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The Waltons: Patriarch Ralph Waite Dies at 85

Ralph WaiteRalph Waite, the actor best known for playing John Walton Sr. on The Waltons, died earlier today at the age of 85. Waite played the affable father for all nine seasons on CBS, as well as the reunion movies that followed.

Born in 1928 in White Plains, New York, Waite had a long career in Hollywood with roles dating back to the 1950s. In addition to The Waltons, he had regular roles on shows like The Mississippi, Murder One, Carnivale, and Days of Our Lives. He’s also had recurring roles on Bones as well as NCIS where he played the father of Gibbs (Mark Harmon).

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<em>The Waltons:</em> Geico Commercial Asks Rhetorical Question About Classic TV Family

The Waltons: Geico Commercial Asks Rhetorical Question About Classic TV Family

January 8, 2010
The Waltons ran for nine seasons on CBS and was a cornerstone of the network’s Thursday night line-up for the entire run. Three made-for-TV movies Read more . . .
Veterans of Cancelled TV Shows That We Lost in June 2009

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July 6, 2009
Last month was particularly hard on television lovers. We lost a lot of indelible talent during June. Like their shows, there are a lot of talented people that won't be back in the Fall. They include David Carradine (The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Kung Fu, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Charmed, Medium, Alias, and Jackie Chan Adventures), Ward Costello (The Edge of Night, The Streets of San Francisco, Little House on the Prairie, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Newhart, and General Hospital), Johnny Palermo (Passions, Campus Ladies, Just for Kicks, Everybody Hates Chris, and ER), Michael Roof (Hype and Raising the Roofs), Hal Riddle (Green Acres, The FBI, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Eight is Enough, The Waltons, and Dallas), Ken Roberts (Candid Camera, Love of Life, The Secret Storm, and The Electric Company), Anne Roberts Nelson (I Love Lucy, All in the Family, Gunsmoke, and The Young and The Restless), Lorena Gale (The X-Files, Smallville, Reunion, Bionic Woman (2007), The 4400, Battlestar Galactica, and Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins), Ed McMahon (Who Do You Trust?, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Star Search, TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and ALF's Hit Talk Show), Michael Jackson (Jackson 5ive, The Simpsons), Farrah Fawcett (I Dream of Jeannie, The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie's Angels, Ally McBeal, The Guardian, Spin City, and Chasing Farrah), Gail Storm (My Little Margie, The Gale Storm Show, The Love Boat, and Murder, She Wrote), Billy Mays (Pitchmen), and Harve Presnell (The Pretender, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Dawson's Creek, and Andy Barker, PI). Here are the details... David Carradine, 72, was found dead in his hotel room in Central Thailand. He was there shooting a movie and his June 3rd death is still under investigation. Carradine was born in Hollywood, the son of actor John Carradine, and he is related to several other performers that share his last name. His early roles include those on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Virginian, and Wagon Train. In the 1970s, he starred in the series Kung Fu as "Grasshopper" Kwai Chang Caine and it would become his most-successful television role. He was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the show. Carradine returned to the role in a TV movie in 1986, with Brandon Lee playing his son. Then, in the 1990s, he came back to series television in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues and played the grandson of his original character. He appeared in many movies over the years (most notably the Kill Bill movies) and guested on shows like Charmed, Medium, Alias, and Jackie Chan Adventures.
<em>The Waltons:</em> The Last Episode Finally Comes to DVD

The Waltons: The Last Episode Finally Comes to DVD

For nine seasons on CBS, The Waltons was a part of a weekly tradition for television viewers. It was a staple of Thursday nights for so long that many were a little lost when it finally went off the air in 1981. Based on Spencer's Mountain by Earl Hamner Jr. and a 1963 Henry Fonda movie of the same name, The Waltons revolves around a large family living in rural Virginia. The family, living on Walton's Mountain, is played by Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Will Geer, Ellen Corby, Richard Thomas, Jon Walmsley, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott, Judy Norton-Taylor, David W. Harper, and Kami Cotler. The mountain setting is also home to several other townspeople played by Mary Jackson, Helen Kleeb, Joe Conley, Ronnie Claire Edwards, Lynn Hamilton, and Robert Donner. As the series wore on, the family grew through weddings and births. There were also a few notable cast changes. Thomas left The Waltons as John Boy went off to college and then joined the war effort. Thomas guested twice before being replaced by Robert Wightman in latter seasons. Corby suffered a stroke midway through season five and was absent for much of the 1976-77 season. The stroke was written into the storyline and she returned for the 1978 season but eventually left again in 1979. Geer passed away in 1978 and his character's death was written into the series. Learned left the series in 1979 and made occasional appearances afterward. It was explained that her character had developed tuberculosis and entered a sanitarium.
The Waltons

The Waltons

After nine seasons on television, this family TV show left the airwaves. The Walton family had to endure a lot of challenges over the years. How did their story come to an end?
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Next month’s Emmys ceremony will mark the 60th anniversary of the awards. ABC and The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are pulling out all Read more . . .

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