Ralph Waite came to act late in life, but his popularity did not stand in the way of that.
In the series “The Waltons,” he served in the Navy, enrolled at Yale University to study theology and worked as a social worker and minister before becoming prominent in the role of the Walton family patriarch.
Yet he wanted to try acting in his early 30s. He played an Emmy-nominated role in Roots, in addition to The Waltons, and later appeared in Days of Our Lives, Carnivale and NCIS.
Ralph Waite said his $10,000 a week salary for “The Waltons” was “obscene”
The Waltons ‘: Olivia and John’s love story was not just on the computer.
Waite landed roles in films including Cool Hand Luke and Five Simple Parts after choosing to pursue acting.
But it was the role of John Walton’s stern but caring father that made him immediately recognizable to millions of Americans.
In 1972, The Waltons premiered and ran for nine seasons.
During the Great Depression and World War II, the series followed the exploits of a large family living in rural Virginia. Michael Learned played Olivia, the wife of John Walton, while Richard Thomas played John-Boy Walton, their older son. Judy Norton Taylor, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, Ellen Corby and Will Geer were among the other cast members.
The Waltons soon became one of the decade’s most successful shows, and Waite earned an impressive salary.
The actor paid $10,000 a week in 1977, according to People, which is equal to around $44,000 today. He clarified that he raised $100,000 of his own money to open a theater in a rundown area of Los Angeles where people could watch shows for free. Waite told the publication that he considered the amount he received “obscene.”
The net worth of Ralph Waite was 2 million dollars.
In 1981, the series “The Waltons” was cancelled, but Waite returned between 1982 and 1987 to play John Walton in six reunion films. In several other films and television shows, including Bones, Murder, She Wrote, Cold Case, The Bodyguard and Sunshine State, he also continued to act. He also embarked on a political career, running twice for Congress, although he did not gain a seat.
Waite died at the age of 85 in February 2014. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his net worth at the time of his death was an estimated $2 million.
Ralph Waite still felt associated with the family of “The Waltons”
Decades after the “The Waltons” series was cancelled, Waite felt associated with the rest of the family and kept in touch and met regularly.
“In 2019, Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth Walton, told Fox News that her father realized on screen “that the bonds we formed were family-like bonds in this fictional family.
And that, ultimately, we were part of each other’s lives, whether or not we wanted to be.
And I think we have all remembered how special our journey has been and how lasting it has been for all of us.