We have just learned that genre film icon Gunnar Hansen passed away yesterday, November 7th, at the age of 68. Most horror fans will know the actor as the original Leatherface in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 grindhouse infused slasher epic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The actor was born in Reykjavik, Iceland but moved to the states at 5 years old. His first big screen role was that of Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He also appeared in noteworthy horror titles like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, and Mosquito.
In addition to roles in many feature films, his IMDb bio says that he also worked as a magazine editor, a magazine writer, a screenwriter, an author, and he even directed a documentary film about his home country of Greenland.
Fans were often surprised after meeting Hansen because they would routinely discover that he was warm and engaging, the complete opposite of the persona of his most memorable character. Hansen was a regular on the convention circuit and will be dearly missed by his fans.
There has been no word at this point on a cause of death announced as of the posting of this announcement. Our thoughts are with his family and friends in this difficult time.