Movie Star, July 1965
How tall are you? Are you married? How old are you? Where can I send for a
picture of you?
I'm 5'8 1/2" tall and I'm married to Jill Ireland. (We have three sons: Paul who is six, Jason who is three and Valentine who is two.) I'm thirty-one years old. Write to UNCLE headquarters, MGM Studios, Culver City, California, and ask for a picture of me. They'll send you one.
Do your children look like you or your wife?
Two of my boys are towheads and one has a little darker hair. All three of them look very much like both of us. Jill and I have been told we look alike. We are both blond, we both have fair skin, and we both have blue eyes.
Why did you name your son Valentine?
I liked the name. Still do.
Do you and your wife ever go out dancing? If so, do you know how to do
the Watusi, frug, etc.? Who are some of your close friends in Hollywood?
Jill and I usually don't go out to night clubs. We are not night-clubbers; we are home bodies. Our family means a great deal to us and we like to stay at home and have dinner together and watch TV or go to a good movie. If we are at a dinner party or at a friend's house and there is dancing, we do dance. As for your Watusi, frug, and "etc.", yes, we do... and we do them at home in the confines of our living room. Our close friends are people within the business, including some actors and actresses, but they are people whose names you wouldn't recognize.
I would like to know if there is anything you would like to be doing right
now besides acting? How old is Jill Ireland?
Acting is my whole life and as long as I'm working at that, I'm happy. Jill is in her 20's.
Did you take training as a stunt man?
No. I just learned it in a series of roles, and also there is a a great deal of physical work involved in English stage productions... In Shakespeare, for instance, there is a good deal of body movement.
Were you born in Scotland? Do you have a Scottish accent?
I was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Years ago at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts I toned down my Scottish accent but in place of it I have an English accent. For my role of Illya, I've added a bit of a continental dash and I think this accent fits the character... don't you?
Do you have any brothers and sisters? If so, what do they do?
Do you prefer living in America or England? Will you please describe your
home? Are you planning on building a new home soon?
I have an older brother Ian who is with the British Diplomatic Corps. I've put my roots down here in California and now consider myself a Californian. I love the warm weather and sunshine for my children and family's sake. My home could best be described as a graceful old Spanish home complete with wrought iron trim and red tile roof. It's a large three-story rambling place located in the hills of Hollywood. I have no plans for a new home. We like it where we are and there's a roomy garden, complete with a beautiful old grape arbor to the rear -- which is a wonderful place for the boys to play.
I would like to know what your name was before you became a star?
And how old were you when you did your first movie? I would also like to
know if you and Robert Vaughn get along in real life as well as you do in
Man From UNCLE?
My name has always been the same: David Keith McCallum. When I was about twenty-three years old a friend took a picture of me in which I looked a great deal like James Dean... with sort of a snarly look and with my hands in my pockets. It was just a snapshot... but my friend mailed it to J. Arthur Rank who then "discovered" me. But, of course, I had been on the British stage and BBC before that. Bob is a very social bachelor and I'm very much of a family man so we usually don't see very much of each other off-stage unless it is something connected with the show. However, we get along very well together.
I would like to know: Do you have a relative whose name is John McCallum
and who is an actor? Where can I write you? What movies have you
Not that I know of... I don't have any relative-actor by the name of John McCallum. Write to me: David McCallum, care of UNCLE Headquarters, MGM Studios, Culver City, California. I've been in a large number of English pictures and several American ones. The ones you'd probably recognize are: Freud, The Great Escape, The Greatest Story Ever Told... and now I'll be doing Around The World Under The Sea which MGM is shooting in color in the Caribbean and which will probably be out next fall.
Since you're getting so many movie offers, are you planning to leave
From UNCLE? Please don't!
Absolutely not! I like the Illya role. It's one of the most purely fun roles I've had in my career.
Are you going to make any personal appearance tours in San Francisco?
Bob Vaughn, Jill, and I were just in San Francisco a couple of months ago. I made appearances in seventeen different cities in seven weeks. Now I'm going to rest awhile -- but I'll be back in the near future.
I recently read that you wrote a segment of the show. Which
segment? What is your favorite color? Do you really wear glasses?
Yes, I wrote a segment of the show but it won't be produced until probably next year. I called it "The Folly's Cup Affair", but whether or not it will be shown under that title is something I'm not sure about. Now about colors... I have several that I like to se on my wife and boys and they are yellow, brown and blue. There's no particular reason; I just like them... and I like black on myself. As Illya, I like it because I feel there is a certain mystery in black. In private life I wear black turtle necks and black cords. In my off screen life I wear only sunglasses. On screen sometimes I wear glasses when I'm in disguise.
Do you ever get hurt on the show? If so, how bad?
I know exactly how to do these things and I do my own stunts. They are well rehearsed. I know exactly where I'm going to fall and I'm in good physical shape. The only accident was one time I hit someone in the mouth -- I forgot to pull my punch. I've had a number of scrapes and bruises, some skinned knees and scratches, but that's all. I've been fortunate.
I would like to know if you will be seen more on The Man From UNCLE than
you are now.
Evidentially, yes. The producers are planning to use me more.
I would like to know: Do you wear those tinted glasses just for the show
or are you really far-sighted as you seem to appear?
No, I'm not far-sighted and as I said I wear glasses just for the show and then only as a disguise.
What kind of guns do you use on
UNCLE? Can you sing?
The four "UNCLE Specials" we use on the show were made by the MGM armorers, men who are expert in their field. The guns are worth about $8,000 and are very real except, of course, they fire blanks during filming. A toy has been made from the most popular gun: the UNCLE Special which is a P-38. The other, a Thrush Special, is an adaptation of an M-1 carbine. Me, sing? I can hum a little!
How do you like being called a blond Beatle by your
Man From UNCLE fans?
Because the Beatles are one of my favorite groups, I'm very flattered. I have all their albums and play them on my stereo.
I've read that you are interested in electronics. Have you built any
gadgets for your boys, or built your own stereo?
I built my own complete stereophonic system and I'm now working on an oscilloscope which is an electronic gadget that I'll use in my next picture Around The World Under The Sea. It looks something like a radar set.
Sometimes when I see a picture of you, you look like a young Richard
Widmark. Do you agree? Or are you offended?
Offended? Not at all! I'm very, very flattered. Lots of people have said that I look like Richard Widmark... and I've always wanted to do a picture in which I play the younger brother of Widmark.
Recently I read that you speak many languages. Please tell me which ones
you speak, how long it took you to learnt hem and if you have a college degree
in foreign languages? Where do you find the time after learning your part
UNCLE, being a husband and father, writing scripts for
UNCLE and collecting
I do reasonably well in English, German, French and a little Italian. I've live in all those places during my career and learned the language by daily use. No, I don't have a college degree in foreign languages. I was graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Fortunately for me I'm a very fast reader and I memorize very quickly, so learning my role for UNCLE, that of Illya, doesn't take a great deal of time and effort on my part. And when I go home at night I am husband and father. I don't take my work home with me.
A QUESTION FOR JILL IRELAND: What is it like living with David
McCallum? What kind of person is he?
It's wonderful. That's what it's like living with David. He is one of the world's finest husbands and fathers. One of the best anyone could possibly ask for. He is a wonderful conversationalist and we respect each other's individuality. We are vary close family. (I travel with David when he leaves town on promotional tours.) And we have lots of fun -- all of us together. Right now our fun seems to center around the family's pooch, a basset hound named Gregory. A friend gave him to Paul for Christmas and he's much more fun to watch than TV. He seems to know he's master of the house.. for the time being at least.