Vale: Hugh Keays-Byrne

Character actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, best known for Mad Max and Farscape, has died aged 73.

He died in hospital yesterday according to a social media post from friend and director Brian Trenchard-Smith (The Man From Hong Kong).

Born in Kashmir, India, Keays-Byrne was an actor touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company when he remained in Australia in 1973.

His early credits included Bellbird, Ben Hall, Rush, The Outsiders, Chopper Squad, Beyond Reasonable Doubt and the films Essington, Stone, Mad Dog Morgan and The Man from Hong Kong.

George Miller cast him as biker / gang leader Toecutter in Mad Max (1979), before inviting him back to the franchise as Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

In the 2000s, he appeared in Farscape as Grunchlk, which he reprised for the mini-series Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.

Other credits included The Chain Reaction, Strikebound, Les Patterson Saves the World, Burke & Wills, Kangaroo, Ginger Meggs, Snapshot, Sleeping Beauty, Moby Dick, Singapore Sling: Old Flames, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Runaway Island, Secret Valley and Five Mile Creek.

Brian Trenchard-Smith wrote, “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.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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