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.