Charlize Theron leads tributes following death of Mad Max star

Written by on December 3, 2020

Tributes are being paid to Mad Max actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who has died aged 73.

Keays-Byrne played villain Toecutter opposite Mel Gibson in the 1979 action film, and later appeared as Immortan Joe in Fury Road, the fourth instalment of the franchise, alongside Charlize Theron in 2015.

Theron was among those posting messages after his death was announced by filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed the actor in The Man From Hong Kong in 1975.

“Hugh had a generous heart, offering a helping hand to people in need, or a place to stay to a homeless teenager,” Trenchard-Smith said on Facebook.

“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.”

The filmmaker said Keays-Byrne had died in hospital on Tuesday but did not give any more details.

Alongside a picture of the pair together on set, Theron wrote: “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.”

A former Royal Shakespeare Company actor who was born in India and settled in Australia, according to film and TV website IMDB, Keays-Byrne also starred in movies and series including Sleeping Beauty in 2011 and Moby Dick in 1998.

His other film credits include 1974 outlaw biker movie Stone and 1986 drama For Love Alone.

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