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Ralph Waite (I) (1928–2014)

Ralph Waite was born in White Plains, New York on June 22, 1928. Educated at Bucknell University where he graduated with a BA degree, Waite existed rather aimlessly as a young adult while trying to find his way in the world. Occupations came and went, including social worker, religious editor for Harper & Row, and even Presbyterian minister after ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Known For

The Waltons
The Waltons John Walton, Sr.
The Bodyguard
The Bodyguard Herb Farmer
Cliffhanger Frank
Cool Hand Luke


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (87 credits)
 2013 Old Henry (TV Short)
 2011 25 Hill
 2008 Generation Gap (TV Movie)
 2008 The Cleaner (TV Series)
Jonus Mullins
- Lie with Me (2008) ... Jonus Mullins
 2007 Cane (TV Series)
Father Mike
 2007 Cold Case (TV Series)
Felton Metz '07
 2004 Silver City
Casey Lyle
 2003 Blessings (TV Movie)
 2001 Spirit (TV Movie)
 2001 All My Children (TV Series)
- Episode #1.8064 (2001) ... Bart
 2000 Timequest
The Time Traveler
 2000 The President's Man (TV Movie)
President Mathews
 1999 Chicken Soup for the Soul (TV Series)
- A Secret Promise Kept (1999) ... Dad
 1999 Rocket Power (TV Series)
Doc Freimouth
- Fall and Rise of Sam/Typhoid Sam (1999) ... Doc Freimouth (voice)
 1999 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
Gene Morton
- Small Friends (1999) ... Gene Morton
 1997 The Third Twin (TV Movie)
Senator Proust
 1997 A Walton Easter (TV Movie)
John Walton
 1997 Orleans (TV Series)
Otis Leblanc
 1995 A Walton Wedding (TV Movie)
John Walton
 1995 A Season of Hope (TV Movie)
Sam Hackett
 1994 Keys (TV Movie)
Dr. C.J. Halligan
 1994 Sioux City
Drew McDermott
 1994 Sin & Redemption (TV Movie)
Cal Simms
 1994 Time Trax (TV Series)
Lamont Carson
- Missing (1994) ... Lamont Carson
 1992 The Bodyguard
Herb Farmer
 1990 Crash and Burn (Video)
Lathan Hooks
 1990 Shannon's Deal (TV Series)
- Hitting Home (1990) ... Harry
 1990 Sparks: The Price of Passion (TV Movie)
Orville Lemon
 1989 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
D.A. Paul Robbins
- Alma Murder (1989) ... D.A. Paul Robbins
 1989 Red Earth, White Earth (TV Movie)
 1988 The River Pirates
 1985 Crime of Innocence (TV Movie)
Frank Hayward
 1984 Growing Pains (TV Movie)
 1984 A Good Sport (TV Movie)
Tommy O'Bannon
 1981 The Gentleman Bandit (TV Movie)
Father Bernard Pagano
 1980 Angel City (TV Movie)
Jared Teeter
 1980 On the Nickel
 1980 OHMS (TV Movie)
Floyd Wing
 1977 Waiting for Godot (TV Movie)
 1977 Red Alert (TV Movie)
Henry Stone
 1977 Roots (TV Mini-Series)
- Part III (1977) ... Slater
- Part II (1977) ... Slater
- Part I (1977) ... Slater
 1976 The Secret Life of John Chapman (TV Movie)
John Chapman
 1973 The Thanksgiving Story (TV Movie)
 1973 The Stone Killer
 1973 Kid Blue
 1972 Trouble Man
Pete Cockrell
 1972 The Magnificent Seven Ride!
Jim Mackay
 1972 Girls on the Road
 1972 Chato's Land
Elias Hooker
 1971 Nichols (TV Series)
Sam Burton
- The Specialists (1971) ... Sam Burton
 1971 The Grissom Gang
 1971 The Sporting Club
 1971 The Pursuit of Happiness
Detective Cromie
 1970 Five Easy Pieces
Carl Fidelio Dupea
 1970 Bonanza (TV Series)
Hoby Miles
- The Lady and the Mark (1970) ... Hoby Miles
 1969 Last Summer
Peter's Father (uncredited)
 1967-1968 N.Y.P.D. (TV Series)
Robert Stryker
- Murder for Infinity (1967) ... Robert Stryker
 1968 A Lovely Way to Die
Sean Magruder
 1967 The Borgia Stick (TV Movie)
Man from Toledo
 1966 Hawk (TV Series)
- Death Comes Full Circle (1966) ... Chauffeur
 1954 Look Up and Live (TV Series)
Show Show Director (3 credits)
Show Show Producer (2 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (1 credit)
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Show Show Self (11 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

He acted in Arthur Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman," at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey with Lisa Richards, Rob Sedjwick and Sean Runnette in the cast. David Wheeler was director. Michael Anania was scenic designer. Dennis Parichy was lighting designer. Gregg Barnes was costume designer. See more »

Publicity Listings:

2 Articles | 1 Magazine Cover Photo | See more »


6' (1.83 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

You only mature when you face problems you can't deal with. See more »


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. See more »


The role of John Walton Sr. on _"The Waltons" (1972)_. See more »

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