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Actor Ralph Waite, patriarch of 'The Waltons,' dies at 85

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ralph Waite, who played the good-hearted but soft-spoken patriarch on the 1970s U.S. television drama "The Waltons," died on Thursday in Southern California, the actor's manager said. He was 85. Waite, who served in World War Two and was an ordained Presbyterian minister, is best known for the role of John Walton Sr. on the CBS drama about rural Appalachian life during the Great Depression.

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