Actor Gunnar Hansen died at his home in Northeast Harbor, Maine from pancreatic cancer on November 7, 2015 at the age of 68.
Back in the late 90’s – when I was first getting into this whole horror game one of the first horror icons I got to meet was Gunnar Hansen. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I walked up to that table but it certainly wasn’t what I got. Gunnar was a soft spoken, highly intelligent monster of a man with the eyes of a wild man but the heart of a poet. I was transfixed by his soft, friendly demeanor and had a hard time placing this warm, friendly man behind that blood soaked apron.
Throughout the years our paths crossed here and there and I was always excited to read his writings and see any film work he participated in but by far his legacy will be that of Leatherface – to call that character iconic somehow does not quite do it justice and it’s all due to the way in which Gunnar approached the character and wild vibrancy he brought to the screen.
An entire genre raises its chainsaws in honor of a true legend. RIP Gunnar Hansen.
by: Dave Dreher