How did Hugh Keays-Byrne die? Fans mourn loss of 73-year-old actor who played Immortan Joe in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Keays-Byrne’s notable credits include ‘Ben Hall’, ‘Rush’ and ‘Mad Dog Morgan’, ‘Kangaroo’, ‘For Love Alone’ and ‘Farscape’ to name some

                            How did Hugh Keays-Byrne die? Fans mourn loss of 73-year-old actor who played Immortan Joe in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
Hugh Keays-Byrne (Getty Images)

Hugh Keays-Byrne, who was popularly known for his character of Immortan Joe in action-adventure ‘Mad Max: Fury Road' and the role of Toecutter in the original 1979 ‘Mad Max’ movie, has died at the age of 73.

Representatives for the actor said he died peacefully on Tuesday, December 1. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith, who joined forces with Keays-Byrne on ‘The Dragon Flies’, paid tribute to the deceased actor in a long heartwarming post on Facebook on December 2. Brian confirmed in his post that the actor has died in a hospital. 

He wrote, “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 worldwide 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.”

The director continued, “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."

 Actors Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tom Hardy, Riley Keough, Megan Gale, Zoe Kravitz, Josh Helman, Courtney Eaton and Abbey Lee attend the premiere of Warner Bros. (Getty Images)

While the cause of the actor's death hasn't been revealed as of now, MEAWW will update the story as information comes in. Meanwhile, here's a look at the actor's past. 

Keays-Bryne was born in Kashmir, India in 1947. He embarked on an acting career in Australia, where he garnered his break in the entertainment industry in the 1967 TV series ‘Bellbird’. Throughout the '60s and early '70s, Keays-Byrne has featured in many movies and played numerous roles like that of Morrie Grosse in Trenchard-Smith’s 1975 action film ‘The Dragon Flies’.Keays-Byrne’s notable credits include ‘Ben Hall’, ‘Rush’ and ‘Mad Dog Morgan’, ‘Kangaroo’, ‘For Love Alone’ and ‘Farscape’ to name some.

More recently in 2015, Keays-Byrne was requested to return to the ‘Mad Max’ universe for his 2015 Charlize Theron-Tom Hardy starrer ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. Theron remembered her late co-star on Twitter and 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.”

No sooner than the news spread, the actor’s fans also took to Twitter to pay tribute. A fan wrote, “Oh, no. Say this isn't so! I can't believe this. Heartbreaks. Outstanding performances by all. What an innovative sequel to my favorite movie of all time, the simple but profound Road Warrior. Take me to Distopia land any day. RIP, my friend.” Another social media user paid tribute to the actor, “By all accounts, Hugh Keays-Byrne, who trained at the Royal Shakespeare Company, was an absolutely wonderful human who fought very hard for environmental and humanitarian issues. This photo of him from earlier this year says it all.You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.”

Another concurred, “Hugh Keays-Byrne, an unsung hero of Aussie cinema, has passed away at age 73. I'm continually floored that he played Toecutter, the central antagonist of 1979's MAD MAX *and* Immortan Joe, the central antagonist 2015's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Thanks for all the entertainment, sir.” A user remembered his roles, “Toecutter role is legendary....he will be missed but remembered.” 










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