Actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who portrayed villains from George Miller's "Mad Max" movie franchise, has died. He was 73.
Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed Keays-Byrn in 1975's "The Man From Hong Kong," confirmed Wednesday in a Facebook post that Hugh passed away in a hospital on Tuesday.
"He was a fine actor and a good friend to Margaret and myself for 46 years," Trenchard-Smith wrote. "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."
Actress Charlize Theron, who played Imperator Furiosa in the 2015 movie "Mad Max: Fury Road" took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late actor.
RIP Hugh Keays-Byrne 😔 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. pic.twitter.com/kXDhNs5jEU
— Charlize Theron (@CharlizeAfrica) December 2, 2020
Keays-Byrne played gang leader Toecutter in the 1979 original "Mad Max" film.
He also portrayed the evil villain Immortan Joe in "Mad Max: Fury Road."
According to People, Miller brought Keays-Byrne back not only for his versatility but also to make up for dubbing over his voice with a poor American accent in the original movie.
Keays-Byrne was born in India in 1947 and moved to England to study theater, where he began working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Variety reported.