Parasite Star Lee Sun Kyun Has Passed Away, Aged 48


Actor Lee Sun-kyun from 'Parasite' Found Dead at Age 48

Parasite Star Lee Sun Kyun Has Passed Away, Aged 48 

SEOUL, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Lee Sun-kyun, the South Korean actor acclaimed for his role as the affluent patriarch in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite," was discovered dead on Wednesday in an apparent suicide at a Seoul park, as confirmed by officials in the capital.

The 48-year-old actor, known for his impactful role in the 2019 film that clinched South Korea's first-ever Oscar, had undergone police questioning three times for alleged illegal drug use amid a government initiative to crack down on such activities, with one session lasting a substantial 19 hours over the weekend.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the actor claimed he was deceived into taking drugs by a bar hostess attempting to extort him.

Authorities located Lee following a missing person report, as divulged by an anonymous fire official to Reuters due to the sensitive nature of the matter.

The actor was discovered in a car at a Seoul park after his manager informed the police that Lee had left home, leaving behind an apparent suicide note, as disclosed by an anonymous police official.

Lee's agency, HODU&U Entertainment, did not respond to calls.

Nevertheless, local media referenced a statement from the agency expressing sorrow over the actor's death. The statement urged caution against spreading false information, engaging in speculation, or making malicious reports.

Violations of South Korea's stringent drug laws can result in a six-month jail term or up to 14 years for individuals with a history of offenses or involved in drug dealing.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the dark-comedy thriller "Parasite" clinched the Academy Award in 2020 across four categories: best picture, best director, best original screenplay, and best international feature film, out of six Oscar nominations.

Death Cause of Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun

The film marked a historic milestone as the first non-English language movie to secure the best picture award. Bong Joon-ho celebrated its widespread appeal, interpreting its success as a signal that the "one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles" was no longer a hindrance to global recognition.

In "Parasite," Lee portrayed Mr. Park, whose opulent residence becomes entangled in a complex plot involving members of a lower-class family posing as highly qualified domestic workers, ultimately culminating in violence.

Born in 1975, Lee took on prominent roles in South Korean films such as the 2012 thriller "Helpless" and 2014's "All About My Wife." Additionally, he garnered acclaim for his part in the 2018 TV series "My Mister."

The actor played the lead role in Apple TV+'s inaugural Korean-language original series, launched in 2021. Titled "Dr. Brain," this six-episode sci-fi thriller showcased Lee as a cold-hearted neurologist in pursuit of clues to a mysterious family incident through intricate brain experiments.

Lee Sun-kyun's spouse is the award-winning actress Jeon Hye-jin, and the couple had two children.

Reported by Soo-hyang Choi, Josh Smith, and Hyonhee Shin; with additional contributions by Minwoo Park and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles. Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Clarence Fernandez.

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