Longtime actor Ralph Waite, star of the classic television series ‘The Waltons’, and more recently known for his guest starring roles on ‘Bones’ and ‘NCIS’, passed away Thursday afternoon in his California home at the age of 85.

Already a known actor after parts in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and ‘Bonanza’, Waite would become a household name during his 9-year-run as the patriarch of the Walton family in ‘The Waltons’ and its later television movies.  Waite would be nominated for an Emmy for his work on ‘The Waltons’, but also for his role in the television event ‘Roots’in 1977.

Ralph Waite and Mark Harmon as Jackson and Leroy Jethro Gibbs on 'NCIS' (Image via CBS Television)

In the 90s, Waite took a couple breaks from regular acting work and ran for political office in 1990 and then again in 1998 for the U.S. Representative seat vacated when Sonny Bono passed away, but Waite would come up unsuccessful both times.

Lately, Waite has had regular guest star work on hit shows like ‘Bones’ and as Mark Harmon’s father, Jackson Gibbs, on several episodes of ‘NCIS’ over the past few years.  ‘NCIS’ star Pauley Perrette tweeted her condolences for Waite earlier today,

So Sad. Ralph Waite has passed away. Papa Gibbs. We love him at NCIS SO much. So so sad.

— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) February 14, 2014


via CNN