Ralph 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).
Michael Learned, who played his wife on The Waltons said, “Ralph was a good honest actor and a good honest man. He was my spiritual husband. We loved each other for over forty years. He died a working actor at the top of his game. He was a loving mentor to many and a role model to an entire generation. I’m devastated.”
Waite is survived by his third wife, Linda East, and two daughters: Kathleen and Suzanne.
What do you think? Do you have any fond memories of Ralph Waite’s work?