November 7, 2015 this amazing man passed away from pancreatic cancer.. the Horror Community lost another of its great icons, the one who played the Original LeatherFace, Gunnar Hansen..
He was born March 4, 1947, Reykjavik, Iceland and his family moved to the US when he was 5, they lived in Maine until he was 11 then they moved to Texas, where he went to high school then he went to the University of Texas, where he majored in English and mathematics and then went to graduate school in Scandinavian Studies and English. While in university he did do some theater work.
In summer of 1973 he heard of Tobe Hooper and his crew working on a film near his town, so he decided to try for an audition. After interviewing with Tober Hooper and Kim Henkel(writer of Texas Chainsaw Massacre) he got the part of LeatherFace. To prepare for the role he visited children with special needs to study their mannerisms for the role of LeatherFace.
He wanted to pursue a writing career which he did write and edit for some magazines and he did write some books, his nonfiction travel memoir, Islands at the Edge of Time, A journey to America’s Barrier Islands, was published in 1993, and in 2013 he wrote the nonfiction book Chain Saw Confidential, which focuses on the making and reception for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. In addition, he taught college as an adjunct instructor.
He was asked to reprise the role of Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), but declined, claiming that he was insulted by the idea of the original 1974 film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), being remade.
Even though he played one of the scariest serial killers of the screen, he was a very nice and gentle man to meet in person and was happy to talk to his fans about his work, i had the pleasure of meeting him at a Fangoria Convention in Los Angeles CA , April 2008, where he was most excited to share his work in the movie BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY..
i felt a kick in the chest when I saw the announcement of his passing, another Horror Great has left us..