NCIS Season 11 Finale to Feature Death of Gibbs' Father

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Ralph Waite, who memorably portrayed Gibbs’ father Jackson, passed away earlier this month, and NCIS is considering a season-ending sendoff to the recurring character.

“[Showrunner] Gary Glasberg and the writers are working on something special to address the passing of Ralph Waite in the season finale,” says a CBS spokesperson.

The top-rated series on TV as well as one of the longest-running, NCIS plans “to honor both the memory of Ralph, as well as the character of Jackson Gibbs.”

Jackson Gibbs Pic

Waite, who died at the age of 85, had made a total of seven on-camera appearances on the show as the father of Mark Harmon's Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

The elder Gibbs first appeared in the Season 6 episode “Heartland” and most recently in this NCIS Season 11 Episode 7, “Better Angels,” this past November.

Appropriately, Jackson's aging was a theme of that installment as the Gibbs men took a road trip to visit an old WWII buddy of Jackson's who was about to pass away.

The beloved actor’s lengthy TV resume also includes, most famously, The Waltons, and in recent years, roles on Fox’s Bones and NBC’s Days of Our Lives.

On Bones, he played the grandfather of David Boreanaz's Seeley Booth ... who must be Gibbs' nephew in that case? All kidding aside, he will be dearly missed.

Do you think NCIS should honor him in the season finale as planned? How do you think that development will be addressed without Ralph Waite on screen?

Share your comments, predictions and views with us below ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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NCIS Quotes

McGee: All right. Well you should probably know that Abby and I used to date?
Bishop: Ew. Like, each other?
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: Wait - isn't that a violation of rule 12, never date a....
McGee: It was a long time ago. After we'd broken up, one night I went to her lab. Found a scribbled piece paper; a list. Potential boyfriends had to fulfill certain conditions by a pre-arranged date or else, goodbye.
Bishop: Such as.
McGee: Things started off relatively normal: opening the door for her, flowers, putting the seat down. Then around number 8, it gets uh...
Bishop: What?
McGee: Does she know you have these?
Bishop: Does she know you have these?
McGee: Yeah she wasn't happy when she found out.
Bishop: These are all very specific.
McGee: Yeah.
Bishop: These ideas apply to you?
McGee: No those rules weren't in place when we were together. At least I don't think so.
Bishop: What's with the two month cutoff? Abby's sabotaging herself. I've seen stuff like this before. We have to talk to her.

‘You think you’re alone in the dark. Close your eyes. Remember everything good.’ My mom said that to me just before she died. Smart lady.