Johnny Hardwick, celebrated for his iconic role as Dale Gribble in "King of the Hill," sadly passed away at 64, leaving behind a lasting legacy.
Hardwick's portrayal of Dale Gribble, the Texan conspiracy theorist, captured fans' hearts throughout the show's Emmy-winning run from 1997 to 2010.
On August 8, Johnny Hardwick breathed his last at his Austin, Texas home. His character's popularity endured, even as the show's reruns streamed on Hulu and plans for a revival took shape.
While the Austin coroner confirmed his passing, the cause of death remains undisclosed as investigations continue. Law enforcement officials discovered his body during a welfare check.
Born as John Michael Hardwick in Austin, he transitioned from a decade-long stint as a bartender in Texas blues bars to a career in comedy, performing at renowned venues like Dallas Improv and Velveeta Room.
Hardwick's appearances on shows like "Evening at the Improv" and "Caroline's Comedy Hour" gained him recognition, and he became the first stand-up comedian on "The Jon Stewart Show."
Despite an NBC sitcom offer, his venture into creating a show similar to "Green Acres" didn't gain traction. This setback paved the way for his iconic role on "King of the Hill."
Hardwick explored content creation on YouTube, gaining prominence with song parodies and monologues delivered in Dale Gribble's distinct voice. By 2023, his channel boasted 17,500 subscribers and 608,000 views.
Recognizing his Texan humor, Greg Daniels and Mike Judge invited him to join the writing team for the show. Hardwick's portrayal of Dale Gribble spanned the show's 13-year run, with 257 out of 258 episodes.
Hardwick's contributions as a producer and writer on "King of the Hill" earned him Emmy nominations and a role in the show's Emmy Award win. His passing is deeply mourned by co-creator Mike Judge and the entertainment industry.