Ralph Waite Poster

Trivia (58)

Unsuccessfully ran for Congress in California to fill the unexpired term of the late Sonny Bono, achieving the Democratic nomination, then defeated by Mary Bono (Sonny's widow), April 7, 1998.

First ran for congress in 1990, as the Democratic nominee, only to lose against incumbent Representative Al McCandless (R).

John Walton Sr., Waite's character on The Waltons (1971), was ranked #3 by TV Guide in its list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].

Stepfather of Liam Waite.

Stepgrandfather of two boys, by stepson Liam Waite, Tristan River Waite, born October 12, 1998, and Asher Sky Waite, born September 2001. The mother of both boys was Liam's then fiancée Natasha Henstridge.

Grandfather of Jackson Waite and Charlotte Ray Rosenberg.

Ex-son-in-law of Pearl Shear.

Did not attend the funeral of Ellen Corby, when the actress passed away in 1999.

Ralph Waite passed away on February 13, 2014. Just before his death, his final role was on Days of Our Lives (1965).

Executive Producer of Ralph Waite Productions from 1983 to 1984.

Once owned a house in Rancho Mirage, California.

Appeared on the front cover of TV Guide 5 times.

The eldest of five children.

Served in the United States Marine Corps.

Before he was a successful actor, ordained minister and political activist, he was the religious editor for book publisher Harper & Row.

He also became active in politics, picketing for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

After his divorce, at age 38, he moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1966, to pursue a career in acting. His two daughters stayed with his ex-wife in New York.

Between Norman Lloyd, Angela Lansbury, Dick Van Dyke, Ernest Borgnine, Mickey Rooney, Betty White and Larry Hagman, Waite was one of the stars in Hollywood never to retire.

In On the Nickel (1980), Waite played a recovering alcoholic, in real-life, he was also a former alcoholic.

Longtime friend of Hal Williams.

Upon his death, he was cremated. His remains were buried at the White Plains Rural Cemetery, White Plains, Westchester County, New York.

Survived by his wife, one child, one stepson, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Founder of the popular eatery Don and Sweet Sue's Cafe in Cathedral City, California.

Made his Broadway debut in Blues for Mister Charlie.

Had conducted a memorial service for his aunt, Grace Haviland Waite, at the Quaker Meeting House in Purchase, New York, in 1989.

Up until the ninth and final season, Waite had appeared in each and every episode of The Waltons (1971).

Founder of the Los Angeles Actors Theater, which he financed in large part by himself.

Didn't start acting until he was age 32.

Was named after his father.

Acting ran in his family.

Before he was a successful actor, ordained minister and political activist, he was also a social worker.

Just before his death, he attended the book signing of his ex-The Waltons (1971) co-star, Mary McDonough, in Los Angeles, California.

Was a longtime volunteer and board member of the ABC Alcohol and Recovery Center in Indio, California, serving for years as president.

Met his second wife, Kerry Shear Waite, when she showed up as a volunteer stage manager/actress at the Los Angeles Actors Theatre.

His problems with alcohol began when his 9-year-old daughter, Sharon, passed away.

Before he was a successful actor and a political activist, he was a bartender.

Became an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ.

Graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work, and a Master's Degree from Yale University Divinity School.

His father, Ralph H. Waite, was a construction engineer, and his mother, Esther (née Mitchell) Waite, was a housewife.

He was an active member of Spirit of the Desert Presbyterian Fellowship in Palm Desert, California.

Met his first wife, Beverly Hall, in college. She inspired him to go into social work in New York's Westchester County.

His eldest daughter, Sharon Waite, died of leukemia when she was 9 years old in 1964.

Served in the United Marine Corps for 2 years.

Until his death, he resided in Palm Desert, California.

His former mother-in-law, Pearl Shear, died in 2009 and lived to be age 91. Shear guest-starred on The Waltons (1971) with him.

When Waite's class had a 40th reunion in 1986, but he was starring in a play in New Haven. Unable to attend the main reunion dinner, he showed up for a brunch the following day.

Is almost 3 months younger than James Garner. He guest-starred with him on an episode of Nichols (1971), and died 5 months before him.

In 2008, veteran actor James Garner was planning to come out of retirement from on camera roles when he was cast in NCIS (2003), but having a stroke soon after being cast, prevented him from doing it. The role was ultimately given to Waite, who was also born in 1928, but whose health was holding up rather better at that time. In the end, Waite passed away five months before Garner.

Was a staunch Democrat.

Classmate of former news editor Milt Hoffman.

His grandson Jackson Waite is a successful producer.

He was physically healthy and active until contracting pneumonia, which caused his death at age 85.

Best remembered by the public for his starring role as John Walton Sr. on The Waltons (1971).

Friends with: Michael Learned, Ellen Corby, Will Geer, Joe Conley, Ronnie Claire Edwards, Noble Willingham, Wilford Brimley, William Schallert, Mary Jackson, Jack Warden, Edward Asner, Earl Hamner Jr., Harry Harris, Larry Hagman, Hal Williams, Nora Marlowe, Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Dinah Shore, John Ritter, Mariclare Costello, Lewis Arquette, Lynn Hamilton, Pearl Shear, John Aniston, and E.G. Marshall.

Graduated from White Plains High School in White Plains, New York, in 1946.

Did not want to play the lead role in The Waltons (1971) series, because he didn't want to be committed in doing a long-running TV series, but Earl Hamner Jr. encouraged him to do so.

Acting mentor and friends of Richard Thomas and Mary McDonough.

Father of Sharon, Kathleen and Suzanne.