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David McCallum, Star Of Hit TV Series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ And ‘NCIS,’ Dies At 90

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LOS ANGELES — David McCallum, an adolescent heartthrob in the 1960s series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and the eccentric medical examiner in the popular series “NCIS” four decades later, has passed away. He was 90 years old.

CBS said that McCallum died of natural causes surrounded by family at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Monday.

“David was a talented actor and author who many people across the globe adored. CBS said, “He led an extraordinary life, and his legacy will live on through his family and the countless hours of film and television that will never disappear.”

McCallum, who was born in Scotland, had been successful in films such as “A Night to Remember” (about the Titanic), “The Great Escape,” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (as Judas). In the mid-1960s, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” made the blond actor with the Beatles-inspired haircut a ubiquitous name.

The popularity of the James Bond novels and films spawned a proliferation of secret operatives on both large and small screens. According to Jon Heitland’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Book,” Bond originator Ian Fleming contributed to developing “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

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CBS said that McCallum died of natural causes surrounded by family at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Monday.

Robert Vaughn portrayed Napoleon Solo, an agent in a covert, high-tech squad of crime fighters whose initials stood for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. The program debuted in 1964. Despite the Cold War, the agency had international personnel, including McCallum as Solo’s Russian sidekick, Illya Kuryakin.

McCallum recalled that the role was initially relatively minor, adding in a 1998 interview, “I’d never heard of the word’sidekick’ before.”

The show received mixed reviews but eventually gained popularity, especially among teenage females drawn to McCallum’s good looks and enigmatic, intelligent character. By 1965, Illya was Vaughn’s primary partner, and both stars were mobbed during personal appearances.

The series ran until 1968. In 1983, Vaughn and McCallum reunited for the nostalgic television film “The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” in which the agents were coaxed out of retirement to save the world again.

McCallum returned to television in 2003 with another series featuring an agency with initials: CBS’s “NCIS.” He portrayed Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, a nerdy pathologist for the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, which investigates offenses involving the Navy or Marines. Mark Harmon portrayed the leader of NCIS.

McCallum stated that he believed Ducky, who wore glasses and a bow tie and had an eye for beautiful women, “looked a little silly, but it was great fun to do.” He also took the position seriously, spending time in the coroner’s office in Los Angeles to learn how autopsies are conducted.

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David McCallum, an adolescent heartthrob in the 1960s series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and the eccentric medical examiner in the popular series “NCIS”

Co-star Lauren Holly lamented his passing on X, formerly Twitter: “You were the kindest man. “We appreciate your being you.” The 20th-anniversary marathon of “NCIS” on Monday night will now include an “in memoriam” card in memory of McCallum.

Gradually gaining an audience, the show eventually made the list of top 10 programs. McCallum, who resided in New York, rented a one-bedroom flat in Santa Monica while “NCIS” was filmed.

“He was a scholar and a gentleman who was always gracious, a consummate professional, and never one to turn down a jest. Working with him from day one was a privilege; he never let us down. According to a statement from “NCIS” Executive Producers Steven D. Binder and David North, he was merely a legend.

McCallum’s work on “U.N.C.L.E.” earned him two Emmy nominations, and he received a third nomination for his role as an educator battling alcoholism in the 1969 Hallmark Hall of Fame film “Teacher, Teacher.”

In 1975, he portrayed the title character in a short-lived science fiction series titled “The Invisible Man,” from 1979 to 1982, he portrayed Steel in the British science fiction series “Sapphire and Steel.” Over the years, he has also made guest appearances on numerous television programs, including “Murder, She Wrote” and “Sex and the City.”

He appeared on Broadway in the 1968 comedy “The Flip Side” and in the 1999 revival of “Amadeus” starring Michael Sheen and David Suchet. Additionally, he acted in several off-Broadway productions.

McCallum was a longtime American citizen, telling The Associated Press in 2003, “I have always admired the freedom this country stands for and everything it stands for. And I reside here and enjoy voting here.”

