Ralph Waite

Ralph Waite

Born: June 22, 1928
Died: February 13, 2014 (at age 85)
Birthplace: White Plains, New York, U.S.
Popularity:
Biography

Ralph Waite (June 22, 1928 - February 13, 2014) was an American actor, voice artist, and political activist, best known for his role as John Walton, Sr. on The Waltons, which he occasionally directed. In addition, Waite appeared in many guest roles on numerous television series, lastly in a recurring role in NCIS as Jackson Gibbs, the father of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Early life

Waite, the eldest of five children, was born in White Plains, New York on June 22, 1928, to Ralph H. Waite, a construction engineer, and Esther (née Mitchell) Waite. Too young for World War II, Waite served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948, then graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He worked briefly as a social worker. Waite earned a master's degree from Yale University Divinity School and was an ordained Presbyterian minister and religious editor at Harper & Row, New York before deciding on an acting career. He was a member of the Peninsula Players summer theater program during the 1963 season.

Waite made his Broadway debut in Blues for Mister Charlie, and would work on and off-Broadway steadily throughout the 1960s.

Film work

His film work included roles in Cool Hand Luke, Five Easy Pieces, Lawman, The Grissom Gang, Chato's Land and The Stone Killer. His later films included The Bodyguard, the part of Frank the helicopter pilot in the 1993 film Cliffhanger and as the mysterious Time Traveller in the 2002 Science Fiction Historical Drama film Timequest (film) .

Later stage work

Waite scored a personal triumph when he created the role of Will Kidder in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta, by playwright Horton Foote, in 1995.

Personal life

Waite was married three times, two marriages ending in divorce. He had three daughters from his first marriage. His eldest daughter, Sharon Waite, died of leukemia when she was 9 years old in 1964. Liam Waite, one of Waite's stepsons, is also an actor. After 50 years away from organized religion, Waite returned in 2010 and became an active member of Spirit of the Desert Presbyterian Fellowship in Palm Desert, California.

Political involvement

Waite ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California as a Democrat on three occasions: In 1990, he challenged veteran GOP incumbent Al McCandless in the Riverside County-based 37th district, losing by five percentage points. In 1998, Waite ran in the special election for the then-Palm Springs-based 44th district left vacant by the death of incumbent Sonny Bono. He was defeated in that election by Mary Bono, Sonny's widow, and lost to her again that November.

On October 21, 1991, Waite introduced then-former California Governor Jerry Brown prior to the latter's speech announcing his candidacy for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination.

Electoral history

Year Office Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct
1990 U.S House of Representatives
District 37
Jeffrey Jacobs 29%
Ralph Waite 71%
103,961 44.8% Bud Mathewson 27%
Al McCandless 73%
115,469 49.8%
1998 U.S House of Representatives
District 44 (special election)
Ralph Waite 24,228 28.8% Mary Bono 53,755 64%
1998 U.S House of Representatives
District 39 (general election)
Ralph Waite 57,697 35.7% Mary Bono 97,013 60.1%

Death

On February 13, 2014, Waite died peacefully in Palm Desert, California, of age-related illnesses at age 85.

Filmography

  • Cool Hand Luke (1967) Alibi
  • A Lovely Way to Die (1968)
  • Last Summer (1969)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970) Carl Fidelio Dupea
  • Lawman (1971)
  • The Grissom Gang (1971)
  • The Pursuit of Happiness (1971)
  • The Sporting Club (1971)
  • Chato's Land (1972)
  • Girls on the Road (1972)
  • The Magnificent Seven Ride (1972)
  • Trouble Man (1972)
  • Hot Summer Week (1973)
  • Kid Blue (1973)
  • The Stone Killer (1973)
  • Red Alert (1977)
  • Angel City (1980)
  • OHMS (1980)
  • On the Nickel (1980)
  • Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (1988) Narrator
  • Red Earth, White Earth (1989) Martin
  • Crash and Burn (1990)
  • Desperate Hours (1990)
  • The Bodyguard (1992) Herb Farmer
  • Cliffhanger (1993)
  • Sioux City (1994)
  • Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996) (voice)
  • The West (1996)
  • Sunshine State (2002)
  • Timequest (2002)
  • Blessings (2003)
  • Silver City (2004)
  • Letters to God (2010)
  • 25 Hill (2011)

Television

  • Look Up and Live (1966)
  • The Borgia Stick (1967)
  • N.Y.P.D. 2 episodes
  • Bonanza (1970) "The Lady and the Mark" - Hoby
  • Nichols (1971)
  • The Waltons (1972-81) John Walton, Sr.
  • The Thanksgiving Story (1973)
  • The Secret Life of John Chapman (1976)
  • Roots (1977), Third Mate, Slater
  • Waiting for Godot (TV) (1977)
  • CBS: On the Air (1978)
  • Angel City (1980)
  • The Gentleman Bandit (1981)
  • A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982)
  • A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982)
  • Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982)
  • The Mississippi (1983) Ben Walker
  • A Good Sport (1984)
  • Growing Pains (1984) Rob
  • Crime of Innocence (1985) Frank Hayward
  • Reading Rainbow (1987)
  • Murder, She Wrote (1989) DA Paul Robbins
  • Sparks: The Price of Passion (1990)
  • A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993)
  • Keys (1994)
  • Sin & Redemption (TV) (1994)
  • Time Trax (1994)
  • A Season of Hope (1995)
  • A Walton Wedding (1995)
  • Murder One (1996) Malcolm Dietrich
  • A Walton Easter (1997)
  • Orleans (1997)
  • The Third Twin (1997) Senator Proust
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul (1999)
  • The Outer Limits (1999)
  • The President's Man (2000)
  • Spirit (2001)
  • All My Children (2001) Bart
  • Blessings (TV) (2003)
  • Carnivàle (2003-2005)
  • The Practice (2004)
  • Cold Case (2007) Felton Metz
  • CSI (2008) "Young Man with a Horn" as Sheriff Montgomery
  • NCIS (2008-2013) Jackson Gibbs (8 episodes)
  • The Cleaner (2008)
  • Ace Ventura Jr: Pet Detective (TV) (2009)
  • Kickin' It (2011) Principal Keener (7 episodes)
  • Days of Our Lives (2009-2014) Father Matt (recurring)
  • Grey's Anatomy (2009) "Tainted Obligation" as Irving Waller
  • Bones (2009-2013) Hank Booth (3 episodes)
  • Off the Map (2011) "On the Mean Streets of San Miguel" as Abuelito

As director

  • The Waltons (TV series, 1973-80)
  • On the Nickel (1980)
  • The Mississippi (TV series, 1983)

As producer

  • A Good Sport (1984) (executive producer)

As writer

  • On the Nickel (1980)

Theatre

  • Blues for Mister Charlie (1963)
  • Hogan's Goat (play) (1965)
  • The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald (1967)
  • The Young Man From Atlanta (1995)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]