Remembering "The Waltons" Star Ralph Waite

In memoriam

"The Waltons," "Bones," and "CSI" actor passed away at age 85.

Feb 14, 2014 | 09:25 PM

Actor Ralph Waite passed away on Thursday at his home in Palm Desert, California, according to a statement by the family's accountant, Steve Gordon. He was 85.

Waite, who was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. in "The Waltons," played the part of the Depression-era patriarch from the show's debut in 1972 until its ending in 1981. He then continued his successful acting career in shows like "The Mississippi," "Murder One," "Carnivale," "The Practice," and "Grey's Anatomy." Younger audiences may remember him from his recurring roles in "Bones," "NCIS," and "Days of our Lives."

Waite was nominated for an Emmy in 1977 for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series for his role in "Roots." The following year, he won the award for Best Lead Actor for his role in "The Waltons."

Before he started acting, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps (from 1946 to 1948), graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and earned a master's degree from Yale Divinity School.

He was also a Presbyterian minister, a member of the Peninsula Players summer theater program, and even ran for Congress on three occasions as a Democrat in California. 

R.I.P. Ralph Waite. You will be missed.

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