He was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and moved to the United States at the age of 5. Gunnar lived in Maine till he was 11, then his family moved to Texas, where he went to high school and then the University of Texas. He majored in English and mathematics and then went to graduate school in Scandinavian Studies and English. Gunnar Hansen will forever be remembered as "Leatherface" the original slasher from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). His first job out of high school was as a computer operator. Hansen was a graduate from the University of Texas - Austin. He did some theater work in college. In the summer of 1973 he heard that Tobe Hooper and others were in town and were doing a movie and decided to give it a try. After interviewing with Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel, the writer of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, he got the part of Leatherface the retarded killer. After Texas Chainsaw Massacre he tried to make a living as a writer. Gunnar worked as a magazine editor for a while and then wrote for a magazine for several years. He have written several screenplays one with his partner Gary Jones (director of Mosquito (1995)). Hansen has also written books and some film documentaries. Gunnar, who is originally from Iceland, also directed a documentary on Greenland. He also spent some time designing web pages for GTE.