Parasite Actor Lee Sun-kyun Found Dead at 48

Parasite Actor Lee Sun-kyun Found Dead at 48

In a shocking turn of events, South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his memorable role in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has passed away, as confirmed by South Korea's emergency office. The 48-year-old actor was discovered lifeless in a car in central Seoul Park on Wednesday.

The distressing discovery unfolded after Lee's wife alerted the authorities, reporting his departure from home and the unsettling discovery of what appeared to be a suicide note, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. Lee had been under police scrutiny for his alleged involvement with marijuana and other psychoactive substances, facing questioning three times, including a rigorous 19-hour session over the weekend. The actor claimed to have been deceived into drug use by a bar hostess who subsequently attempted to extort him, as reported by Yonhap.

South Korea, known for its stringent drug laws, imposes severe penalties for drug-related offenses, ranging from a minimum of six months in prison to a maximum of 14 years for repeat offenders and dealers.

In late October, Lee addressed reporters before entering an Incheon police station for investigation, expressing sincere remorse for the disappointment caused to many and acknowledging the distress his family was enduring.

A graduate of South Korea’s prestigious Korea National University of Arts, Lee Sun-kyun began his acting journey in 2001 with a television sitcom titled Lovers. He gained international recognition for his portrayal of the affluent and superficial patriarch in director Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 Oscar-winning masterpiece, Parasite.

Beyond his film success, Lee ventured into television, headlining Apple TV+'s inaugural Korean-language original series, Dr. Brain, a six-episode sci-fi thriller released in 2021. His most recent film, this year's horror flick Sleep, earned critical acclaim and featured in the Cannes Festival's Critics’ Week section. Some of his other famous works include Coffee Prince, Pasta, My Mister, and Diary of a Prosecutor. 

Lee Sun-kyun leaves behind his wife, Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons, marking a tragic loss for the South Korean entertainment industry and fans worldwide.