This hurts. ABC7 is reporting that Gunnar Hansen, the actor to first portray Leatherface in the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE has passed away. He was 68 years old.
Anyone within the horror community that’s ever met Gunnar at a convention, screening or event can attest to the fact that he was easily one of the warmest, friendliest, most engaging and intelligent people you’d ever want to meet. Always courteous and gracious with the fans, and always a class act. I had the pleasure of moderating several panels with him over the years and those conversations always ended up being the highlight of those shows. After all, he was a horror legend & despite being nervous sharing a stage with him, he always immediately put me at ease with his kind demeanor.
Although most well known and recognized by genre fans for his indelible performance as Leatherface from the 1973 original CHAIN SAW, Hansen appeared in dozens of genre cult films over the years such as HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, MOSQUITO and BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY. He most recently cameo-ed in the latest installment of the Chain Saw franchise TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. On top of his film work, he was also a prolific writer that penned several books including his nonfiction travel memoir, Islands at the Edge of Time, A Journey to America’s Barrier Islands and his biography on the making of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE Chain Saw Confidential.
He will always be remembered and greatly missed.