RIP Gunnar Hansen, actor: 1947-2015

Gunnar HansenGunnar Hansen, the actor who portrayed Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has died from pancreatic cancer. He was 68.

Born in Reykjavik in Iceland, Hansen and his family moved to Maine when he was five years old. After completing graduate school in Texas, he learnt about the production of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and joined the cast as the mute, masked killer Leatherface. The film was released in 1974, and it was not long before Hansen’s character became one of the most iconic figures in the horror pantheon.

Although Hansen never reprised the role of Leatherface, he went on to appear in such films as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988), Mosquito (1995), Chainsaw Sally (2004) Brutal Massacre: A Comedy (2007) and Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009). As most of these titles suggest, Hansen’s later roles sometimes harked back to Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

His 2014 book Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie gave a behind-the-scenes look at the 1974 classic. Hansen also worked as a writer on the film Death House, which is currently in production.

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