That’s Ducky: David McCal­lum is stay­ing with ‘NCIS’

Santa Fe New Mexican - - CELEBRITY Q&A - BY JAY BOBBIN

Q: Is it true that David McCal­lum is leav­ing “NCIS”? – Pete Dou­glas, Prov­i­dence, R.I.

A: He’s not leav­ing, but he’ll ap­pear as Dr. Don­ald “Ducky” Mal­lard in fewer episodes of the glob­ally pop­u­lar CBS drama than he once did – which was the same sit­u­a­tion last sea­son. He ex­plained that he wanted more time with his fam­ily when he signed his cur­rent con­tract for the show. That in­cludes his beloved cat, who was fea­tured vis­ually in the Face­book post in which McCal­lum an­nounced his new agree­ment ... and for some­one who’s been in the tele­vi­sion game since his days as iconic spy Illya Kuryakin on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s, it’s tough if not im­pos­si­ble to not grant him his wish.

Q: Since Aretha Franklin’s ca­reer prin­ci­pally was in mu­sic, I’m won­der­ing why she was fea­tured so promi­nently in the “In Memo­riam” seg­ment of this year’s Emmy Awards. – Joan Cook, via e-mail

A: Well, for one thing, her ren­der­ing of “Amaz­ing Grace” set the tone and the sound­track for that seg­ment. Also, she made many tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances over the course of her ca­reer – from va­ri­ety shows to pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tions (though the lat­ter weren’t ex­clu­sively events staged for TV) – so her pres­ence in the seg­ment also can be jus­ti­fied in that way. It’s worth noth­ing that Sen. John McCain also was in­cluded in that “In Memo­riam,” and though he also wasn’t a TV per­son­al­ity in the most lit­eral sense, he ap­peared on screens of­ten ... par­tic­u­larly as a pop­u­lar guest on the Sun­day news-pro­gram cir­cuit. Salut­ing him and mu­sic icon Franklin was a mea­sure of their stature in their re­spec­tive fields, and likely also of the rel­a­tive prox­im­ity of their pass­ings to the Emmy cer­e­mony.

Aretha Franklin

David McCal­lum

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