Waite won the love and respect not only of his family and friends, but of anyone who worked with him.
Ralph Waite, a veteran TV actor known for his role in The Waltons and, more recently, recurring roles in Bones, NCIS and Days of Our Lives, has passed away at age 85. He died on Thursday, January 13, at his home in South Palm Desert, California, according to Desert Sun. His friend Jerry Preece told the news outlet that Waite had died of “a tired heart”, explaining that the actor’s health had been steadily deteriorating in recent months.
Since the announcement of Waite’s death, the casts and production teams of the shows he was part of have issued statements, honoring their late colleague.
The cast and crew of CBS’ NCIS, on which Waite played the father of Mark Harmon’s Gibbs, had this to say about the actor’s life and career (via Entertainment Weekly): “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.”
Bones co-creators also shared a message after the announcement of Waite’s death and sent their condolences to his family. “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 (David Boreanaz) plainspoken, loving, war hero grandfather.”
Waite is survived by his wife Linda, their two daughters and a stepson.