(YAHOO!) Ralph Waite, who played the patriach of Walton's Mountain on the long-running family drama "The Waltons," and appeared as the father of Mark Harmon's Jethro Gibbs on "NCIS," has died. He passed away midday Thursday in his South Palm Desert home, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed through Steve Gordon, the Waite family's accountant. Waite was 85.
He spent nine seasons as the dad of a rural Depression-era family on CBS's beloved family drama. "The Waltons" was a Top 20 hit in the mid-1970s, and is fondly remembered for the family's heartfelt good-night routine: "Good night, John-Boy."
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