Ralph Waite

Description   [from Freebase]

Ralph Waite (born June 22, 1928) is an American actor, whose most notable role was playing John Walton Sr. on the 1970s CBS TV series The Waltons, which he also occasionally directed. He is also known for his portrayal of the slave ship third mate Slater, in the mini-series Roots. In addition, he has appeared in many guest roles on numerous television series portraying a large variety of roles. Waite currently has a recurring role in the TV shows, NCIS where he plays Jackson Gibbs, father to Leroy Jethro Gibbs played by Mark Harmon and also Bones where he plays Hank Booth, Seeley Booth's grandfather. Waite, the oldest of five children, was born in White Plains, New York, the son of Esther (née Mitchell) and Ralph H. Waite, a construction engineer. Before becoming an actor, Waite, served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948, graduated from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and briefly was a social worker. He earned a master's degree from Yale University Divinity School and was a Presbyterian minister and religious editor at Harper & Row in New York City before deciding on a career in acting.

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