Ralph Waite - Rotten Tomatoes

Ralph Waite

Highest Rated:   100% Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Lowest Rated:   25% Letters To God (2010)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   White Plains, New York, USA
Upon earning his BA at Bucknell University, Ralph Waite embarked upon no fewer than three careers before deciding upon acting. First, Waite was a social case worker in New York's Westchester County, a job he quit after running into the stone walls of indifference and bureaucracies. Then, after spending three years at the Yale School of Divinity, he was a practicing Presbyterian minister; this, too fell by the wayside due to Waite's unwillingness to conform to church protocol and his disenchantment over the perceived hypocrisy of his fellow clerics. Finally, he worked as a religious editor for the publishing firm of Harper & Row. This job might have panned out, but Waite, separated from his wife and suffering an identity crisis, felt the need to "prove himself" by entering a tougher, more competitive field. Thus, at the age of 30, Waite began taking acting lessons. His professional debut in the off-Broadway production The Balcony proved so disastrous that it is little wonder he chooses to regard his 1965 Broadway bow in Hogan's Goat as the true beginning of his career. After an excellent showing as Jack Nicholson's impotent brother in Five Easy Pieces (1971) the offers began pouring in. In 1972, Waite was cast as John Walton in the immensely popular TV series The Waltons. During the nine-season run of that ratings bonanza, Waite helped form the Los Angeles Actors' Theatre. He also was prominently featured in the blockbuster miniseries Roots (1977), and wrote and directed (but did not star in) the 1980 film On the Money. His post-Walton credits included the TV series Mississippi, the film Cliffhanger (1993) and TV movies Crash and Burn and Sin and Redemption. Towards the end of his career, he had a recurring role on Day of Our Lives as Father Matt, and played the father of two leading men on two long-running series - Gibbs on NCIS and Booth on Bones. Waite died in 2014 at age 85.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Gabe the Cupid Dog
  • RL Dutton
2012
No Score Yet 25 Hill
  • Ed
2011
25% Letters To God
  • Cornelius Perryfield
$1.2M 2010
No Score Yet Ace Ventura Jr.: Pet Detective
  • Grandpa Ventura
2009
No Score Yet Generation Gap
  • Chick
2008
48% Silver City
  • Casey Lyle
$0.9M 2004
No Score Yet Time Quest
  • Actor
2003
80% Sunshine State
  • Furman Temple
$2.9M 2002
No Score Yet Spirit
  • Jacob
2000
No Score Yet The President's Man
  • President Mathews
2000
No Score Yet Ken Follett's 'The Third Twin'
  • Sen. Proust
1997
53% Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco
  • Shadow
1996
No Score Yet Sin and Redemption
  • Cal Simms
1994
No Score Yet Sioux City
  • Drew McDermott
1994
No Score Yet Keys
  • Actor
1994
31% The Bodyguard
  • Herb Farmer
1992
36% Desperate Hours
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Sparks: The Price of Passion
  • Orville Lemon
1990
No Score Yet Crash and Burn
  • Lathan Hooks
1990
No Score Yet Snake Treaty
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Crime of Innocence
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet A Day for Thanks on Waltons' Mountain
  • John Walton
1982
No Score Yet On the Nickel
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
  • C.G.
1980
No Score Yet Angel City
  • Jared Teeter
1980
No Score Yet The Waltons: A Christmas Carol
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Red Alert
  • Henry Stone
1977
No Score Yet Kid Blue
  • Drummer
1973
No Score Yet The Stone Killer
  • Mathews
1973
No Score Yet Girls On The Road (Hot Summer Week)
  • John
1973
No Score Yet The Waltons
  • John Walton
1973
No Score Yet The Magnificent Seven Ride!
  • Jim MacKay
1972
No Score Yet The Waltons The Children's Carol
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Trouble Man
  • Pete Cockrell
1972
80% Lawman
  • Jack Dekker
1971
67% The Grissom Gang
  • Mace
1971
No Score Yet Chato's Land
  • Elias Hooker
1971
No Score Yet The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Detective Cromie
1971
No Score Yet The Sporting Club
  • Olson
1971
87% Five Easy Pieces
  • Carl Dupea
1970
86% Last Summer
  • Peter's Father
1969
100% Cool Hand Luke
  • Alibi
1967

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Bones
2005
  • Hank Booth
  • 2013
  • 2011
  • 2009
No Score Yet NCIS
2003
  • Jackson Gibbs
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
70% Grey's Anatomy
2005
  • Irving Waller
  • 2009
No Score Yet CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
2000-2015
  • Sheriff Montgomery
  • 2008
No Score Yet Cold Case
2003-2010
  • Felton Metz
  • 2007
No Score Yet The Practice
1997-2004
  • Walter Josephson
  • 2004

Quotes from Ralph Waite's Characters