Ralph Waite passed away at age 85 on Thursday at his home in Palm Desert, California.
The actor is perhaps best known for his role as John Walton Sr. in the popular CBS show The Waltons. Here are 5 things you should know about the actor.
- The Waltons: Ralph Waite played Walton in his most iconic role between 1972 and 1981. He directed a few episodes of the show as well.
- U.S. Marine Corps: The actor served the military as a marine from 1948 to 1948.
- Roots: Waite played slave ship first mate Slater in the critically-acclaimed TV miniseries on slavery Roots.
- Political Career: Although Waite was never voted into Congress, he ran in California as a Democrat in three separate occasions. The closes he got to Congress was in 1990 when he got 44.8% of the vote.
- NCIS: Ralph Waite’s most notable role in the last decade was Jackson Gibbs — father of NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs — in the popular TV show NCIS.