A couple of weeks ago, we were hit with the heartbreaking news that Johnny Hardwick, the voice of Dale Gribble on King of the Hill, had passed away at the age of 64 after police officers did a welfare check at his Texas home.
This was some tough news for King of the Hill fans all around, as Hardwick’s voice has been one of the main staples of the show from its existence between 1997 to 2010.
On top of that, there’s also a reboot of the show in the works on Hulu, and Hardwick was expected to make a return as the voice of Dale. However, we didn’t know if they had already started recording for the reboot at the time of his death.
But, according to TVLine,we now know that they had already started recording for the reboot, and Hardwick reportedly recorded a few episodes before he passed away.
Reps for the 20th Television Animation and Hulu shared this joint statement about Hardwick’s passing:
“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.”
Man, if show creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels decide to keep Hardwick’s recordings, it’s gonna be bittersweet knowing that we’ll get to hear the iconic voice for the last time.
The reboot is reportedly keeping the original cast, which includes 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 will play Dale’s wife, Nancy, along with Lauren Tom as neighbor Minh, who will also play Minh’s daughter Connie.