David McCallum – famous as Illya Kuryakin in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but better known to my generation as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in the NCIS franchise – has passed away at the age of 90.
NCIS has always been fundamentally silly, but still quite enjoyable in a unthinking ‘hunt down the bad guys and shoot them pew-pew-pew’ sort of way, and Ducky’s appearances were one of the most enjoyable aspects. I don’t think he’s been in it much of late (I haven’t been going out of my way to watch since the classic cast were replaced), but he will still be much missed.
(I think McGee’s still there, but he has a beard, and McGee with a beard isn’t real McGee)
As it happens, one my earliest encounters with the works of H. P. Lovecraft was a set of books on tape of The Dunwich Horror and The Rats in the Walls that I borrowed from the local library. Years later I actually managed to buy them when the library decided they were past use. Examining them a few years back I was astonished to discover they were read by Mr McCallum. His reading of the description of Dunwich will always be the definitive version for me.
I’ve managed to find a copy of it on YouTube, although it’s a little faster and higher pitched that the version that I first heard creeping out of my tape player a good 30 years ago. But I’ll include it nonethless.
I’ve also found a copy of The Rats in the Walls, but be aware that the name of the cat (unfortunately common at the time of the work’s writing but appallingly racist) is not edited.
Vale Mr McCallum, and thanks for all the fun!