Waltons Patriarch Ralph Waite Dead at 85

Ralph Waite DeadThe Waltons star Ralph Waite, who more recently recurred on Bones and NCIS, has died at the age of 85, our sister site Deadline reports.

Waite portrayed John Walton Sr. for nine seasons on the CBS Depression-era drama and in three NBC telefilms. After the series wrapped, he appeared on Murder One, Carnivàle and the miniseries Roots among others.

Bones fans will recognize Waite as Booth’s grandfather and caretaker Hank. He also played dad to Mark Harmon’s character Gibbs on NCIS, and recurred on Days of Our Lives as Father Matt.

Bones executive producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan issued the following statement:

“All of us at Bones mourn the loss of Ralph Waite.  We loved having him on set and in many ways his character was the moral center of our show as Booth’s plainspoken, loving, war hero grandfather.  The entire Bones family sends condolences to his family and loved ones.”

While the NCIS cast and crew issued this remembrance:

“Everyone at NCIS is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Ralph Waite. 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.”

Waite’s Bones and NCIS co-stars also took to Twitter to react to the actor’s passing.