Tributes paid to Mad Max star Hugh Keays-Byrne following death at 73

Tributes have been paid to Mad Max star Hugh Keays-Byrne, who has died at the age of 73.

The actor’s death was announced by British filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, who said he died on Tuesday.

Keays-Byrne was best known for playing villain Toecutter opposite Mel Gibson in 1979’s Mad Max. Director George Miller brought him back for 2015 sequel Mad Max: Fury Road, in which he played antagonist Immortan Joe.

Charlize Theron, Keays-Byrne’s Fury Road co-star, was among those to pay tribute.

Alongside a picture of the pair together on set, the Oscar-winning actress said: “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.”

In his tribute, Trenchard-Smith, who directed Keays-Byrne in 1975 action film The Man From Hong Kong, described him as “a fine actor and a good friend”.

He added: “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.”

Keays-Byrne was born in India to British parents and moved to England as a child. He later moved to Australia.

His other film credits include 1974 outlaw biker movie Stone and 1986 drama For Love Alone.