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Janet Di Lauro

Days Actor Ralph Waite Dead

By February 14, 2014

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ralph waiteRalph 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


February 14, 2014 at 12:14 am
(1) KA says:

I’m sorry to hear of his passing. I enjoyed his work on Days. Peace to his family and friends.

February 14, 2014 at 12:15 am
(2) RaeAnn says:

This truly breaks my heart~. I loved every role he played. I grew up watching him as John Walton and also on Days of our Lives as Father Matt. He will be missed so much. I send my condolences to his wife. Thank you for sharing him with all his fans. God Bless~

February 14, 2014 at 5:37 am
(3) lou says:

I am sorry to hear of this too. I love watching him on Days and the Waltons too.

February 14, 2014 at 6:57 am
(4) Patricia Anne Davis says:

R.I.P. Father Matt -Ralph Waite, he will be missed. He was such a fine actor not only on Days, but NCIS, The Waltons, and on Bones. Loved his character on Days, his love for what was right. Very sad to hear of his passing!!

February 14, 2014 at 9:25 am
(5) josie amezcua says:

i fill very sad becuse of his departer from this world i loved his movies

February 14, 2014 at 10:39 am
(6) Florence Lambert Husted says:

I am so sorry to hear of his passing, I watched —–The waltons until they went off the air-and have watched Days Of Our Lives for 45 years and he was a wonderful presence on the show——————Also watch NCIS and loved to see him as Jefro’s father—————-He was a very great actor and will truly be missed by many people, including me——————He reminded my of my Dad————May Our Lord Keep him in his loving arms and give the family the peace and comfort they need—————God Bless Them All—————

February 14, 2014 at 10:55 am
(7) Dotty says:

“Good night Pa” RIP Ralph Waite

February 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm
(8) Wendy says:

I was in love with “John Walton” back in the 70s. He was the man I have looked for ever since in a partner.

I’m so sad to hear of his passing away. He played such kind, caring men so convincingly,, that he could only be playing himself.

Goodnight, Ralph.

February 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm
(9) Cathgirl says:

I was very sorry to hear that Ralph Waite passed away. As Fr. Matt, he was a wise and calming presence. I always enjoyed his scenes with Greg Vaughan (Eric Brady). They seemed to be genuinely fond of each other.

My prayers go out to Mr. Waite and his family and his television family.

He will be missed.

February 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm
(10) David says:

So sad, it was perfectly cast as Father Matt, and should have been the resident priest in Salem, not Father Eric. His gentle nature will be missed.

February 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm
(11) BLONDIE says:

We have lost a wonderful man and actor, I love watching the Walton’s I still watch that show and I loved him on Day’s actually he was great in everything he starred in. R.I.P Ralph you will be missed.

February 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm
(12) wanda sudis says:

To the waite family my heart and prayers are with you. Ralph waite was a great man, I remember watching the waltons and always felt like I was a member of the family, my mom was the third oldest of 8 kids. They grew up from the late 20′s on up till the ones that are still here. The lived in the hills of kentucky. I always thought of my grandfather as being half grandpa walton and half john walton sr. My grandfather was as much in love with my grandma as much as both of the walton men. My great grandma (grandpa’s mom) was about like john waltons mom. My thoughts are also with the tv families that got to work with Ralph Waite, like the cast of the waltons the cast of bones, and the cast of NCIS. As well as D.O.O.L’s

February 15, 2014 at 1:05 am
(13) Sharon Davis says:

So loved this special man! The Waltons was a big part of my life, I looked forward to it every week. Ralph Waite was wonderful as John Walton, and as a long time fan of Days Of Our Lives I was so thrilled when Ralph Waite became Father Matt. I will miss him so much and I send thoughts and prayers to those who were privileged to have known and loved him . Rest in Peace dear sweet Ralph, heaven is a little brighter today!!

February 15, 2014 at 5:44 am
(14) Rosemary says:

Wow! I didn’t realize he was the same guy that played on the Waltons! Now I see it! I always liked him in both!!! Oh I am so sorry for his family! What a sweet precious man! Also sorry for the loss of those that worked for him! I will so miss seeing him on screen! :-(

February 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm
(15) Kelly says:

Wow, I did not put two and two together. I knew the Waltons dad died but had no idea it was the same actor who played Father Matt. I liked him. I wondered where he’d been. Sad. :(

February 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm
(16) JB says:

Well done, Ralph Waite.
You will be missed.

February 17, 2014 at 9:46 pm
(17) Shirley Wildes says:

God in Heaven keep Mr. Ralph Waite in Your loving arms. He is one of the best ones that ever was and he was an inspiring actor at whatever part he played. He will be dearly missed by everyone. He played a Father in many different movies and the Walton’s was a good family show where we saw him so many years. Always loved seeing him play on Days of Our Lives as he was an Icon like all our others that have gone on to a better place. Granny & Grandpa Walton and Granny & Grandpa Horton can all rejoice with him now including all the great ones that are now gone and had the chance to act with him from Days. All of them are missed too. You will not be forgotten as you have given many of us so many great memories as we were so blessed by getting to see your movies and shows. We all can remember this man as one of the greatest actors in our times.God bless you and we thank you for a job well done.May God watch over the family and help them to get through their sad time.Rest in peace our friend. (-:

February 17, 2014 at 11:50 pm
(18) Anne says:

Sad news! I so enjoyed his character (Father Matt) and his run on the Waltons. I’m sure he was as kind off screen as he always appeared on screen.

February 18, 2014 at 7:49 am
(19) Tammi says:

RIP Ralph waite,you will be missed.Such a wonderful actor.The Waltons brought me a lot of joy,it’s how I wish life could still be.It was nice to see you on DAYS,A show I have been watching since the 70′s and love!

February 18, 2014 at 7:50 am
(20) mary says:

Sorry to hear about Mr. Waite. I watched him for years in the 70s. I wanted to emulate the principles of his show to my own family. Rest in peace, he was a very good actor.

February 18, 2014 at 6:47 pm
(21) JoAnn says:

I am so sorry to hear this I have been a fan for years RIP

February 19, 2014 at 9:21 am
(22) Debra says:

I am sad about Ralph Waite passing away. I had just posted on here last week about how much I liked him and how I was sure he was so grateful to have the role of Father Matt (he actually was an ordained minister in real life) so late in his life. I googled and found out that his last day of filming was January 24 (the christening of Arriana). His last dialogue was that day with Eric. The next week they brought in that other guy as a Priest so I guess that’s when he really got ill. RIP Ralph/Pa Walton/Father Matt. We’ll miss you.

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