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Good night, John Walton: Ralph Waite dies of a 'tired heart'

Ralph Waite, star of "The Waltons," has died.
Ralph Waite, star of "The Waltons," has died.
Bennett Raglin/Getty

Ralph Waite, the star of the '70s show “The Waltons,” has passed away. He was 85 years old. According to a February 13 report by People, Jerry Preece, a friend of Ralph Waite's, said he died of a “tired heart.”

Ralph Waite was raised in rural New York, the son of a construction engineer. He appeared in movies such as “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Bodyguard.” In addition to his film and television career, he had also been a social worker and an ordained minister. He attended Yale Divinity School.

Co-star Michael Learned, who played Olivia Walton, admitted that she was “a little emotional” and that the news of the death of her television husband was “such a shock.”

“We were a real family,”Judy Norton, who portrayed Mary Ellen Walton, said of her time working with Ralph Waite. “We have all stayed in contact very much over the years.”

Ralph Waite is survived by his wife, twp daughters and one stepson. He was preceded in death by his oldest daughter.

Good night, John Walton. Good night, Ralph Waite.