|Location:||Travis County South Texas|
|Known relatives:||the Sawyer family|
|Year of birth:||1938|
|Year of death:||1986|
|First appearance:||The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974|
|Portrayed by:||Gunnar Hansen|
Thomas Sawyer is a fictional character in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its spin-offs. He wears masks made of human skin (hence his name) and engages in murder and cannibalism alongside his inbred family. Leatherface first appeared in the first film in the series (1974) and in its six subsequent continuations
and remakes. Wisconsin killer Ed Gein, who wore a mask made of human skin, was reportedly the inspiration for the character. He is the considered to be the main antagonist of the franchise due to him driving most of the movies plot and appearing in all movies even though he takes orders from his older family members.
The original film never showed Leatherface without one of his human-hide faces on. Leatherface used to work as a butcher at the meat factory. Gunnar Hansen, who
portrayed Leatherface in the original 1974 film, sees Leatherface as "completely under the control of his family. He'll do whatever they tell him to do. He's a little bit afraid of them." In the documentary The Shocking Truth,Tobe Hooper portrays Leatherface as a "big baby" who kills in self-defense because he feels threatened. In the first film, Leatherface shows fear when new people enter his home.
Leatherface's family uses the bones of the people he kills (along with some animal bones) to build the inside of their house. They process the victims' flesh into barbecue and chili, which Drayton Sawyer, a skilled chef, sells at his restaurant/gas station, the "Last Chance" gas station. They also enter human-flesh dishes at cook-offs (according to the sequel, Drayton has won two cooking awards doing this). Aside from Leatherface and Drayton, the Sawyer clan includes several more brothers, a hitchhiker named Nubbins Sawyer, Nubbins' twin brother, a Vietnam vet known as Chop Top or Plate Head, a hitchhiking cowboy named Eddie/Tex, a hook-handed man named Tech/Tinker, a deranged pervert named Alfredo/Fred, a tow-truck driver named Vilmer and a redneck know-it-all named W.E. Apart from the brothers, the Sawyer clan includes the supercentenarian Grandpa, the dead Grandma/Great-Grandma Sawyer (whose corpse has been preserved), a wheelchair-bound mother called Mama and Leatherface's daughter (first names unknown).
In the first film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), siblings, Sally and Franklin Hardesty go out with their friends to investigate their grandfathers grave robbing. They run afowl of Nubbins and eventually the rest of the Sawyer family and Leatherface kills off their friends and Frankin. Sally is kept alive and manages to make a run for it, with Leatherface and Nubbins in pursuit. Sally manages to get a passing truck to stop, running over Nubbins. While the panicking trucker and Sally escape, he throws a wrench at Leatherface, causing him to fall backwards and cut into his leg with his own chainsaw. Sally makes another run for it, and manages to escape Leatherface on a pickup truck.