In 1933, David Keith McCallum was born in Glasgow. His father played the violin, and his mother, David, played the cello. When David was 3 years old, the family migrated to London, where David Sr. played with the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic.

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David McCallum, an adolescent heartthrob in the 1960s series “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and the eccentric medical examiner in the popular series “NCIS”

The young David studied the oboe at the Royal Academy of Music. He determined he wasn’t good enough, so he studied briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before turning to theatre. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2009, he stated, “I was a small, emaciated blonde with a sunken chest, so there weren’t a whole lot of roles for me.”

After completing his military service, he returned to London and began working in live television and film. In 1957, he appeared in “Robbery Under Arms” alongside Jill Ireland, an emerging Australian actress. The couple tied the knot in the same year.

McCallum was a member of the large ensemble of “The Great Escape” in 1963, and he and his wife became friends with Charles Bronson, who also appeared in the film. Ireland fell in love with Bronson, and she and McCallum divorced in 1967 after their separation. In 1968, she married Bronson.

McCallum stated in 2009, “Everything turned out well because shortly after that I met Katherine Carpenter, a former model, and we’ve been married for 42 years.”

Paul, Jason, and Valentine were McCallum’s three sons from his first marriage, and Peter and Sophie were his son and daughter from his second. Jason overdosed and perished.

“He was a genuine Renaissance man — he was fascinated by science and culture and would turn those passions into knowledge. As an example, according to a statement released by Peter McCallum, he was able to conduct a symphony orchestra and (if necessary) could execute an autopsy based on his decades-long preparation for his role on NCIS.

In 2007, while working on “NCIS,” McCallum told a reporter, “I’ve always felt that the harder I work, the more fortunate I become. I believe in serendipity, but I also believe that dedicating yourself to what you do is the greatest way to succeed in this life.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

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Dickey Betts, a guitarist and co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band, has died, according to a family statement released to CNN on Thursday by his longtime manager.

Betts was eighty.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announces the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard ‘Dickey’ Betts,” according to the statement. “The well-known performer, songwriter, bandleader, and family patriarch passed away this morning at his home in Osprey, Florida, with his family by his side. Dickey was larger than life, and his absence will be felt around the world. During this terrible time, the family requests prayers and respect for their privacy in the coming days. More information will be provided at the proper time.”

Betts’ manager, David Spero, told Rolling Stone that the guitarist had cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Betts, who was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, grew up listening to bluegrass, country music, and, subsequently, rock & roll. Betts, bass guitarist Berry Oakley, drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, and brothers Gregg and Duane Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, and are credited with helping create the sound and genre of Southern rock in the 1960s and 1970s.

Betts composed and sung the band’s biggest song, “Ramblin’ Man.” Initially, he created the song with the intention of having another artist sing it.

“I was going to send ‘Ramblin’ Man’ to Johnny Cash,” Betts stated in 2020, later adding that he “thought it was a great song for him.”

“But everyone liked the song. Even my father enjoyed the song before we recorded it or anything. And I’m thinking I’ll email this to Johnny Cash and see if he wants to perform it,” he added. “The producer (Johnny Sandlin) mentioned that we needed another song for the record and asked if I had any. I explained, ‘Well, I got one, but I was going to send it to Nashville for Cash to record.’ He said, ‘Let’s hear it. And then, ‘No! We gotta do it.'”

Betts also wrote the popular Allman Brothers songs “Blue Sky” and “Jessica.”

Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident in 1971, and Oakley died in a motorcycle crash the following year. Betts and Gregg Allman became the band’s leaders, but creative disputes and substance misuse prompted the group to split up and reform several times.

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

Cameron Crowe, then 16, followed the Allman Brothers Band on tour in 1973 for a Rolling Stone cover story that would later serve as the basis for Crowe’s Oscar-winning 2000 film “Almost Famous.” In 2017, Crowe described Billy Crudup’s key rock star character as “a tribute” to Betts.

In an email to CNN later that day, Crowe referred to Betts as “a guitarist for the ages, the musical glue that held together The Allman Brothers Band for many years.”

