The Waltons star Joe Conley has died at the age of 85.

The actor passed away on Sunday (07Jul13) at a care facility in Newbury Park, California. His cause of death is unknown but reports suggest he had been suffering from dementia.

Conley appeared in episodes of several Tv shows during the 1950s and 1960s, including Lassie, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Green Acres and The Brady Bunch.

His big break came when he landed the role of shopkeeper Ike Godsey in family drama The Waltons, starring in more than 170 episodes of the 1970s series before it ended in 1981.

Conley appeared in some of the show's reunion movies, and more recently boasted a role in Tom Hanks' 2000 film Cast Away.

Mary Beth MCDonough, who played Erin Walton in The Waltons, has paid tribute to her co-star, writing in a post on, "It is a a sad day... please keep him, (his wife) Louise, and his family in your prayers. RIP Mr. Godsey."