Johnny Hardwick completed work on “a couple” episodes of Hulu’s forthcoming King of the Hill revival prior to his death earlier this month, TVLine has learned.
Hardwick voiced Hank’s bestie/neighbor, the chain-smoking, conspiracy-obsessed bug exterminator Dale Gribble in all 258 episodes of the erstwhile Fox series. It remains unclear if another actor will be brought in to finish what Hardwick started in the revival, which is slated to bow in 2024.
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Reps for 20th Television Animation and Hulu declined to comment for this story, beyond issuing this joint statement: “Johnny Hardwick was 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. Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family as we mourn the loss of one of the animation greats. His voice gave life to one of our most iconic characters, and he will be truly missed.”
As previously reported, police were called to Hardwick’s Texas home on Aug. 8 for a welfare check and discovered his body. A cause of death is not known, although foul play has reportedly been ruled out.
King of the Hill, which aired on Fox for 13 seasons, from 1997 to 2009, centered on propane salesman Hank Hill and his family and friends in Arlen, Texas. Hulu’s present day-set revival will once again take place in the fictional Texas suburb.
In addition to Hardwick, original stars announced to return for the continuation include Mike Judge (Hank and Boomhauer), Kathy Najimy (Hank’s wife Peggy) and Pamela Adlon (Hank’s son Bobby), along with Stephen Root as Hank’s barber pal Bill. Ashley Gardner is also on board as Dale’s wife Nancy, as is Lauren Tom as neighbor Minh and also Minh’s daughter Connie.
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