It is with a heavy heart that we must report that the man responsible for one of the worlds most iconic horror films, Gunner Hansen, has passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Hansen was best known for his role as the original Leatherface in 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Hansen died in his home a battle with pancreatic cancer. His agent, Mike Eisenstadt confirmed the death with USA Today and told them that Hansen’s best known character, “is one of the most iconic evil figures in the history of cinema.”
Hansen currently had a handful of films in production including a new celebrity studded horror movie called Death House, for which Hansen is listed as the original writer and would’ve been set to star alongside the likes of Danny Trejo, Robert Englund, and Douglas Bradley.
Hansen was originally from Reykjavik, Iceland, but moved to the United States at the age of 5. According to his bio on IMDB, “His first job out of high school was as a computer operator. Hansen was a graduate from the University of Texas – Austin. He did some theater work in college. In the summer of 1973 he heard that Tobe Hooper and others were in town and were doing a movie and decided to give it a try. After interviewing with Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel, the writer of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, he got the part of Leatherface the retarded killer. After Texas Chainsaw Massacre he tried to make a living as a writer.”
RIP Gunner Hansen; 03/04/1947 – 11/07/2015