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NCIS Plans Ralph Waite Tribute in Season 11 Finale

Ralph Waite, Mark Harmon, NCIS Cliff Lipson/CBS

NCIS is saying goodbye.

The long-running CBS drama's season 11 finale will pay tribute to Ralph Waite, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 86. Waite had recurred on NCIS as Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) father, Jackson Gibbs.

"Gary [Glasberg] and the writers are working on something special to address the passing of Ralph Waite in the season finale of NCIS to honor both the memory of Ralph, as well as the character of Jackson Gibbs," a CBS spokesperson confirms to E! News.

TVLine first reported the news of NCIS' plan to pay tribute to the late actor.

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Waite, who played family patriarch John Walton Sr. on the classic drama The Waltons, made seven appearances on NCIS, with his final episode airing this past November.

After Waite's death, the NCIS cast and crew issued a heartfelt statement, saying, "Everyone at NCIS is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Ralph Waite. Ralph was family to us, a tremendous talent and a very special man. We truly cherish the time we had with him. Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones."

Star Pauley Perrette also took to Twitter, writing, "So Sad. Ralph Waite has passed away. Papa Gibbs. We love him at NCIS SO much. So so sad."

Waite also recurred on Fox's Bones and made memorable appearances on Grey's Anatomy, CSI and The Practice.

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