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Johnny Hardwick, voice of Dale in ‘King of the Hill’, dead at 64

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Johnny Hardwick, the actor best known for voicing conspiracy theory-loving country boy Dale Gribble on King of the Hill, has died, 20th Television Animation and Hulu confirmed in a statement to ABC Audio Thursday. The stand-up comic turned voice actor was 64.

Hardwick’s voice was heard on all but one of the hundreds of episodes in the show’s 13-season run. He eventually became a story editor on King, winning an Emmy for the animated show in 1999.

He reprised the role of Dale opposite show co-creator and the voice of Hank Hill, Mike Judge, and other returning cast members, including Stephen Root, Pamela Adlon, Lauren Tom and Kathy Najimy, in new episodes bound for Hulu, but Hardwick wasn’t finished working on them.

In a statement from 20th Television Animation and Hulu, they called Hardwick “an incredibly beloved member of the King of the Hill family, whose tremendous talent, brilliant humor and friendship will be deeply missed by all who were fortunate enough to work with him over the past 25 years.”

The statement also referred to him as “one of the animation greats” whose voice “gave life to one of our most iconic characters, and he will be truly missed.”

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