In recent years, he was best known for playing Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in CBS’ hit drama series NCIS. But David McCallum, who died on September 25 at age 90, enjoyed a distinguished, decades-long career that included theater, film and, thanks to his role in TV’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. — heartthrob status. “Oh, there were huge sacks of [fan mail],” said David, who played the ’60s spy series’ mysterious Russian agent, Illya Kuryakin. “I totally lost my privacy [after that show].”

Still, the actor never let fame get in the way of the thing he valued most: family. “He was the kindest, coolest, most patient and loving father. He always put family before self,” says his son Peter. “He looked forward to any chance to connect with his grandchildren and had a unique bond with each of them.” David is survived by his wife of 56 years, Katherine, five children and eight grandchildren.