Gunnar Hansen

Gunnar Hansen created one of the most iconic roles in the history of horror as the terrifying Leatherface in Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974). As it happened, this was the Icelandic native's first ... Read more »
Born: 03/04/1947 in Reykjavik, IS

Filmography

Actor (11)

Hellblock 13 2014 (Movie)

The Executioner (Actor)

Sinister 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre 2009 (Movie)

(Actor)

Boogeymen II: Masters of Horror 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder-Set-Pieces 2005 (Movie)

Mechanic (Actor)

Freakshow (Talbot/Cooke) 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mosquito 1994 (Movie)

Earl (Actor)

Campfire Tales 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 1988 (Movie)

Cult Leader (Actor)

The Demon Lover 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974 (Movie)

Leatherface (Actor)

Biography

Gunnar Hansen created one of the most iconic roles in the history of horror as the terrifying Leatherface in Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974). As it happened, this was the Icelandic native's first film role: he had auditioned for the film un a whim while he was attending graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin. Although Hansen appeared in one more horror film in the '70s, the comparatively little-known "The Demon Lover" (1977), his academic career took precedence. It wasn't until he appeared in the tongue-in-cheek genre parody "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers" (1988) over a decade later that Hansen began appearing in films regularly. Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, Hansen appeared in a couple dozen low-budget horror films, many of which went directly to video. Throughout, he considered acting a sideline to his calling as a writer, editor and teacher. Gunnar Hansen died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68 at his home in Northeast Harbor, Maine on November 7, 2015. At the time of his death, Hansen was working on the film "Death House" (2016), starring Danny Trejo and Robert Englund; it was the first film on which he had a screenwriting credit.

Milestones

2016

Co-wrote and co-starred in "Death House," starring Danny Trejo and Robert Englund

2013

Had a cameo role in "Texas Chainsaw 3D"

1988

Returned to acting with a small role in the horror comedy "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers"

1977

Co-starred in Satanic-sacrifice horror film "The Demon Lover"

1974

Starred as Leatherface in "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"

Bonus Trivia

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Among the several books Hansen published during his life was the 2013 memoir Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie, his insider story of the making of the iconic horror film.

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