Hugh Keays-Byrne, 'Mad Max' Actor, Dead at 73

Hugh Keays-Byrne
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

The actor appeared in both the 1979 film and its 2015 follow-up.

Hugh Keays-Byrne has died at age 73, ET has confirmed. A rep for the actor tells ET that Keays-Byrne passed away peacefully Tuesday morning. His family has asked for privacy at this time. 

Writer and director Ted Geoghegan reacted to the news on Twitter, calling Keays-Byrne "an unsung hero of Aussie cinema."

"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," Geoghegan wrote. "Thanks for all the entertainment, sir."

In a follow-up tweet, Geoghegan added, "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."

"You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome," the filmmaker added.

Keays-Byrne was best know for his work in the Mad Max movies, in which he played the villain twice. In 1979's Mad Max, Keays-Byrne starred as Toecutter. He went on to play Immortan Joe in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, which was his final role.

Fury Road co-star Charlize Theron paid tribute to Keays-Byrne with a photo of the two of them on set of the lauded action film. "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," Theron wrote. "You will be deeply missed my friend."

Throughout his career, Keays-Byrne also appeared in shows including Secret Valley and Runaway Island, as well as films such as The Blood of Heroes and Sleeping Beauty.