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Ralph Waite dies at 85; actor played 'The Waltons' patriarch
Ralph Waite dies at 85; actor played 'The Waltons' patriarch

Ralph Waite, an actor who played the patriarch of a Depression-era Virginia family on the classic television series "The Waltons," has died. He was 85. Waite, a Palm Desert resident, died Thursday, his manager, Alan Mills, told the Associated Press. The cause was not immediately determined, Mills said. Waite had been in good health and appeared last year in episodes of the series "NCIS," "Bones" and "Days of Our Lives." "The Waltons," which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1981, starred Waite as John Walton; Richard Thomas played his oldest son, John-Boy, an aspiring novelist. The folksy drama about the large, close-knit family was set in...

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