Gunnar Hansen

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Gunnar Hansen
Gunnarhansen.jpg
Hansen at Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland, OH, April 4, 2009
Born (1947-03-04) March 4, 1947 (age 67)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Occupation Actor

Gunnar Milton[citation needed] Hansen (born March 4, 1947) is an Icelandic-born American actor and author best known for playing the mentally impaired cannibal Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

Early life[edit]

Hansen was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, and moved to the United States when he was five. He lived in Maine until age eleven, when his family moved to Texas, where he attended both Austin High School and the University of Texas at Austin. He majored in English and mathematics as an undergraduate, and then went to graduate school in Scandinavian Studies and English.

Career[edit]

His first job out of high school was as a computer operator, before he began theater work during college. He was also a football player during high school, and for a while a bar bouncer. In 1973, just after finishing graduate school, Hansen heard that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was being filmed in Austin and decided to try out. He got the part of Leatherface, the masked killer in the movie. Hansen apparently visited and studied special needs kids to determine mannerisms for Leatherface.

After the success of the movie, Hansen co-starred in Demon Lover, but after the experience he decided not to continue acting, instead pursuing a writing career. In 1975, after one extra year of graduate school, Hansen moved back to Maine and started writing. During this time he rejected a part he was offered in the cult horror film The Hills Have Eyes.

After writing (and occasionally editing) for magazines and writing books, Hansen returned to acting in 1988, appearing in the horror spoof Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, and has appeared in 20 films since. He considers his recent acting as a side project and has continued to write books. He has also written film scripts, and writes and directs documentary films.

Hansen is also an author; his nonfiction travel memoir, Islands at the Edge of Time, A journey to America's Barrier Islands, was published in 1993. 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 has taught college as an adjunct instructor.

Leatherface actors(Gunnar Hansen, R.A. Mihailoff and Bill Johnson) from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) and Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) at Days of the Dead Indianapolis 2012.

Filmography[edit]

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Leatherface
1977 The Demon Lover Prof. Peckinpah
1988 Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers The Stranger
1991 Campfire Tales Ralph
1995 Exploding Angel Walter
Mosquito Earl
Freakshow Freakmaster Direct-to-video
1996 Repligator Dr. Kildare
1999 Hellblock 13 The Executioner Direct-to-video
2002 Hatred of a Minute Barry
Witchunter Michael Jones Direct-to-video
Rachel's Attic Ronald
Sinister The Piper Short film
2003 Next Victim Doctor Howard
2004 The Business Grandfather Short film, direct-to-video
Chainsaw Sally Daddy
Murder-Set-Pieces Mechanic
2005 Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen Reggie
Wolfsbayne The Elder
2006 Swarm of the Snakehead Gunner
The Deepening Dr. Chambers
2007 Brutal Massacre: A Comedy Krenshaw
Shudder Direct-to-video
Gimme Skelter Porter Sandford
2009 Won Ton Baby! Dr. Kurt Severson
It Came from Trafalgar Tex Ghoul
Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre Captain Pétur
2012 Texas Chainsaw 3D Boss Sawyer, Leatherface (Archive Footage) Cameo

As self[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Heins, Catherine (July 29, 1998). "White Bird's trail fading – Many convinced trans-Atlantic flier made it to Maine". Bangor Daily News. 

External links[edit]