'Mad Max' actor Hugh Keays-Byrne dead at 73

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, most known for his roles as two separate villains in the Mad Max films, has died, his representation said. He was 73 years old.

Representatives for Keays-Byrne told Deadline he died peacefully on Tuesday morning but did not mention a specific cause of death.


Keays-Byrne was born in 1947 to British parents in Kashmir, India, and launched his acting career in Australia where he earned his first credited role on the 1967 television series Bellbird.

He continued to appear in various roles throughout the 1960s and 1970s before being cast as Toecutter, the leader of a biker gang in George Miller's 1979 film Mad Max.

Miller brought Keays-Byrne back for his 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road, where he played the lead villain Immortan Joe, citing both his versatility as an actor and the fact that he dubbed over Keays-Byrne's voice in an early print of the original Mad Max film.

"I always felt so guilty about that," Miller said. "I thought I had to make up for it in some way."

Charlize Theron, who starred in Fury Road alongside Keays-Byrne remembered him in a post on Twitter Wednesday.


"It's amazing you were able to play an evil warlord so well cause you were such a kind beautiful soul. You will be deeply missed my friend," Theron wrote.

Filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed Keays-Byrne in the 1975 film The Man From Hong Kong, shared a photo with him and praised him as "a fine actor and a good friend."

"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," he wrote.

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Richard Thornburgh
Richard "Dick" Thornburgh, former attorney general of the United States and former governor of Pennsylvania, takes a seat at the witness hearing after U.S. Chief Justice nominee Judge John Roberts testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 15, 2005. Thornburgh died on December 31 at age 88. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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