Gunnar Hansen who played villain Leatherface in original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, has died aged 68, his agent has confirmed. The Icelandic-born actor passed away on Saturday (November 7th) after suffering from pancreatic cancer, at his home in Maine, US.

Speaking to the BBC, Hansen's agent Mike Eisenstadt called Leatherface "one of the most iconic evil figures in the history of cinema.” In the original film, Leatherface and his family of grave-robbing cannibals terrorise a group of five friends who are visiting their grandfather's country house.

On twitter tributes flooded in for the horror icon, from friends and fellow film industry members. "We're sad to hear that Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, has passed away,” The British Film Institute tweeted.

More: Read our review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

“Farewell Gunnar Hansen,” British director Edgar Wright wrote. “May you spin with your chainsaw at magic hour forever more.” While journalist Mark Kermode added, “Sad news about the passing of Gunnar Hansen. Interviewed him a few times and found him — and so many horror icons — to be utterly charming.”

Hansen was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and moved to the US when he was five years old. Before his acting career started he studied English and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Texas. Alongside his film work Hansen was also a keen naturalist and published a book titled Islands at the Edge of Time in 1993 which depicted his journey along America's barrier islands from Texas to North Carolina. He is survived by his partner of 13 years, Betty Tower.