Johnny Hardwick, who voiced chain-smoking exterminator Dale Gribble for all 13 seasons of the Fox animated hit. King of the hill, has died. She was 64 years old.
Hardwick’s death was confirmed Thursday by the Austin Medical Examiner’s Office. No details available. TMZ reported He was pronounced dead at his home in Austin on Tuesday and no crime was suspected.
Hardwick voiced Dale, the conspiracy theorist who lives next door to his best friend, propane accessory salesman Hank Hill (co-creator Mike Judge), from 1997 to 2010 and was also a writer, story editor and producer on the program.
Dale is said to have been drawn by the animators to look (and smoke) like Hardwick, and he appeared in over 250 episodes. He shared an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1999 and was nominated again in 2001 and 2002.
in a interview 2019, Hardwick said that he loved working on the show because he didn’t have to do makeup or memorize lines. “I did it all the time and I was completely anonymous…that meant a lot to me,” he said.
Hardwick was ready to participate in a revival of King of the hill on Hulu, it was announced in January. She also had a YouTube channel where she performed songs like Dale.
Born in Houston in 1958, John Michael Hardwick graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in journalism, worked as a comedian in clubs in Dallas and Austin, and was the first comedian on Jon Stewart’s MTV show. He was offered a sitcom on NBC, but that didn’t work out.
King of the hill co-creator Greg Daniels hired Hardwick for a writing job after seeing him perform on The Improv, and he went to work for him rather than accept another offer to work as a regular on the MTV series. Austin Stories.
Daniel Stern was brought in to voice Dale, but he had a dispute over money and was replaced by Hardwick in time for the pilot.
Abbey White contributed to this report.