The late Ralph Waite will be honored before the close of ‘NCIS’ Season 11, TVLine exclusively reports.
Waite, especially known for his role on ‘The Waltons,’ was also known and beloved for playing Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) father, Jackson Gibbs, on the hit CBS Navy drama. Earlier this month, Waite died at the age of 85, which caused ‘NCIS’ fans to wonder if the show would honor and recognize the passing of the TV vet.
Now, it looks like both Waite and Jackson Gibbs will both be remembered during the Season 11 finale.
A CBS spokesperson recently revealed, “[Showrunner] Gary Glasberg and the writers are working on something special to address the passing of Ralph Waite in the season finale to honor both the memory of Ralph, as well as the character of Jackson Gibbs.”
Not only did Waite bring the character of Jackson to life, but he also brought out another interesting quality of Harmon's Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The father-son duo was one relationship fans looked forward to seeing and growing on the show.
Waite made his first appearance on ‘NCIS’ in the Season 6 episode “Heartland,” where Ziva (Cote de Pablo), McGee (Sean Murray), Tony (Michael Weatherly), Abby (Pauley Perrette) and fans learned of Gibbs’ father, in addition to how the leading NCIS team member met his late wife Shannon. Of course, that episode also taught us about the formation of Gibbs’ rules.
Waite appeared in a total of seven episodes, with his last being this past November’s “Better Angels.”
In addition to ‘The Waltons’ and ‘NCIS,’ Waite also appeared in the miniseries ‘Roots,’ and had recurring roles on ‘Bones’ and ‘Days of Our Lives.’
‘NCIS’ returns with an all new episode tonight at 8/7c on CBS.