Voice actor and comedian Johnny Hardwick, best known for his voice as Dale Gribble on the animated sitcom King of the Hill, has died, authorities have confirmed.
Hardwick, 64, was found dead early Tuesday night during an urgent welfare check at his home in Austin, Texas, police told HuffPost.
There is no suspicion of foul play. His cause of death is being determined by the local coroner’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Hardwick was recognized as “one of the greatest animated films” in a statement from 20th Television Animation and Hulu, which ordered a remake of King of the Hill in January.
“Johnny Hardwick was an incredibly beloved member of the ‘King of the Hill’ family whose tremendous talent, brilliant humor and friendship will be sorely missed by all who have had the good fortune to work with him over the past 25 years,” reads the the explanation provided To media. “His voice breathed life into one of our most iconic characters and we will miss him dearly.”
Hardwick had reportedly not completed his vocal work for the series revival before his death.
The Texas native brought his talent to more than 250 episodes of the 13-season series. The hit show ran from 1997 to 2010 and won two Primetime Emmys. In addition to his voice work, Hardwick has served as the program’s writer, editor and producer.
His character, Dale, is a chain smoker, sunglass-wearing exterminator, bounty hunter, and conspiracy theorist who lives in the fictional town of Arlen alongside his best friend, propane and propane supply salesman Hank Hill.
Hardwick said he was originally hired as a writer for the show, but because of his stand-up comedy experience, he was invited to consider voicing a character. He said He “bonded with this Dale guy” and it became the only role he wanted to audition for.
“In the pilot he only talks about the government, and I was really excited about that myself,” Hardwick said.
After the series ended, he continued to voice Dale in his videos Youtube channel.
Several King of the Hill cast members took to social media to pay tribute to Hardwick following news of his death.
Pamela Adlon, who won an Emmy for the voice of Bobby Hill on the series, shared one Photo Thursday on Instagram of herself with Hardwick and others from the show while what she said was their last time together.
“Johnny was the most unique, tender-hearted, dirty-footed, devious-talented, quicksilver creature,” she wrote. “The memories are deep and long.”
Breckin Meyer, who voiced Dale’s son on the series, also recalled Hardwick in a social media post: Write: “I was fortunate enough to have Johnny Hardwick as my dad Dale for almost a decade. We will miss him so much!”