Ralph Waite: ‘NCIS’ Season Finale Pays Tribute to Actor

By: Kimberly Ripley - May 14, 2014

Ralph Waite was the subject of a heartfelt tribute on the NCIS season finale on Tuesday evening. The actor passed away on February 13th at the age of 85. He played a recurring role on NCIS–that of Jackson Gibbs who was Leroy Jethro Gibbs’s (Mark Harmon) father. Waite was probably best known, however, for his role as John Walton, on the long running TV classic The Waltons.

Gibbs learned right off in the beginning of the show’s final episode of the season that his father had died of a stroke. He had to make a tough decision–one definitely not easy for the man known for saying “Semper Fi” to his fellow Marines. Gibbs had to decide whether or not to plan and attend a funeral for his dad or to go off and investigate a murder with his NCIS team.

Just in case you missed the episode and plan to watch it On Demand, this won’t spoil it for you, except to say Ralph Waite was honored in a most poignant way. Prior to the episode some of the cast members shared their own personal tributes.

Michael Weatherly (Tony DiNozzo) posted the following tweet, featuring Ralph Waite’s empty chair on the NCIS set.

Pauley Perrette mentioned the upcoming tribute in a tweet just a few minutes prior to the Tuesday night airing of the NCIS season finale.

The tribute for Ralph Waite featured flashbacks of Gibbs when he was just a little boy with his father close at hand. Actor Rob Norton played Jackson Gibbs in his younger years.

Did you watch the NCIS season finale as the show paid tribute to Ralph Waite? It was definitely an admirable send off–don’t you agree?

Image via YouTube

Kimberly Ripley

About the Author

Kimberly RipleyKimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.

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  • oldngrouchy

    I loved the tribute to Ralph Waite, I am a devoted CSI watcher for years. I watched ‘The Waltons’ and loved it also. A great tribute to a great actor.