Ralph Waite, known to Days of Our Lives viewers as the kindly and wise Father Matt, died at his Palm Desert home on February 13. The actor was 85.
According to the Desert Sun, Waite's longtime friend Jerry Preece arrived at his home at 1 pm and found ambulances there. Waite's wife Linda told him she believed her husband had passed away. Preece attributed his death to "a tired heart."
Waite was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. on the 1970s series The Waltons. Of late, he recurred as Mark Harmon's character's father, Jack Gibbs, on NCIS as well as on Days.
In November, Greg Vaughan (Eric), who worked closely with Waite, discussed how much he enjoyed sharing scenes with the veteran actor.
"I watched The Waltons, so it's exciting," said Vaughan. "Ralph is such a wonderful man. He's so easy. He comes in and does his work. It's simple. It's nice to have an iconic presence on the show."
Photo Courtesy: CBS/Monty Brinton