RIP Gunnar Hansen
2015 continues to be a sad year for horror fans. Today we mourn the loss of another icon as news broke that Gunnar Hansen passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer, aged 68. Hansen was of course best know for his role as Leatherface in the groundbreaking 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a vital and important film for the genre.
What makes the news even more shocking is Hansen was a special guest this July at the UK’s first Horror Con in Sheffield. I was extremely lucky to meet Hansen and take a photo with him, a dream for any lifelong horror fan. He spoke about his famous role in a fantastic Q&A which I wrote about here. He was still extremely proud of the film and talked about how effective it still is to this day.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the main horror films that had an impact on me as a teenager, viewing it is like an adrenaline rush, its gritty, edgy and completely terrifying. It has everything a horror film should. Hansen’s performance was unforgettable, cementing Leatherface as one of the genre’s scariest villains. His performance is what made the film memorable and he is without a doubt the best creation of Leatherface there is.
Hansen was born in Iceland but grew up in the US. He resided in Maine for 40 years. He wasn’t just an actor, he wrote books and film scripts and was recently working on a film called Death House, due to be released next year, according to The Guardian.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to briefly meet him.
We will wield our chainsaws in his memory!
RIP Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface).
Hayley Alice Roberts.