Tobe Hooper is dead at 74. The director was best-known for his work on Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist. The Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed the death, according to Variety.
The horror movie director died on Saturday in Sherman Oaks, California. The cause of death or circumstances surrounding it were not revealed.
In addition to the 1974 version of Texas Chain Saw Massacre, he also directed the 1986 sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The second version aimed to be more comedic than horror. The original movie was shot for less than $300,000. It was also banned in several countries because of the graphic violence. However, it remains one of the most profitable independent movies of the 70s.
Tobe Hooper also directed the 1982 film, Poltergeist, which was written and produced by Steven Spielberg. During the year of its release, it was the eighth-highest grossing film.
In addition to the above-mentioned films, he also directed Lifeforce and Invaders From Mars. His more recent work includes Djinn, a supernatural thriller. He also worked on Toolbox Murders, Mortuary, Crocodile, The Apartment Complex, Night Terrors, and Body Bags.
As for television, he created a miniseries adaption of Salem’s Lot from best-selling author Stephen King. His TV work also credits him for working on certain episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales From The Crypt, and Dark Skies, among many others.
One little-known fact is that Hooper also worked on Billy Idol’s music video, “Dancing With Myself.” Additionally, he was the co-author of a book called Midnight Movie. The main character was Hooper himself. It was published by Three Rivers Press in 2011.
Writer and director Mark Gatiss interviewed Hooper in 2010. Tobe appears in Episode 3 of the BBC documentary series, A History Of Horror.
The Austin, Texas, native was born on January 25, 1943, with the name William Tobe Hooper. His father, Norman William Ray Hopper, owned a theatre in San Angelo. Tobe Hooper was a college educator and documentary cameraman in the 60s before getting involved in the entertainment business. His work in television and movies is considered to be quite influential and he leaves behind an amazing legacy.
Condolences go out to the loved ones of Tobe Hooper. He is survived by his two sons.
[Featured Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]