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What happened to Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s original cast from quitting fame to tragic deaths as remake hits Netflix

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FANS of the horror classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre have been eagerly awaiting the release of Netflix’s upcoming sequel.

The highly-anticipated addition to the franchise was first seen in a new teaser released by the streaming platform last week.

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The new Netflix version hit the streaming service last week[/caption]

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The original film burst onto screens in 1974[/caption]

Texas Chainsaw Massacre burst onto screens in 1974 – and nearly 50 years later, Netflix are set to drop an addition to the franchise.

The trailer for the new movie – which stars John Larroquette, Mark Burnham and Alice Krige – was released last week.

Finally released to Netflix days after the trailer, the prequel sees chainsaw-wielding killer Leatherface returning to the screens.

Terrifying a new generation of viewers, the streaming giant promised fans the action would see the killer terrorize a group of young teens.

It comes nearly 50 years after the original, which sold over 16.5million tickets in the cinema and grossed $30million in the box office.

While many with remember the horror cult classic – known as one of the most influential horror films of all time – not all fans will know what became of the iconic original stars.

Some of the OG stars – who were all relatively unknown local Texas actors at the time of casting – have gone on to have worldwide fame.

While others have enjoyed other careers outside the screen, there’s also been a fair share of tragedy following the death of one of the franchise’s best loved characters.

Here we delve into the lives of Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s original stars.


Sally Hardesty – Marilyn Burns

Marilyn Burns was born in 1949 in Pennsylvania before her family relocated to Houston, Texas – where she graduated from university.

She was one of the smaller actresses to be cast in the film, having had minor appearances in a number of flicks.

Marilyn was first case in Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud, before featuring in Lovin’ Molly and The Great Waldo Pepper.

She was then cast as Sally Hardesty in Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The character was a teen who, along with her paraplegic brother and friends, visited her grandparent’s spooky old home.

It was there the young character came face to face with cannibalistic Leatherface, who tried to murder her with a chainsaw.

Marilyn went on to enjoy a number of Hollywood roles after the film, including Helter Skelter – a series about serial killer Charles Manson.

The series was nominated for an impressive three Emmy Awards.

Later in her career, Marilyn reprised her role as Sally in 1994 film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

She also made a cameo in Texas Chainshaw 3D, just months before her shock death in August 2014, when she passed away in her sleep.

Marilyn suffered a heart attack and passed away aged 65.

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Marilyn played Sally in the film[/caption]

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She tragically passed away aged 65 in 2014[/caption]

Franklin Hardesty – Paul Partain

Paul Partain was born and raised in Austin, Texas in the 1940s before he joined the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.

When he returned from the battlefield, he began working in a restaurant inside a theatre, sparking his interest in acting.

In 1974, he was asked by his boss to audition for the movie Lovin’ Molly, and got a role in the flick, kickstarting his career.

He went on to be cast as Franklin Hardesty – Sally’s older brother – in the film franchise, despite auditioning for the role of a Hitch-hiker.

Following the success of the film, Paul went on to act in 1975 film Race with the Devil alongside Peter Fonda and Warren Oates.

He also appeared in 1966 film Rolling Thunder, before he decided to step back out of the spotlight and return to his electrical work.

Paul worked for Zenith Electronic Corporation for a decade before he made a cameo appearance in the Texas Chainsaw remake in 1994.

Paul tragically passed away from cancer in 2005 in his late 60s.

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Paul played Sally’s disabled brother[/caption]

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Paul sadly passed away in 2005 after working as an electical engineer[/caption]

Kirk – William Vale

William Vale was born in 1950 in Texas, and headed straight into a career in acting in his early twenties.

His first role was in 1974 short film No Chance before he was cast as Kirk in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Following the film, he went on to make appearances in other scary films Poltergeist, Implosion Man, Mausoleum and Final Demon.

Outside of acting, William also worked as a set designer, and helped to create the sets for a number of successful shows.

Among them were The Craigslist Killer, Gilmore Girls, American Tragedy, The Secret She Carried and Dead Before Dawn.

His last acting credit came in 2012 – as it appears the star retreated from the limelight and continued his life privately away from prying eyes.

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William’s last acting credit came in 2012[/caption]

Jerry – Allen Danziger

Allen Danziger was born in 1942 in the Bronx, New York – the same city where he graduated in Social Psychology in 1964.

He stumbled into acting at the University of Texas, where he studied for a masters degree – and made his film debut in 1969.

Starring in Eggshells, which was directed by Texas Chain Saw Massacre director Tobe – he decided to audition for the scary film.

He landed the role as Jerry, and despite the film’s success, he totally stepped back from acting after its release.

In 1978, Allen started his own entertainment company, Three Ring Service, which organised corporate events and parties.

He currently lives in Texas with his son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons – living a normal life away from the spotlight.

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Alan keeps away from the spotlight and has rarely been seen since the film[/caption]

Pam – Teri McMinn

Teri McMinn was born in Houston, Texas in 1951 – and was a keen actress from her early years, enrolling in theatre school.

She was cast as Pam in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre after director Tobe and producer Kim Henkel found her in the newspaper.

Following the initial film, she moved to Los Angeles to study acting before moving out to New York to become a model.

The leg and foot model starred in a number of American adverts and campaigns while also acting in theatres on the side.

Teri also starred in 1989 thriller The Cellar, and horror film Butcher Boys.

She currently lives in California, and is busy working on a new film called Awakening – which stars Jeremy Miller and Steve Collins.

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Teri played Pam in Texas Chainsaw Massacre[/caption]

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Teri (right) has been busy working on a new film lately[/caption]

Leatherface – Gunnar Hansen

Lead actor Gunnar was born in Iceland – but moved to the States when he was just a child, living first in Maine and then Texas.

He graduated from the University of Texas before working as a computer operator and bar bouncer, as well as pursuing American football.

Gunnar then turned his attentions to acting when he auditioned for the role as terrifying murderer Leatherface.

He took his starring role very seriously, and is said to have studied children with special needs in preparation for the tricky role.

After the movie, Gunnar’s acting career took off, and he starred in a number of trhillers including The Demon Lover and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

He also had roles in Campfire Tales, Mosquito, Freakshow, Exploding Angel and 1999 film Hellblock 13.

Gunnar was also offered roles in a number of cult classics over the years – but turned down a number of roles to fulfil others.

In 2013, he returned to the screens in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, where he played Boss Sawyer.

Gunnar was also an accomplished writer, having released two of his own books – Edge of Time and Chain Saw Confidential.

The star also wrote columns for magazines, worked on film scripts and directed a number of documentaries throughout his career.

Gunnar tragically died of pancreatic cancer in 2015 at age 68.

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Gunnar played iconic character Leatherface in the original[/caption]

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