Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who performed the villain within the unique “Mad Max” movie and a sequel 36 years later, has died. He was 73.
“I am sad to report that our friend Hugh Keays-Byrne passed away in hospital yesterday,” filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, a pal and collaborator of Keays-Byrne’s, wrote on Facebook Wednesday.
Born in Kashmir, India, in 1947, Keays-Byrne moved to Britain as a baby and entered the world of appearing in his 20s, becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1968, the Wrap reported. He performed small elements in a sequence of movies all through the 1970s — together with “Stone,” “Mad Dog Morgan” and “The Trespassers” — earlier than scoring a number one function within the 1978 TV movie “The Death Train.” The following 12 months, he had his breakout function taking part in the evil Toecutter in Mel Gibson’s “Max Max.” The low-budget flick shortly garnered a cult following, spawning the wildly profitable franchise it has grown into in the present day.
After “Mad Max,” Keays-Byrne continued taking part in smaller roles on TV till his subsequent huge break, in 2007, when he was provided the function of one other “Mad Max” villain: Immortan Joe in 2015’s “Fury Road.”
While the world could keep in mind Keays-Byrne for depicting the embodiment of evil, Trenchard-Smith wrote he, in truth, had “a generous heart, offering a helping hand to people in need,” and exhibited an “innate sense of humor.”
In the pair’s 46 years of friendship, the 2 spent “many happy Sunday mornings” at the home Keays-Byrne shared together with his companion, Christina, and a crew of “fellow actors and artists.”
He was “an absolutely wonderful human who fought very hard for environmental and humanitarian issues,” wrote author Ted Geoghegan of Keays-Byrne on Twitter, calling him “an unsung hero of Aussie cinema.”
“He cared about social justice and preserving the environment long before these issues became fashionable,” Trenchard-Smith added on Facebook. “His life was governed by his sense of the oneness of humanity.”