Gunnar Hansen, Who Played Leatherface in ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre,’ Dies at 68

Gunnar Hansen Dead
REX Shutterstock

Gunnar Hansen, who played the horrific killer Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s seminal horror film “Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” died Saturday in Maine. He was 68 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

His iconic scene in the 1974 film was the chainsaw dance, where he maniacally twirled a chainsaw after the final victim escapes. Hansen’s character in the movie “is one of the most iconic evil figures in the history of cinema,” his agent Mike Eisenstadt told the Associated Press.

In 2013, he published a book “Chain Saw Confidential” about the making of the film.

Though he didn’t appear in “Texas Chain Saw” sequels, he went on to appear in other horror pics including “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers,” “The Demon Lover,” “Freakshow” and “Chainsaw Sally.” He was a regular at horror conventions.

Hansen was currently working on a film called “Death House,” which he wrote and produced, about a secret government facility where a horrific prison break takes place.

Born in Iceland, he moved to Maine with his family at the age of 5, and then to Texas, where studied at the University of Texas. He is survived by his partner, Betty Tower.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 3

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. 85wzen says:

    One of the Heroes of the silver screen!

  2. danyeager says:

    He appeared in 2013’s “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” as did Marilyn Burns.

  3. Ken says:

    Iconic scare-villain actor who’s freaked me out since I first encountered him at a CHAINSAW revival at TIFF in the late 70s. A very nice, gentle man in taped interviews I watched. Rest in Pieces, kind sir!

More Film News from Variety