Robert A. Burns

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Robert A. Burns
Born (1944-05-27)27 May 1944
Died 31 May 2004(2004-05-31) (aged 60)[1]
Occupation Art director
Years active 1974-1989
Notable work The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
The Howling

Robert A. Burns (May 27, 1944 - May 31, 2004) was an American art director and production designer who worked on many films including The Texas Chain saw Massacre,[2] The Hills Have Eyes,[3] The Howling,[2] Re-Animator,[2] and From Beyond.[2]


Burns attended the University of Texas where he was editor of The Texas Ranger.[4]

Burns first entered the film industry as the casting director[5] and art director[6] of Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. His work on the film is notable for the realistic "bone decor" of The Sawyer Family's farm house.[7]

His work garnered notice in the industry and work on other future horror classics followed including Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes, Joe Dante's The Howling, and Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator.

Burns was also an expert on Rondo Hatton[6] and had aspired to make a film about the actor.[8] His passion was such that he held parties to celebrate Hatton's birthday.[9] An upcoming documentary titled Rondo and Bob [10] looks at the lives of both Burns and Hatton.[11]


Burns died on May 31, 2004.[1] It was reported that he was suffering from cancer of the kidney.[12] His death was investigated as a suicide with Burns leaving a farewell note on his website with a photo of him stretched out in front of a tombstone with his name on it.[13]

Selected filmography[edit]

Art director[edit]




  1. ^ a b "'Chainsaw Massacre' art director, 60, dies". United Press International. June 3, 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Kosanke, Dave (May 2011). "30 Years of The Howling". HorrorHound. 1 (29): 41.
  3. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2004). Wes Craven: The Art of Horror. McFarland & Company. p. 59. ISBN 9780786419234.
  4. ^ Whittaker, Robert (October 3, 2014). "Cowboys vs. Hippes: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Subtext". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Hansen, Gunnar (2013). Chain Saw Confidential. Chronicle Books. p. 15. ISBN 9781452129501.
  6. ^ a b Jaworzyn, Stefan (2003). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion. Titan Books. p. 251. ISBN 9781840236606.
  7. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2009). Eaten Alive at a Chainsaw Massacre: The Films of Tobe Hooper. McFarland & Company. p. 14. ISBN 9781476613352.
  8. ^ Duryea, Bill (June 27, 1999). "In love with a monster". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "Bill "Leatherface" Johnson Interview!!!". Brain Hammer's Picks From The Crypt. October 5, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  10. ^ "Rondo and Bob". Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  11. ^ "Documentary on man who put the gore in 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'". Austin American-Statesman. June 4, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  12. ^ Lentz III, Harris M. (2005). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland & Company. p. 62. ISBN 9780786452095.
  13. ^ Kelso, John (June 2, 2004). "'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' art director dead at 60". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved April 14, 2017.

External links[edit]