Gunnar Hansen, the actor who first stretched cinema’s most unsettling mask over his head and delivered the iconic Leatherface to our nightmares, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer in Maine. The star of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 drive-in classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre was 68.
“May you spin with your chainsaw at magic hour forever more,” tweeted Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead. Wright, of course, was referring to the indelible image of Hansen’s psycho Leatherface handling his killer chainsaw like a demented baton-twirling cheerleader. On Facebook, John Dugan, the actor who played Leatherface’s grandfather, wrote “So long Gunn, my old friend……You’ll forever be alive in my heart.”
Tweeted Stephen King, a friend and fellow Mainer: