Second Season Press Packet from MGM-TV
MCCALLUM PLAYS KURYAKIN KOOL, MAN -- BUT NOT WHEN HE'S ROOTING FOR DODGERS
David McCallum, the frazzled-thatched young Scot with the serrated haircut and cool blue eyes, is firmly dedicated to remaining a mystery man off, as well as on, the screen.
"That's the only practical way a person in my situation can have any semblance of private life," explains McCallum, whose co-starring role in MGM-TV's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." has propelled him into a glaring spotlight, engulfed by legions of vociferous teenagers.
His attitude quite properly dovetails with his role of Illya Kuryakin, the enigmatic and silent Russian U.N.C.L.E. agent in the wild spy spoof series which will enter its second year on TV.
Despite a reluctance to talk about his personal life, McCallum has won the respect of the press and a reputation for never giving a dull interview.
"I try to find something new and newsworthy, perhaps something on the controversial side, to talk about each time," he says.
As for his Illya role, McCallum says"
"The picture that the public has in its mind of a particular personality is based on the image projected in the role. Can you imagine showing lllya Kuryakin mowing the lawn, frying eggs and washing the car? If an actor in private life is seen in sharp contrast to his carefully built image, his career can suffer."
McCallum, his wife, actress Jill Ireland and their three sons lead, by Hollywood standards, a quiet, yet stimulating life.
"We have a few close friends, many acquaintances, and a lively interest in music and art."
Jill is an accomplished portrait artist. An ideal evening for the McCallums is a small dinner party with no more than eight guests, many from the arts, with some good wine and interesting conversation.
"If I'm esthetically satisfied and mentally stimulated, then I'm content," McCallum says.
The quiet Scot stunned his friends recently by hanging a Dodgers pennant on his dressing room wall. It was the last thing anyone would expect of him. His enthusiasm for baseball is evident at the Dodgers' ball park where, with hotdog in one hand and a paper cup of beer in the other, McCallum helps roar his team on to victory.
"When it comes to being an individual, I adapt rather easily," he quips.
"It was Churchill, I believe, who once said that there are three kinds of lies -- 'lies, damned lies and statistics.' I'd say the same thing about ratings, even if U.N.C.L.E. were Number One."
"One hears so much about psychiatrists and the need for them these days. I certainly wouldn't want to listen to a patient, although it might be nice to go and lie down on a couch for 40 minutes."
"Is this a Beatle haircut? Absolutely not! The Beatles have a McCallum haircut."
Each season some new young TV star captures the American viewers' fancy. During the past year, a youthful Scottish character actor, who wasn't expected to, has scored with the public, right in its first-crush heart.
David McCallum, playing the enigmatic, thatch-topped super-secret agent Illya Kuryakin in MGM-TV's "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.." zoomed to fame and stardom in one of the year's most remarkable success stories. For the '65-'66 season, he again co-stars with Robert Vaughn in the series' second year on the NBC Television Network -- this time in color.
Between his first and second year in "U.N.C.L.E.," McCallum "vacationed" by starring in the spectacular MGM feature motion picture, "Around the World Under the Sea," an Ivan Tors Production.
McCallum was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sept. 19, the second son of David McCallum, lead violinist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Dorothy McCallum, a cellist. His parents met in the orchestra pit of a theatre where they once played for silent movies. He has an older brother, Iain.
His father wanted David to become an oboe player though the latter was dead-set on becoming an actor. David did study the oboe briefly as a child but broke away for a life in show business soon after entering his teens. He was only 14 when he started working in a British theatre as an electrician.
"It was many years before I got to act," he says. "But, I watched and learned and did every job anyone handed me in the theatre."
He was educated in London's public schools and in 1945 began his dramatic studies with the BBC as a child, specializing in dialects. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London from 1949 to 1951.
David left school in mid-term to become property master with the famed Glydebourne Opera Company. In 1951, he joined the British Army serving as a lieutenant in the Royal West Africa Frontier Force and stationed in Ghana for about ten months.
Following his discharge from the services in 1953, he returned to acting, joining a stock company playing the English provinces. From 1953 until 1956 he played different roles in as many as 52 plays a year.
Producer J. Arthur Rank placed the young actor under contract in 1957 and have him featured roles in "The Secret Place," "Robbery Under Arms," "A Night To Remember," "Hell Drivers," "The Long and the Short and the Tall" and "Billy Budd." He also appeared in "Freud" and "The Great Escape" before coming to Hollywood.
It was to play Judas in George Stevens' "The Greatest Story Ever Told" that he came to Hollywood. He remained to make guest appearances in "Profiles in Courage," "Perry Mason," "Outer Limits" and "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters."
But, it was "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." that was to make the blond young man a household word throughout the U.S.
The medium-sized Scot (he's 5'8", 140 lb.) may be pardoned his amazement over the phenomenon of his almost Instant Popularity. He had been chugging along in his selected sphere, making headway intelligently if not quite in career orbit. His roles were what a good, not matinee-idol-type actor would wish. As Illya in "U.N.C.L.E.," all that changed with startling suddeness.
McCallum married the beautiful English actress Jill Ireland in 1957. They now make their home in the hills above Hollywood, residing in a rambling four-story, ten room Spanish house with their three sons, Paul,7, Jason, 3, and Valentine, 2.