Voice actor Johnny Hardwick has died. He was 64.
Hardwick — who was best known as the voice of Dale on King of the Hill — was found dead at his home in Texas on Tuesday, August 8, per multiple outlets.
TMZ reported that law enforcement was sent to Hardwick’s home to perform a welfare check on him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. An official cause of death has not been released, but the authorities have ruled out foul play, according to the outlet.
Hardwick was born in Austin in 1959 and studied journalism at Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he worked as a bartender before pursuing his dreams of comedy.
Before getting his breakout role on King of the Hill, performed stand-up throughout the ‘90s. He was also the first stand-up comedian to appear on The Jon Stewart Show.
In 1997, Hardwick joined the cast of the Fox animated series, voicing conspiracy theorist Dale, as well as additional voices, for 258 episodes. He also served as one of the series’ producers, writers and story editors.
In 2012, Hardwick launched his own YouTube channel but did not start creating content until three years later. He began to post videos of himself singing parody covers while dressed up as Dale and made various references to his iconic lines — including “pocket sand” — on the series.
In January, it was announced that a King of the Hill revival was in the works at Hulu with all of the original cast set to return. In addition to Hardwick, the show also featured the voices of Kathy Najimy, Stephen Root, Pamela Adlon and Lauren Tom.
“We are all so excited to welcome back Hank, Peggy and Bobby, and to see what they have to say about the world we live in and continue the conversations we began years ago,” said Craig Erwich, who is president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu and Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “This show has all of the perfect ingredients to meet this moment in animation at Hulu, and we’re so thankful to be having those conversations alongside this talented group.”
It is unclear if the cast has already recorded any of the new episodes and how they will proceed without Hardwick.