Mallard endeared him to audiences worldwide and played a significant role in the show’s success. His warmth, wit, and wisdom left an indelible mark on both his colleagues and fans.

Q4. How did Brian Dietzen contribute to the tribute episode?

A. Brian Dietzen, who plays Jimmy Palmer on NCIS, co-wrote the tribute episode alongside executive producer Scott Williams. His intimate knowledge of McCallum’s character and profound respect for his colleague’s legacy ensured a heartfelt and fitting farewell.

Q5. What is David McCallum’s legacy?

A. David McCallum’s legacy extends far beyond his role on NCIS. He leaves behind a rich body of work, a legion of devoted fans, and a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. His dedication, talent, and kindness continue to inspire generations of actors and audiences alike.

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