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Credit: Mad Max

Hugh Keays-Byrne, 'Mad Max' villain has died aged 73

Famed for his two roles within the Mad Max franchise, Australian born actor Hugh Keays-Byrne has sadly passed away at the age of 73. The actor appeared in both the first movie and the reboot Mad Max: Fury Road among a number of other roles.

His death was confirmed by filmmaker and friend Ted Geoghegan on Twitter who signed off the announcement with a simple yet poignant: “Thanks for all the entertainment, sir.” A cause of death has not yet been announced.

The death of Keays-Byrne is a huge hit for the Mad Max franchise with the actor having been such a pivotal figure in the making of the movies. Keays-Byrne took on the role of Toecutter as part of the original 1979 film and went on to appear in the reboot too, this time as Immortan Joe.

Arguably the more memorable of the performances, Keays-Byrne is the villain wearing the breathing apparatus in the new film, leading the War Boys in the 2015 release. It’s a vision of the film that will never be forgotten.

Speaking of his sad passing, Geoghegan wrote: “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.”

As well as Mad Max, Keays-Byrne also appeared in many British and Australian films including Stone and Chain Reaction. He was also an accomplished stage performer working as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company on productions of As You Like It and Hamlet among others.

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