Ralph Waite was an American actor best known for his role as John Walton, Sr. on the 1970s CBS TV series The Waltons, which he also occasionally directed.
Born on June 22, 1928 in White Plains New York,he died February 13, 2014 (aged 85) in his home in Palm Desert, California. he was survived by his wifeLinda East (1982–2014) and 3 children.
He spent his years from 1965–2014 acting and after many years performing on Broadway he was called out to Hollywood in 1971 to work on “The Waltons,” about a rural Virginia family struggling through the Great Depression. He appeared on the Waltons through 1981.
In 2009 he came to Days Of Our Lives to play Father Matt which he played until his death this week. He also appeared on All My Children in 2001. His characters name was Bart.
Mr.Waite was about 40 years sober at the time of his death — was an alcoholic when he first began shooting “The Waltons.” He said it didn’t take long for him to realize he was living a life completely different to the role of the hardworking, reliable father he was playing on TV.
“I was a caring, responsible father to all of these kids,” he said. “But I was drinking the night before and being a drunk on the side. I found a way to get sober. “Hollywood changed my life,” he said. “It turned me into a human being.”
Ralph Waite was an amazing actor and an inspiration to many, who could hit you right in the heart with his varied performances. Soap fans will always remember him as the soft spoken, kind and understanding Father Matt, His presence will be missed.