With the passing of actor Ralph Waite, his NCIS character Jackson Gibbs will need a proper exit from the series.
A fan of the CBS show asked TV Line whether or not Leroy Jethro Gibbs' father will be killed off and the website explained: "It's a safe bet that NCIS will acknowledge Waite's passing with a proper on-screen storyline."
However, TV Line also noted that the show's executive producer, Gary Glasberg, previously told the website that he had already been working on the season 11 finale. This could mean that Jackson Gibbs' fate might have to be dealt with during season 12.
Waite, a veteran actor whose career spanned over 50 years, died on Feb. 13 at the age of 85.
His NCIS family expressed their sadness over the death of the actor, who guest starred on the show since 2008.
"Everyone at NCIS is deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Ralph Waite," the cast and crew said in a joint statement. "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."
Some of his co-stars also took to Twitter to send their condolences.
"R.I.P. 'The Waltons' Patriarch Ralph Waite," Michael Weatherly, who plays Tony DiNozzo, wrote in reference to the late actor's popular role from the '70s and early '80s.
Pauley Perrette, who stars as Abby Sciuto, also tweeted, "So Sad. Ralph Waite has passed away. Papa Gibbs. We love him at NCIS SO much. So so sad."