"Waltons" Star Ralph Waite Dies at 85

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Actor Ralph Waite, best know as Pa Walton from the TV series "The Waltons" has died at the age of 85.

Waite starred as the patriarch John Walton Sr. of the iconic TV family from 1972 to 1981.

He also dabbled in politics, attempting several unsuccessful bids for Congress as a Democrat in the Palm Desert area.

Waite continued acting into his 80's, with appearances on current hit shows like "NCIS" and "Bones."

An accountant for Waite's family and his church confirmed his death.

Neither disclosed the cause of death.

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