Fast Facts

  • The eldest of five children.
  • Joined the Marines in 1946.
  • Following graduation from Yale Divinity School, became an ordained Presbyterian minister, but left after his eldest daughter died.
  • Worked as a religious book editor at Harper & Row.
  • Made his Broadway debut in the play Marathon '33 in 1963.
  • Unsuccessfully ran for Congress twice, in 1990 and 1998.
  • Founded an experimental theater company, the Los Angeles Actors Theater, in 1975.
  • Played the father of two leading men on two long-running series at the same time – Gibbs on NCIS and Booth on Bones.


  • 1978, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1977, Emmy — Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Series: Nominee


  • Liam Waite — Stepson
  • Linda East — Wife
  • Beverly Hall — Ex-wife
  • Kerry Shear Waite — Ex-wife
  • Kathleen — Daughter
  • Donald Waite — Brother
  • Suzanne — Daughter


  • Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States (BA, 1952); Yale University, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, United States (1956)

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  • Birth Name: Ralph Harold Waite
  • Birth Place: White Plains, New York, United States
  • Died: February 13, 2014
  • Profession: Actor

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