David McCallum – the British actor who played a secret agent in the 1960s spy drama The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – has died aged 90.

McCallum was most recently known for playing a pathologist on the hit CBS TV programme NCIS, which went on to generate several spinoff series.

Channel 1

The Scottish-born actor died in New York on Monday. His death was due to natural causes.

CBS said he was a gifted actor and author and beloved around the world.

“He led an incredible life, and his legacy will forever live on through his family and the countless hours on film and television that will never go away.”

His role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – in which he played a Russian agent – won him many fans, particularly young women charmed by his good looks.

The series ended in 1968, but not before he received several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for playing the role of Illya Kuryakin on the show.

McCallum found roles in films including The Great Escape, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and A Night to Remember.

He also guest starred on TV series Perry Mason and The Outer Limits.

Born in Glasgow to parents who were classical musicians, he initially pursued a career in music before finding work as an actor.

His role on NCIS came after he appeared for a role in the show JAG, which led to the NCIS spinoff. NCIS itself later went on to generate other NCIS shows, including NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans.

McCallum also found work as a voice actor for children’s cartoons and video games.

A statement issued by his family called him a “true renaissance man”.

“He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put family before self,” son Peter McCallum said.

“He was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge.

“For example, he was capable of conducting a symphony orchestra and (if needed) could actually perform an autopsy, based on his decades-long studies for his role on NCIS.

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