Johnny Hardwick, King Of The Hill Voice Actor, Dead At 64

Voice actor Johnny Hardwick has died at 64 years old, TMZ reported on August 10. The news outlet stated that law enforcement personnel told them Hardwick's body had been found during a welfare check on August 8, which took place in Texas, where the actor resided. The actor's cause of death has not yet been revealed, and authorities confirmed that no foul play is suspected.

Hardwick began his career in stand-up comedy and became best known for his portrayal of Dale Gribble on the hit comedy series "King of the Hill." Throughout his life, Hardwick had also voiced parts in projects such as the film "Natural Selection" and the music video for the Barenaked Ladies song "Get in Line." He received three Emmy Award nominations, and one Emmy win for serving as a "King of the Hill" producer, per the Television Academy. "King of the Hill" fans are devastated by the sudden news of his death.

Johnny Hardwick pitched a King of the Hill film prior to his passing

Before his untimely death, fate brought Johnny Hardwick to one of his most memorable roles. As reported by the Daily Mail, Hardwick was on "The Jon Stewart Show" and performed nationwide as his stand-up comedy career began to thrive. "King of the Hill" creators Greg Daniels and Mike Judge then took notice of the Texas native's comedy chops and asked if he'd like to write for the then-new show. This led to Hardwick serving as a writer, producer, story editor, and voice actor for "King of the Hill."

In the years leading up to his passing, Hardwick uploaded videos to his YouTube channel in which he portrayed the "King of the Hill" character Dale Gribble aka Rusty Shackleford. This included Hardwick performing a parody version of "Let It Be" as Dale in a video from 2022. Back in 2019, Hardwick was asked whether a "King of the Hill" reboot may be in the works while talking to YouTuber Mumkey Jones. "I will tell you, I would prefer to see a movie. I'll be happy to write it," Hardwick said. "I wrote one... Well, I got the pitch out." However, in early 2023 it was confirmed Hardwick was on-board for an official "King of the Hill" reboot picked up by Hulu.

Following TMZ sharing the news about Hardwick's death via Twitter, fans have been offering their condolences. One person wrote, "So sad. Prayers for his family." Another added, "RIP Johnny, you made some of the most formative years of my life a little bit brighter and happier."