Ralph Waite passed away at the age of 85; he was well known for portraying the patriarch of CBS long-running series The Waltons.
According to Deadline, Waite recently had a recurring role of Papa Gibbs, father of Mark Harmon’s character Gibbs, on CBS’ NCIS since 2008.
“Everyone at NCIS is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Ralph Waite,” NCIS cast and crew said in a statement. “Ralph was family to us, a tremendous talent and a very special man. We truly cherish the time we had with him. Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
Wait had recurring roles on Bones, Days Of Our Lives, and appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Cold Case and The Practice.
However, Waite is best known as “Daddy” on The Waltons. He portrayed John Walton Sr. for nine seasons on the Depression-era drama. His character worked on the family lumber mill on Walton’s Mountain. He received an Emmy nomination in 1978 for his role and directed a number of episodes for the series. The Waltons ran from 1972-1978 and has been followed by several telefilms.
Waite has been acting since the mid-1960s and has appeared on TV series such as Bonanza, and N.Y.P.D. He also appeared in landmark miniseries Roots as shipmate Slater. He received his first Emmy for his role on Roots. Some of the big screen credits for Waite include Cool Hand Luke, Five Easy Pieces, The Bodyguard and Cliffhanger. Some other TV credits include The Mississippi (CBS), Murder One (Steven Bocho) and Carnivale (HBO).
Waite is a native White Plains, NY resident. In 1990, Waite unsuccessfully ran for Congress for a seat from California’s 37th District, including Mid-City and West Los Angeles.