- Worked as a professor and film-program assistant director at the University of Texas, as well as a documentary cameraman, before moving into directing.
- Debut feature was the 1974 cult classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which carried a budget of under $85,000, but made more than $30 million.
- Directed episodes of the sci-fi/horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt, Night Visions and Masters of Horror.
- Received the New York City Horror Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Philadelphia Film Festival's Phantasmagoria Award, both in 2004.
- In 2011, published the novel Midnight Movie, written with Alan Goldsher, about a character named Tobe Hooper whose long-lost student film, Destiny Express, turns its audience into zombies.
- Marcia Zwilling-Hooper — Wife
- William Hooper — Son
- Norman W.R. Hooper — Father
- Lois (Crosby) Hooper — Mother
- Tony Hooper — Son
- Attended University of Texas, Austin, Texas, United States
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