Friday, February 14, 2014

Ralph Waite (1928-2014)

They're mourning on Waltons Mountain again.

Just a few weeks after Joe Conley, who played Ike Godsey on The Waltons, had passed away, a core cast member has left us.

Ralph Waite, who played John Walton, passed away on Thursday at 85. Waite was still working as recently as a year or two ago, when he guest-starred on NCIS. His credits, in addition to The Waltons, included Roots, the films "Five Easy Pieces" & "Cool Hand Luke", and the short-lived 1985 drama, The Mississippi, which was his last starring vehicle.

As we documented in reviewing The Waltons, Waite was not the original choice for John Walton, as Andrew Duggan (Lancer) essayed the part in the pilot movie, "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story". Despite his other work, Waite will still be remembered for The Waltons, which, it can be said, was his break-through role.

It would be too easy to use a Waltons clip, so we'll go with the open & close from The Mississippi, albeit a German version, which is the only clip available.

Rest in peace, Ralph. At least John Walton now joins his parents in Heaven.

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