Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, popular for his roles as iconic villains in Mad Max: Fury Road and Toecutter in the 1979 original Mad Max film, has died at the age of 73. According to Variety reports.
Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed Keays-Byrne in the 1975 film “The Man From Hong Kong,” shared on news on Facebook that he had died in a hospital on Tuesday.
“Hugh had a generous heart, offering a helping hand to people in need, or a place to stay to a homeless teenager. He cared about social justice and preserving the environment long before these issues became fashionable. His life was governed by his sense of the oneness of humanity. We will miss his example and his friendship,” Trenchard-Smith wrote.
Many of his friends and family paid tribute to the late actor on their social media. Filmmaker Ted Geoghegan took to his Twitter account and remembered the late actor.
Hugh Jeays-Byrne ‘an unsung hero of Aussie cinema’ and continued that he is ‘continually floored’ that he played Toecutter, the central antagonist of 1979’s Mad Max, and Immortan Joe, the central antagonist 2015’s MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. “Thanks for all the entertainment, sir,” he wrote.
Hugh Keays-Byrne, an unsung hero of Aussie cinema, has passed away at age 73. I'm continually floored that he played Toecutter, the central antagonist of 1979's MAD MAX *and* Immortan Joe, the central antagonist 2015's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Thanks for all the entertainment, sir. pic.twitter.com/55W99w3wzq
— Ted Geoghegan (@tedgeoghegan) December 2, 2020
Hugh Keays-Byrne was born in Kashmir in 1947 and began his career in Australia with the television series Bellbird. He went on to rehearse various roles as Morrie Grosse in Brian Trenchard’s action drama The Dragon Flies in 1975. While Hugh appeared in various films during the 1960s and ’70s, his breakthrough role is considered to be 1979’s Mad Max.