Johnny Hardwick, Voice of Dale Gribble on ‘King of the Hill,’ Has Died at 64

The comedian's tenure on the beloved cartoon series spanned over 200 episodes.

Johnny Hardwick, renowned for his multifaceted talents as a voice actor, comedian, and producer, most prominently recognized as the voice of Dale Gribble in the enduring Fox animated comedy King of the Hill, has passed away. He was 64.

During his extensive tenure on the show spanning more than 200 episodes, Hardwick not only lent his voice but also served as a writer and story editor. His exceptional contributions led to an Emmy Award win in 1999 for Outstanding Animated Program, along with two additional nominations in the same category.

Dale Gribble, a pivotal supporting character in King of the Hill, created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, held a central place in the series throughout its 13-season run, spanning 259 episodes from 1997 to 2010. A close friend of Hank Hill, Dale was known for his unrelenting paranoia driven by conspiracy theories. Hardwick's distinct voice breathed life into Dale across all 13 seasons, his portrayal encompassing 257 of the series' 258 episodes.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Hardwick's journey began as a local stand-up comedian, eventually capturing attention with an appearance on The Jon Stewart Show. A standout routine at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles brought him to the attention of Daniels and Judge, both instrumental in the creation of King of the Hill. The duo extended the invitation to Hardwick, inviting him to join their creative endeavor.

Beyond the animated classic, Hardwick made appearances on reality programs such as Ace of Cakes (2009) and Boomer vs Zoomer (2019). His legacy continued through various mediums, including video games like the King of the Hill game and the 2022 racing game Warped Kart Racers, featuring his archived recordings as Dale.

In January, a King of the Hill revival was officially confirmed by Hulu, with Hardwick slated to reprise his iconic role alongside returning voice talents including Kathy Najimy, Stephen Root, Pamela Adlon, and Lauren Tom.

READ MORE: 'King of the Hill' Revival Headed to Hulu