Who could this article be referring to?

The author describes, without naming, a person of the following description:

  1. Was soon to be a famous TV dad in 1968
  2. Ran for political office as a Democrat about thirty years later
  3. Is now dead.

She is intentionally refraining from naming him (the article describes a sexual assault she says he committed against her) but there’s a lot of info here. Who would this person be, based on that description?

Other info from the article:

The man was around 40 in 1968, and performing in a major stage role in a play in New York City.

I think I got it. I betcha it’s Ralph Waite of The Waltons. It matches the given facts. Age 40 in 1968. Stage roles in NYC in the 60s, certainly a TV dad in the 70s. Ran for office 3 times - all losses - in the late 90s.

Yup sounds right.

The Waltons was based on the made-for-TV movie The Homecoming, which aired in late 1971. I have very specific memories of this, so that part does not fit.

[Voice of Leonard Nimoy]: I shall now do a scan of TV programs that debuted in 1968…

Not that many actors ran for congress though. He could have been starting in on the Waltons project in 1968.

Simply throwing that out there without a name is pretty bad. If this actually happened and the author wants to publicize it she should name it. Given the possibility her story is not objective this sounds much like a case of regret after the fact. If it’s true she’s decades too late in coming forward.

ETA: If the incident occurred in 1968, then her statement that he was soon to be a TV dad could easily apply to a TV movie released late 1971.

After reviewing the TV schedules for 1967–1969 and looking at the stars of the new shows, this actor seems to be the only one who fits all the parameters: TV dad (though his show debuted in Fall 1967, rather than '68), performed on Broadway (at least early in his career), Democrat activist, now deceased:

Also around 40 in 1968.

I’m confused; what part does not fit?

That he was a TV dad in 1968? :dubious:

Even if this is in reference to The Waltons, I’m not sure I would call three–four years in the future “soon.”

It doesn’t say that he was a TV dad in 1968. The sentence reads, “In the winter of 1968, when I was an enterprising twenty-year-old, I had a big crush on a well-known actor who shortly became another of America’s beloved TV dads.” It also says he had a major stage role in New York at that time.

It if was November-December winter of 68, then that rules 1968 right out.

And three–four years is “shortly”? :dubious:

On the other hand, Ralph was performing on Broadway at the time. It would seem he is a better candidate.

Sitting here 47 years in the future, I’m willing to accept that three or four years later is “shortly.”

In terms of something that happened almost 50 years ago? “Shortly” is vague enough to cover it, in my opinion.

Why the waite?

Ralph Waite? John Walton? Jackson Gibbs?

No! That can’t be true.

But it can’t be Chester, either.

This really depresses me.

Wiki now includes this:

The cite is just to the Nussbaum article.

Some commenters on the HuffPo article also guessed it was Waite.

How journalistic of them.

What makes commenters journalists? Are you a journalist?