Comedian and actor Johnny Hardwick, best known for his role as Dale Gribble on “King of the Hill,” has tragically passed away. Law enforcement sources have revealed that on Tuesday they were called to Hardwick’s home in Texas for a welfare check, where they found his body. Foul play is not suspected at this time, however the cause of death is still yet to be determined.
Starting his career in 1990 performing stand-up comedy in Texas, Hardwick was quickly discovered and booked on “The Jon Stewart Show.” But it was his role as Dale Gribble, the conspiracy theory-obsessed friend of Hank Hill, that gained him most recognition. Featuring in a staggering 258 of the series’ 259 episodes, Hardwick’s portrayal remains an iconic one to-date. From one job to the next – exterminator, camp counselor, bounty hunter and of course propane salesman – Dale was the dynamic character that kept us in stitches for 13 years.
Hardwick will be remembered for his work both on screen and off. His impact on television comedy will forever be resonant.
Actor Johnny has passed away aged 64, having been associated with the TV show, ‘Dale’, since its inception in January 1997 and appearing in the last episode of the show’s run in 2010. Before his death, Johnny had been due to reprise his role for a revival of ‘Dale’, although it’s unclear if he ever completed this appearance.
Outside of his acting career, Johnny was known on YouTube for covering songs in a way that honoured and paid tribute to his character from ‘Dale’. Donning Dale’s trademark orange hat and shades, Johnny frequently addressed his fictional character’s signature move of defending himself by throwing pocket sand in his videos.
The entertainment industry is mourning the loss of an inspired performer who dedicated so much to his craft. Johnny will be sorely missed.