Hugh Keays-Byrne

Hugh Keays-Byrne (born 18 May 1947) is an English–Australian actor and film director. He moved to Australia in 1973 and is well-known there as a television and film actor. Outside Australia, he is best known for his role as Toad in the 1974 film Stone, the main antagonist Toecutter in the 1979 film Mad Max,[1] the main antagonist "Immortan Joe" in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road,[1] and Grunchlk on the science fiction television series Farscape.

Hugh Keays-Byrne
Born (1947-05-18) 18 May 1947
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, British India
NationalityEnglish, Australian
OccupationActor, film director
Years active1973–present
Notable work
Toecutter in Mad Max
Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road
Toad in Stone

Life and career

Keays-Byrne was born in Srinagar, in the state Jammu and Kashmir in India, to British parents. His family moved to Britain when he was a young child. He was schooled in England and began his career as a stage actor. Between 1968 and 1972, he had parts in Royal Shakespeare Company productions including As You Like It, The Balcony, Doctor Faustus, Hamlet, King Lear, The Man of Mode, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest or The Enchanted Island and Troilus and Cressida.[2]

His first television acting job was in Britain in the programme Boy Meets Girl in 1967. He went to Australia with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973 with Peter Brook's famous production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and remained in Australia when the tour ended.[1] In 1974, he acted in the TV show Essington, which was followed by big screen roles in films such as Stone (1974), Mad Dog Morgan (1976), The Trespassers (1976) and Snapshot (1979). After acting in the TV drama The Death Train in 1978, Keays-Byrne garnered the role that he is best known for outside Australia: the violent gang leader "Toecutter" in the apocalyptic science fiction film Mad Max (1979).[1]

In the 1980s, he acted in films such as The Chain Reaction (1980), Strikebound (1984), Starship (1985) and The Blood of Heroes (1989). In 1992, he directed and acted in the film Resistance. In the mid- to late 1990s, he did a number of TV roles including in Singapore Sling: Old Flames (1995), Moby Dick (1998) and Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1999).

In the 2000s, he appeared in the science fiction television series Farscape as Grunchlk, which he reprised for the concluding mini-series Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars. In 2007, George Miller cast him in an unspecified role in Justice League: Mortal, rumoured to be Martian Manhunter. However, the film was later cancelled.

Keays-Byrne returned to the Mad Max franchise in the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road, as the main villain Immortan Joe.[1] The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning 6,[3] and Keays-Byrne was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.




  • Boy Meets Girl (1967) - Leslie
  • Essington (1974, TV Movie)
  • The Outsiders (1976) - Doyle
  • Say You Want Me (1977, TV Movie) - Harry Kirby
  • Death Train (1978, TV Movie) - Ted Morrow
  • The Tichborne Affair (1978, TV Movie) - Tichbourne
  • Barnaby and Me (1978, TV Movie) - Huggins
  • Secret Valley (1980, TV Movie) - William Whopper
  • Runaway Island (1982, TV Movie) - Lucas the Ratter
  • Treasure Island (1987, TV Movie) (voice)
  • Badlands 2005 (1988, TV Movie) - Moondance
  • Dadah Is Death (1988, TV Movie) - Hammed
  • Joe Wilson (1988, TV Mini-Series) - Bob Galletley
  • Singapore Sling: Old Flames (1995, TV Movie)
  • Moby Dick (1998, TV Mini-Series) - Mr. Stubb
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1999, TV Mini-Series) - McNiff
  • Farscape (2001) - Grunchlk
  • Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004) - Grunchlk


Year Award Category Subject Result
1977 Logie Award Best Actor Rush Won
1979 Australian Film Institute Award Best Supporting Actor Mad Max Nominated
2012 Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Special Mention Award – Most Egregious Age Difference
Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest
Sleeping Beauty Nominated
2016 AFCA Award Best Supporting Actor Mad Max: Fury Road Nominated
Gold Derby Award Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
MTV Movie Award Best Villain Nominated


  1. The Independent. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. RSC Hamlet Productions at BBC. Retrieved 28 May 2015
  3. Bishop, Bryan. "Mad Max: Fury Road wins most awards of the night with six Oscars". The Verge. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.