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Ralph Waite 1928-2014, age 85. He died peacefully of age-related illnesses. He was an American actor, voice artist, and political activist, best known for his role as John Walton, Sr. on The Waltons, which he occasionally directed. In addition, Waite appeared in many guest roles on numerous television series, most recently in a recurring role in NCIS as Jackson Gibbs, the father of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
IN LOVING MEMORY++++ Ralph Waite, known to Days of Our Lives viewers as the kindly and wise Father Matt, died at his Palm Desert home on February 13. The actor was 85. 2009 Waite became part of the soap opera family. From that time until 2013, Waite played Days of our Lives' Father Matt, who was a priest at St. Luke's and a trusted advisor to many of Salem's residents. He served as mentor for many in Salem. RIP.