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R.I.P. Gunnar Hansen, the Original Leatherface from ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

This year has been brutal as yet another legend has passed.

Leatherface will be joining Freddy Krueger’s father in horror heaven.

Gunnar Hansen, who played the original Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, died at age 68, according to his agent and ABC 7.

Hansen, who was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and moved to the U.S. at age 5, got his first role as the iconic, chainsaw-wielding Leatherface in 1973.

When you mention to anyone that you’re a horror fan, most people immediately think of Freddy, Jason, Michael, and of course, Leatherface.

Hansen will be missed greatly by the Bloody Disgusting family. We will rev our chainsaws in remembrance.



  • Patrick Cooper

    Just shared a car with him last year at Mile High Fest. He was so kind, warm, intelligent, and ALIVE. Goddamn you, cancer. Rest in power, Mr. Hansen.

    • Gadriel

      Obviously we are all horror (movie/comic book/novel/game/whatever) fans, and we all love the feeling that the movies give us.
      But, as you said, something like Cancer is the real horror that we all pray that we, or our family/friends never have to suffer.
      Cancer is the true horror we all have to fear.
      And I pray that none of us have to have our lives touched by it, but sadly I’m a realist I recognize that some of us will. So my thoughts go out to Gunnar’s family, and the BG members who have been touched by (or will be touched by) this horrible disease.

  • Jonathan Larsson

    Oh man, this is so sad.

  • Blade

    Damn dude :/ R.I.P
    His Leatherface was so good, his portrayal of the character was definitely the best IMO.

    • Gadriel

      Indeed. It was DEFINITIVE.

      There is a reason why his version of Leatherface is the iconic one.

  • John Blythe

    It has been a rough year for horror film icons specifically. Christopher Lee, Betsy Palmer, Rober D’Zar (Maniac Cop) and of course Wes Craven. RIP

  • joewaters

    rest in peace gunnar no one can play leatherface scarier and better than you

  • Gadriel

    I guess it’s a TCM marathon tonight.

  • alan70

    Terribly sad news. RIP brother.

  • James Allard

    Next year, at the Oscar Memorial segment, I had better see him flailing away, chainsaw in hand, from the end of TCM.

    • llcc1103

      amazing comment

    • Rafael Fernandez

      Agree, RIP Gunnar Hansen.

    • Gadriel

      Not a chance in hell.
      The Oscars only see it as a “horror movie” so won’t respect the guy enough (even though it’s one of the DEFINING horror movies) to show that scene.
      Now if it had been shot in black and white, and the chainsaw sound was subtitled into English from French……

      Y’all know it’s true.
      Horror movies are frowned upon by the Oscars.
      Hell, even The Exorcist isn’t a horror movie.
      It’s a “spooky thriller”.

      • AlanMorlock

        What it really depends on is weather or not he was part of the various actors guilds.

      • James Allard

        Sad, but most likely true Gadriel. Christopher Lee… well if he isn’t there will be fires in LA

  • Nathan Bradley

    RIP, I was hoping he would come back to the Chainsaw series at some point. At least we got one last cameo from him.

  • Hockey Machete

    It’s hard to believe that in one year we’ve lost all of Betsy Palmer, Wes Craven, and Gunnar Hansen.

    • Gadriel

      And, above all of them (but in no way in a disrespectful manner to those you mentioned, and several others) also Sir Christopher Lee.
      It kinda feels like a certain era is coming to an end.

      • Hockey Machete

        No offense taken.

  • Adaon Rel

    This has been such a terrible year for beloved figures from sci-fi and horror…Leonard Nimoy, Christopher Lee, Wes Craven, Roddy Piper…and Now Gunnar Hansen. May they all rest in peace.

  • Fracassi

    You changed the game. You were my original nightmare. As a kid it was the most haunting – the most disturbing. I remember the idea of wearing human skin for a face disturbing me, but still allowing for that sense of awe and wonder. I asked myself, “Why would someone do that?” Horror wouldn’t be what it is today without you. We live our lives and hope we can leave an imprint when we pass. You have left a huge imprint Mr. Hansen. Thank you.

  • Frank Popp Jr.

    Horrible news… TCM terrified me as a kid, Gunnar Hansen was an absolute gentleman when I met him a few years back – we talked about Mosquito for like 15 minutes…. he will be missed.

  • suffering

    a chainsaw star died……R.i.p you were my first trauma when i was kid

  • Vader the White

    This has been a very painful year for horror fans. Too many icons have been lost.

  • GinsuVictim

    I never had the chance to meet him, but he always seemed like a really nice guy who took time to visit with his fans. He will be missed. I’d always hoped to see him as Leatherface one last time.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Kicking myself in the ass (hard) for not going to Days of the Dead in Indy in 2012. Always wanted to meet him. Ugh, terrible news. F*ck 2015. RIP Gunnar. The best Leatherface.

  • RidleyScott

    Rest in peace Mr. Hansen. Without your terrifying, unhinged performance, TCM would not be the classic it is today.

  • John

    RIP Mr. Hansen. The original TCM is in my top 5 favorite horror films of all time. His Leatherface was both terrifying and strangely sympathetic.

  • James Packman

    Great boogeyman. .Shame about the shit film.

  • dejectedchuckle

    Fuck, man. Rest in peace.

  • RIP Gunnar Hansen and the true Leatherface…

  • eli

    Rest In Pieces sir (you know he’d want it worded that way)

  • Halloween_Vic

    Damm what was the reason of death? May he R.I.P!!! Nobody can play leatherface like he did!!! Blessings to him and his family.

    • Holden

      Cancer…very sad

      • Halloween_Vic

        Wow man… DO you know what kind of cancer? So sad man 🙁

        • Holden

          pancreatic cancer. I got to meet him at the Chiller Theater convention years back. He was a gentle giant. Super nice guy.

          • Halloween_Vic

            Damm that’s sad man 68 was still to soon…. He will forever be the best leatherface!!! Man is a Icon so sad to lose another great. 🙁

          • Gadriel

            My family has been touched by pancreatic cancer – it’s one of the worst,most painful, kinds there is. Not that there are “good” cancers, there are certain ones that you pray that don’t affect your loved ones.

  • Firefly15

    R.I.P. Gunnar

  • Louis Canoetson

    I hear that anus licker Andrew Bryniarski had some great things to say about him.

    • Yea, heard that too. Horror fans are loyal, I don’t think he knows he’s “that douche-bag that talked shit about Gunnar’s death” now lol. He won’t be able to do conventions or anything

  • I Am Colossus


  • Clowny01234

    I wish I could have met him twenty years ago when the entire cast visited Houston!…SMDH!.. I gonna watch the original on cable tonight..RIP..

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