“Dickey’s quiet warmth, and his timeless contribution to American music was a big inspiration for our film,” said the writer-director.

Betts quit the Allman Brothers Band in a widely publicized separation in 2000. While the band continued to tour for nearly 15 years and issued one more studio album, Betts performed with his Great Southern ensemble, which included his son Duane, and released another studio album of new songs. Betts retired in 2014.

Also on Friday, the Allman Brothers Band issued an official statement, stating that Betts’ “extraordinary guitar playing alongside guitarist Duane Allman created a unique dual guitar signature sound that became the signature sound of the genre known as Southern Rock.”

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Dickey Betts, Co-Founder Of The Allman Brothers Band, Dead At 80

“He was passionate in life, be it music, songwriting, fishing, hunting, boating, golf, karate or boxing,” the statement went on to say. “Dickey was all in on and excelled at anything that caught his attention.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about music, Betts told the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 2020 that it was the impact it had on his listeners.

“I like the crowds mainly, and what the music did for them,” he went on to say. “They enjoyed the music more than I did. I just love how the crowd can drift off into another universe during a concert.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

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NEW YORK — Could there be a Taylor Swift new album release without any added surprises?

No.

On Friday, the pop star released her 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” which is an amalgamation of her previous work and reflects the artist who, at the height of her powers, has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring it, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured considerations.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

But it was midnight. At 2 a.m. Eastern, she released “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” which included 15 new songs.

“I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment,” Swift wrote in an Instagram caption. “And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

The songs are a natural continuation of the first half of the album, with many returning to her “evermore” and “folklore” style, aided by her partner Aaron Dessner.

Swift has surprised her fans before, and she has surely done so with a surprise album release. A few months after “folklore” was released in 2020, she revealed that “evermore” will be available at midnight on the same day. Speaking of midnight, she released a “3am” edition of “Midnights” with seven new tracks in 2022, just a few hours after the original release.

Taylor Swift’s album “The Tortured Poets Department” is now available.

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Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs On Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Music Writer Maria Sherman describes it as “an amalgamation of an artist who has spent the last few years re-recording her life’s work and touring its material, filtered through synth-pop anthems, breakup ballads, provocative and matured subject matter.”

Swift revealed a surprise two hours after the album’s release: 15 more tracks.

Swift’s first original album since her record-breaking Eras Tour debuted last year.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Britain’s Prince Harry Formally Confirms He is Now a US Resident

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LONDON — Prince Harry, King Charles III’s son and fifth in line to the British throne, has publicly certified that he is now a US resident.

Four years after Harry and his American bride, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, moved to a villa in Southern California, a travel firm he owns filed paperwork this week alerting British officials that he has relocated and is now “usually resident” in the United States.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The formal acknowledgment highlights the prince’s growing isolation from Britain, following his and Meghan’s departure from royal duties to chase lucrative media partnerships in America. Since then, Harry has often challenged the royal family, including claims of unconscious racism made in a Netflix series and the prince’s autobiography, “Spare.”

Travalyst Ltd, a company created in 2020 to “promote global awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism,” filed the paperwork. Harry owns at least 75% of the company. Companies House, the government body in charge of overseeing company incorporation in the United Kingdom, received the papers on Monday.

The filing further distinguishes Harry from his status as one of the king’s counselors of state, which are members of the royal family who can be deputized to carry out the monarch’s duties if he is ill or away from the nation.

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

While Harry is still a counselor of state, the crown warned Parliament in 2022 that “in practice” only working members of the royal family will be called upon to fill in for the monarch.

Although Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have established themselves in the rich enclave of Montecito, where they are raising their baby son and daughter, Harry is also under investigation for his US status.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think organization, has questioned the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant Harry a visa to the United States following drug-related admissions in “Spare.”

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Britain’s Prince Harry formally confirms he is now a US resident

The organization, which has petitioned a judge to order the department to release Harry’s immigration records, claims that the prince either lied on his visa application or was given preferential treatment because a history of drug usage would typically preclude an applicant from receiving a visa.

SOURCE – (AP)

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