Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Ralph Waite Biography

Birth Name:
Ralph Harold Waite
Birth Place:
White Plains, New York, United States

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


  • 1978Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: nominated