Keays-Byrne played the antagonist Toecutter in the 1979 original “Mad Max” film by director George Miller, and he was brought back for the 2015 movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” to play the evil villain Immortan Joe.
Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed Keays-Byrne in the 1975 film “The Man From Hong Kong,” shared on Facebook that he had died in a hospital on Tuesday.
“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,” Trenchard-Smith wrote.
As Toecutter, the leader of a biker gang, Keays-Byrne faced off against “Mad Max” star Mel Gibson. Thirty-six years later, he donned an oxygen-mask as the ferocious Immortan Joe, ruler of the desolate wasteland in “Fury Road.”
Keays-Byrne’s other film credits include “Stone,” “Mad Dog Morgan,” “The Trespassers,” “Blue Fin,”
“Going Down,” “Snapshot,” “Strikebound,” “The Blood of Heroes” and “Les Patterson Saves the World.” On TV, he appeared in several series and television films, such as “Farscape,” “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars,” “Runaway Island,” “Moby Dick” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
He was born in India and moved to England to study theater, taking part in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions. He toured with the company for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Australia, and remained there afterwards to pursue his acting career.