Ralph Waite dead: The Waltons star passes away aged 85
The actor, who played John Walton in the popular TV series, has died
Ralph Waite, who played the patriarch of a tight-knit Southern family The Waltons, has died, his manager Alan Mills has confirmed.
Mills said that he did not know the cause of death.
He also said that he was surprised by the news, as he had been in good health previously.
Waite starred in the popular TV series, which ran from from 1972 to 1981, as John Walton.
"I am devastated to announce the loss of my precious 'papa' Walton, Ralph Waite," said Mary McDonough, who played his on-screen daughter Erin Walton. "I loved him so much; I know he was so special to all of us. He was like a real father to me. Goodnight Daddy. I love you."
Michael Learned, who played wife Olivia Walton, added that she was "devastated" by the death of "a good honest actor and a good honest man."
"He was my spiritual husband," Learned said in a statement. "We loved each other for over forty years. He died a working actor at the top of his game. He was a loving mentor to many and a role model to an entire generation."
Waite received an Emmy nomination for his role in The Waltons, and a second for his performance in ABC miniseries Roots.
During the 1990s, he ran for Congress in California three times as a Democrat - albeit unsuccessfully.
He remained a working actor until late last year, starring in '90s big screen hits such as Cliffhanger and The Bodyguard.
He also appeared in episodes of NCIS , Bones and Days of Our Lives.
Read More: Shirley Temple Dies, Aged 85
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland votes Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...