MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne Has Passed Away At The Age Of 73

Mad Max fans will be saddened to hear that actor Hugh-Keays Byrne, who played villains ToeCutter and Immortan Joe in the franchise, has passed at the age of 73. The actor also appeared in Farscape.

Fans of the Mad Max franchise will be sad to hear news that Hugh Keays-Byrne has died.

The Indian-born actor played ruthless biker Toecutter in George Miller's original Mad Max movie before returning to take on the role of the villainous Immortan Joe in Fury Road.

Hugh's friend Brian Trenchard-Smith confirmed the news on Facebook, writing: 

"I am sad to report that our friend Hugh Keays-Byrne passed away in hospital yesterday. A former Royal Shakespeare Company actor who settled in Australia co-starred in my Man From Hong Kong, and achieved world wide recognition as the Toecutter in Mad Max, and Immortan Joe in Mad Max-Fury Road. This photo reflects the innate sense of humor he brought not only to my film but every production he worked on. He was a fine actor and a good friend to Margaret and myself for 46 years.

We spent many happy Sunday mornings with him, his partner Christina, and a group of fellow actors and artists (the Macao Light Company) at the house they shared in Centennial Park. Christina, Jack, Shawn, Tim , Ralph, Robina, our hearts go out to you. 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. Vale, Hugh."

Hugh Keays-Byrne

Born in Srinagar, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to British parents, Byrne's family moved to England when he was a young child. He began his career as a stage actor, and between 1968 and 1972, he had parts in Royal Shakespeare Company productions including As You Like It, The Balcony, Doctor Faustus, Hamlet, King Lear, The Man of Mode, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest or The Enchanted Island, and Troilus and Cressida.

He got his first television acting job the series Boy Meets Girl in 1967. He later went on to tour in Australia with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973, appearing Peter Brook's famous production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and remained down under when the tour ended. 

It was in 1978 after appearing in TV drama The Death Train that he took on the role that he came to be best known for, playing the violent gang leader Toecutter in the apocalyptic science fiction film Mad Max.  Keays-Byrne later returned to the franchise as the main villain in the 2015 sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. It marked the actor's final film appearance. 

Fans of sci-fi television may also recognise Keays-Byrne as Grunchlk from Farscape. It's also been said that Miller wanted to cast him in his cancelled Justice League film as the Martian Manhunter.  

Ride eternal to Valhalla. Shiny, and chrome.

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