Leatherface is a fictional character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series created by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper. He first appears in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as a cannibalistic and mentally unstable mass murderer who, alongside his family, kidnaps, kills, and cooks unsuspecting travellers who venture near their ranch in an unidentified part of Texas. The character's name comes from the human skin masks he always wears, which hide his deformed face. Leatherface's signature weapon is the chainsaw, though he has also used other tools, such as cleavers and hammers, to kill his victims. The character was largely inspired by real-life murderer Ed Gein, who also wore masks made of human skin.
The character is the only one to have appeared in all installments of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, though never as the main antagonist, due to always acting under his family's orders. Since Gunnar Hansen's portrayal of Leatherface in the original film in 1974, numerous other actors and stuntmen have assumed the role of the character, sometimes more than one in a single film. Outside of the films, the character has appeared in several spin-offs, primarily comic books, and has been referenced and parodied in other feature films and television series. In 2015, Leatherface appeared as a playable character in the video game Mortal Kombat X, and in 2017 as a playable character in Dead by Daylight.
Due to the different continuities within The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, Leatherface's character has suffered several changes throughout his appearances, the only constant attribute being his skin masks (often wearing more than one in a film). Most notably, his real name has been changed thrice: in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, his name was revealed to be "Bubba" Sawyer, but in the 2003 remake of the original film, it was changed to Thomas Brown Hewitt, and in Texas Chainsaw 3D, the character was renamed Jedidiah "Jed" Sawyer. Across most versions, Leatherface is depicted as a "big baby" who is under the complete control of his family and kills because he is scared of the outside world, which is why the audience has also shown sympathy towards the character.
Leatherface has become a widely recognized figure in popular culture, gaining a cult following. He has been credited as one of the most influential killers of the slasher genre for inspiring the stereotype of the hulking, masked, and mostly silent killer, which includes other horror icons such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.