Women's Day with Woman January 3, 1966. Pages 26,28,29.

Family man David McCallum tells of... My life with Jill


 "I keep 10 percent of my life private. I think I am surely entitled to that." DAVID McCALLUM (pictured at left) co-star of The Man From UNCLE, is quiet and reserved, but it doesn't take long to realise he's well educated and highly literate. When he looks right at you, almost through you with those brooding eyes, you become wrapped up in what he is saying. 

All this makes it a great pity that David vows this interview is the last he will ever give about his personal life. It's hard to disagree with his reason - he was badly upset by a fan magazine article which implied his marriage was shaky. Nothing could be further from the truth, he says. But Scottish-born David is a completely honest man and he soon relaxed and answered every question we asked him. 

Q. Is it true you're going to become an American citizen? A. It's too early to think of that. I haven't been here long enough. I'll decide when the time comes.

Q. How do you feel about America? A. I'm enchanted by its feeling of freedom, by the wide-open spaces. I like the fact that I can go to the beach on Saturday, then the next day go to the snow. 

Q. A touchy question, Dave. What is your opinion of American women? A. Just one comment. I haven't been able to adjust to walking in to a supermarket and seeing women with curlers in their hair. Women are something wonderful as long as they are total women, taking pride in their appearance. I could never understand why some of them feel, "I'm going out tonight and will have to look nice, but today it's all right to look a fright." 

Q. What made you decide to buy a home in America? A. Jill and I came here two years ago when I began working in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Once the movie was over we decided to stay. Jill and I sat down and discussed it. An actor can lead a terribly nomadic sort of life. We wanted some place for the children and for this, we knew we must have a home. So we stayed. 

Q. How do you feel about it now? A. I don't know. I'll have to find out about it when I go back for a visit. Jill has returned to England once to see her parents and my mother paid us a visit here. 

Q. What is your home like? A. It's a four-story, 10-room home of Spanish design and it's 30 years old. It's furnished with English antiques - Georgian and Victorian - and is now being refinished in its original style. 


Q. How did you meet Jill? A. We were both under contract to Rank in England and met while co-starring in a film. Then I left to go on location for the same movie in Australia and when I returned we married a week later. That was in 1957 and now we have three sons - Paul, 6, Jason, 2, and Valentine, 1. 

Q. Why won't you let photographers into your home? A. I decided to keep 10 percent of my life to myself. I think an entertainer is entitled to that much. 

Q. Did you ever share your privacy? A. Once - on my honeymoon! Our studio requested that a photographer accompany us and I refused. Finally I gave in and allowed him to join us for a few days of our two-week honeymoon. He was a very nice fellow. If we'd go boating, he'd end up rowing the boat. And if we went for a drive, he would be behind the wheel. Actually, it wasn't so terrible for us. We were on this island off Scotland and the fellow was terribly understanding. In the morning we would shop at some of the local stores or go for a walk. He'd go with us and shoot, but then he'd leave us alone for the rest of the day. 

Q. Any comment on your marriage? A. No matter how long you've been married, getting away - just the two of you - enables you to find out new things about each other. My work schedule on The Man From UNCLE is so hectic that we don't have much chance to get away now. But I don't mind. I enjoy working - and I don't care if I work in films, TV or in a play. For economic and artistic reasons, I like to keep busy. But when the children get older, I'd like to buy a small bus that's outfitted as a camper and pack up the family for trips. Right now two of them are in napkins, so it's difficult to take them anywhere. 

Q. What is your social life like? A. We really don't have many friends. I'm too selective, I'm afraid, and so is Jill in her way, so that rather limits those we are close to. I don't like - and never go to - nightclubs. We enjoy going to the theatre or a fine movie, or a fine restaurant, maybe with a friend or two. I find parties hard work. 

Q. What are your pet peeves? A. I'm really quite a tolerant fellow. Probably what I dislike most is mediocrity or things that are mundane and ordinary. The food I eat, the people I see, the wine I drink - all must be unusual and original. 

Q. What do you like most? A. Well, I mentioned theatre, good movies. I also love gardening. 

Q. One final question, David. What is your unfulfilled desire? A. I have a hankering to fly, to own my own aircraft. I'd really like to drive an Air Force jet at 1,000 miles an hour!