The comedian, who hosts The Nerdist on BBC America and the @Midnight gameshow on Comedy Central, as well as the talkback show for The Walking Dead on AMC, announced the sad news on his Twitter feed.
"It destroys me to say that my dad died suddenly this morning," Hardwick tweeted. "I miss him. Hug your family. They're what's most important. #RIPBillyHardwick."
It destroys me to say that my dad died suddenly this morning. I miss him. Hug your family. They’re what’s most important. #RIPBillyHardwick— Chris Hardwick (@nerdist) November 16, 2013
Hardwick took a moment at the end of Sunday's episode of The Talking Dead to share the sad news.
“I just want to say something," he said. "I don’t want things to get weird. But my dad passed away suddenly yesterday."
"It was kind of a weird. I didn’t know if I was going to come into work,” he continued. “But I like this job, and it was a nice distraction. But I just want to thank everyone online. It was one of the times when the Internet was like, it was really nice.”
"And really quickly, the day before he died I had a really nice chat with him, and I was really lucky that I got to tell him how much I loved him," he said. "But look the holidays are coming up. They can be a pain in the ass, but I just want to say, your family is important, and you should take time to appreciate them in the midst of the traveling and all the crap that happens."
"And families can be weird, but just remember that they are important and they love you. And you should take some time to appreciate them. And I just want to say, ‘Rest in peace, Billy Hardwick. I love you, dad.”
Billy Hardwick, who reportedly suffered a heart attack, was a Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer and twice PBA player of the year.
He had the distinction of becoming the first professional athlete to star in a beer commercial when he filmed a 1969 Miller High Life ad, and owned Bill Hardwick's All-Star Lanes in East Memphis, Tenn.