Furiosa End Tributes: How Did They Die? What is Vale?

George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action filmFuriosa: A Mad Max Saga’ ends with a tribute to five figures who were once a part of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise in varying ways and capacities. The filmmaker and his team honor their memory with the word “vale.” The word in Latin means “farewell.” It is a part of the phrase “ave atque vale,” which translates to “hail and farewell” and is widely used in a eulogy to a “hero.”

The phrase concludes Gaius Valerius Catullus’ elegiac poem “Catullus 101,” which honors the memory of his dead brother. In Australia, “vale” became a part of local vernacular, replacing commonly used phrases like “rest in peace” or “in memoriam.” Even though the word is widely used in the Land Down Under to eulogize individuals from varying backgrounds, in the context of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise, the honored individuals deserve the title of heroes!

Grant Page (1939-2024)

Grant Page was a legendary stunt performer who had been a part of the ‘Mad Max’ franchise since the eponymous first film, released in 1979. Even though he had acted in more than thirty projects, Page is best known for his contributions to action films as a stuntman or stunt coordinator. After the original movie, he served as the stunt coordinator of ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,’ the third film in the franchise, and a stunt performer in ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.’ His other popular credits include ‘Gods of Egypt,’ starring Gerard Butler, Chadwick Boseman, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Page died on March 14, 2024, at the age of 85, after the car he was driving hit a tree near his home in Kendall, New South Wales, Australia. “He died in very high spirits, and he was very motivated. He was very happy,” Page’s son Leroy told Daily Mail. “Grant Page was Australia’s pioneer stunt performer and my friend for fifty-two years. I will miss him terribly. He was an inspiring man who lived uncompromisingly. […] He had courage and daring, tempered by a realistic attitude about the risks of his profession in the era before computer-generated stunts,” filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith shared after the stuntman’s demise through his blog.

Hugh Keays-Byrne (1947-2020)

Hugh Keays-Byrne was a remarkable actor who “immortalized” Immortan Joe in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ which was his final film appearance. After entering the world of acting through the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hugh became a part of the ‘Mad Max’ universe by playing Toecutter in ‘Mad Max.’ He can be seen in several Australian productions, such as ‘The Blood of Heroes’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ His American credits include Mr. Stubb in USA Network’s 1998 miniseries ‘Moby Dick,’ starring Patrick Stewart. He passed away on December 2, 2020, at the age of 73, at Gosford Hospital in New South Wales.

According to Hugh’s representatives, the actor died peacefully, without any particular cause of death disclosed, indicating that he seemingly died of natural causes. “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,” Charlize Theron, who plays Furiosa in ‘Fury Road,’ shared after her co-star’s demise. “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,” Brian Trenchard-Smith, who directed the actor in ‘The Man from Hong Kong,’ shared as well.

Richard Carter (1953-2019)

Richard Carter can be seen in ‘Fury Road’ as “The Bullet Farmer.” The Australian actor was a part of the cast of several well-known productions, including Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Carter’s character in the romantic period drama is named Herzog. His other credits include Ted Hudson in the TV series ‘White Collar Blue’ and Sidney in ‘Our Lips Are Sealed,’ featuring Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen.

Carter died on July 13, 2019, at the age of 65, after battling a brief illness. “He will be greatly missed and always remembered,” shared Trish Lake, the producer of his film 2003 film ‘Gettin’ Square.’ Renowned comedian Adam Hills paid tribute to him by stating, “So very sad to hear of the passing of a giant of Australian comedy and acting. At times, he was like Yoda to me, at others more like Chewbacca, but I loved him nonetheless. Wish I had told him that recently.”

Quentin Kenihan (1975-2018)

Quentin Kenihan was a writer, actor, and disability advocate who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta. He features in ‘Fury Road’ as Corpus Colossus, the first and eldest son of Immortan Joe. His other film credits include Australian movies such as ‘Thunderstruck,’ ‘You and Your Stupid Mate,’ and ‘Dr. Plonk.’ Kenihan is also the author of ‘Not All Superheroes Wear Capes.’ The actor believed that his portrayal of Colossus was significant because he thought that it would be the first time many would see someone with a disability in such prominence.

Kenihan passed away on October 6, 2018, at the age of 43. It is believed that he died of a suspected asthma attack. Among the ones who paid tribute to him include Academy Award-winning Australian actor Russell Crowe. “Devastating news. My little mate, the bravest bloke I ever met… gone. We will meet again. Not confined anymore… Between your interviews, your book, your one-man show, your zany little movies… what a creative and productive life. Lots of love,” Crowe shared.

Dawn Klingberg (1937-2023)

Dawn Klingberg was a part of the cast of ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ as Corpse Minder. She can be seen in the scene in which an old woman asks Furiosa to remain with her and a pile of corpses as she separates maggots from the parts of dead bodies. Klingberg is also featured as Gran in the mystery drama ‘The Dry,’ starring Eric Bana. Her other credits include Old Lady Trolley in ‘The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee’ and Evelyn Longbottom in ‘Bed of Roses.’ Klingberg’s cause of death is not publicized.

Read More: When and Where Does Furiosa Take Place? Timeline, Explained