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.

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102 Comments
  1. tyler says:

    Such sad sad news! I grew up w this man ..the waltons was such a big part of my childhood up till this day! The Waltons reunions as well..so literally grew up from a child into teens with him as daddy walton..:( if they do another reunion wont b the same.. my heart prayers to cast of waltons an his family! He will never b forgotten an ona show that im sure will go on forever..r.i.p.ralph..gnite daddy walton aka ralph waite

  2. Mary f says:

    So sad. RIP

  3. Pete says:

    The world is a sadder place today.
    Condolences to the many, many people who are today mourning the passing of Ralph Waite.

  4. Linda says:

    RIP John Waite

  5. Stephanie says:

    It’s terribly fitting that his last episode of NCIS was the phenomenal “Better Angels.” RIP, Mr. Waite. What a loss … :(

  6. Pat says:

    I loved him on the Walton’s and also was so happy when he surfaced on NCIS as Jethro’s Dad and then on Bones as Booth’s Grandfather. Rest in Peace, Ralph. You will be dearly missed by this fan.

  7. It is so sad to hear of any death, but the passing of Ralph Waite,feels as if one’s own dearly loved Grandfather is no longer ,with us.The person to go to when problems seem insurmountable,can give us no longer a shoulder to cry on, or a quick kick up thebackside.Sleep well Mr. Waite and thank you for being you. Requiescat in Pace.

  8. I grew up watching the Waltons, amazing moral family values that left you feeling warm, you’ve touched many in your years and will be greatly missed, rest high on the mountain now Pa. God bless and keep the Family in this time of sorrow help them find peace and strength threw your perfect love,amen.

  9. Rita Sioros says:

    So sad to hear the passing of our Pops! He was so good. Remember him in Walton’s & Bones.
    He brought such joy to Bones as Booth’s Grandfather. He will be missed.

  10. betty says:

    Remember him from Walton days! Enjoyed him on Bones. Saw NCIS episode. He brought us many joyous hours of fine entertainment

  11. MARIANA VIDAL says:

    My heart felt condolences to his real life family and his TV family as well. I loved the gentleman, he was such a class act. Mr. Waite was what in my circles is known as un verdadero Senor ( A true gentleman) Talented, charismatic and oh so dignified.

    We will miss him and it comforts me to know that he has gone home to be with The Lord our God. Rest In Peace Daddy Walton, Mariana

  12. Claire says:

    Papa Walton & Papa Gibbs :( I loved it that he was on NCIS — what a gift he was to many generations.

  13. Mary Turner says:

    The Waltons are on nightly on Hallmark and INSP. If you have never watched it or have missed any episodes, please watch it. It’s a wonderfully human family show. “goodnight John”.

  14. Rob R says:

    Ralph Waite was good in everything he did. I had the privilege of seeing him in live theatre as well.

  15. Joni says:

    Fair Winds and Following Seas, Mr Waite.

  16. Dave Smith says:

    I have been a huge fan since the Walton’s. I think acting was easy for him. He played himself in most roles. What we see as Gibb’s and Booth’s father was the same personality that I saw on the few occasions that I met and spoke with him. Just a really nice soft spoken man. I’m not alone with the pain of his passing. We all lost a very kind and good guy Dave Smith.

  17. Brenda morris says:

    It always feels like going home on his shows with all my Walton family on the mountain.
    We need shows more like it they are good for the soul and for all who are priviledged to
    Watch such talent. God bless one and all till we meet in heaven.

  18. Tiggersuze says:

    Such sad news. I loved the Waltons so much and just watched an episode last night. Mr. Waite was wonderful as Jackson Gibbs on NCIS too. My prayers are with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

  19. Thanks mr Ralph!!! You left each of a gift, your amazing body of work , I stand an clap him all the way to the gates of heavan :) he will be a great an bright addition to the stars

  20. michelle says:

    He will always be john walton in my eyes. Amazing actor..so sad..,r,i.p goodnight jihn.x

  21. Doug H says:

    Maybe he’ll go up on the mountain next to Grandpa and Grandma Walton….

  22. Renee says:

    Oh no! R.I.P. Mr. Waite. This makes me so sad.

  23. Emily says:

    I watch both Bones and NCIS and enjoyed him on both of those shows. RIP.

  24. Rob Johnson says:

    Good Night, Daddy… Rest comfortably now next to Grandpa on the Mountain.. God Bless.. Rob/Amboy,Wa

  25. G says:

    I am disappointed that NCIS has not even recognized Mr. Waite’s death even if only a tiny notice at the beginning of the show…..you know like “In loving memory……..:

  26. Muriel Harris says:

    I was watching Bones and saw the farewell to Mr.Waite, I had no clue that he pass. I love his acting he had such a warm kind spirit. He will be miss. RIP Mr. Waite one fine Gentleman.

  27. CathPounder says:

    God bless Ralph Waite. At least we will always have him on film. You’ll be sadly missed.xXx

  28. rick mancini says:

    What Is the full price of the Passport and what about my contract on the iPhone that has 18 months left on it?