In what has already been a terribly tragic year for we Fellow Fans, we here at LeglessCorpse are saddened to report that we have lost yet another irreplaceable figure in our beloved genre.
Gunnar Hansen, most famously known to us all as the original “Leatherface” from the 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has passed from this world. He was sixty-eight.
Though best known for his creating the role of the legendary chainsaw-wielding cannibal, Hansen has long been a part of horror filmdom, with roles in such films as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Campfire Tales, Murder-Set Pieces, Chainsaw Sally, Freakshow, Harpoon (a.k.a. The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre ) and Mosquito, just to scratch the iceberg. One of his last appearances was a cameo in the nearly forty-year after-the-fact sequel to the film that made him famous, Texas Chainsaw 3D.
Along with his acting, Hansen was a devoted writer, his most well-known works being his travel memoir Islands at the Edge of Time: A Journey to America’s Barrier Islands, and the book Chain Saw Confidential, which chronicled the making of, impact, and influence of the iconic film that made him famous to we Fellow Fans. Along with these works, Hansen also did writing for screenplays and documentaries — at the time of his death, pre-production has begun on his last screenplay, Death House.
He will be remembered as the creator of one of the most iconic roles in all of horror and as a popular and beloved guest at conventions and other public appearances. The grace and passion evidenced in his writings reveal a strong heart beneath the famously sinister roles that he played, and those that knew him remember his intelligence, warmth, and kindness — for all of these things, he will be missed.
Godspeed, Gunnar. Thank you for the nightmares, and the legacy that you leave us with.