Texas Chain Saw Massacre star Gunnar Hansen dead at 68

Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books

Hansen’s actual face may not be familiar to most people, but he gained cinematic fame by covering his face as the iconic killer Leatherface in 1974’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre. In 2013, Hansen published the book Chain Saw Confidential which detailed the making of the film.

Hansen was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and came to the United States at the age of five, moved to Texas at age 11, and went on to attend the University of Texas, majoring in English and Scandinavian Studies. In 1973, he heard about a movie being made in the area and decided to give it a shot, interviewing with director Tobe Hooper and writer Kim Henkel. He won the part and the rest is history.

Hansen’s next screen outing wasn’t until 1977’s The Demon Lover and it was eleven years before he made another film, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers in 1988.
His Leatherface role gained him much admiration from horror aficionados, many of whom went on to make their own horror films, seeking Hansen out because of their admiration for him.

Hansen worked steadily from 1991 up until his death, making appearances in Campfire Tales, Freakshow, Hellblock 13, Chainsaw Sally, The Deepening, Swarm of the Snakehead, and Texas Chainsaw 3D.

According to IMDB, Hansen had two films in pre-productiton, The Gathering and Death House, on which he was a writer and producer. Hansen is survived by his partner of 13 years, Betty Tower.


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