Death Cause of Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun

Death Cause of Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun

South Korean actor had been under police investigation over his alleged use of drugs.

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his impactful performance in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has passed away, as officially reported by South Korea's emergency office.

Lee was discovered deceased in a car within a central Seoul park on Wednesday, according to official reports.

The 48-year-old actor was found after his wife contacted the police, expressing concern about his departure and mentioning the discovery of what appeared to be a suicide note, as per South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Lee had been the subject of a police investigation related to his alleged involvement with marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. Police had interviewed him on three occasions, including a 19-hour session over the weekend. The actor asserted that he was deceived into drug use by a bar hostess who subsequently attempted to blackmail him, as reported by Yonhap.

South Korea maintains stringent drug laws, with drug-related offenses carrying penalties of at least six months in prison. Repeat offenders and those involved in drug dealing may face up to 14 years of imprisonment.

In late October, Lee briefly addressed reporters before entering an Incheon police station for discussions with investigators.

“I sincerely apologize for causing great disappointment to many people by being involved in such an unpleasant incident,” he expressed, acknowledging, “I feel sorry for my family, which is enduring such difficult pain at this moment.”

A graduate of South Korea’s esteemed Korea National University of Arts, Lee initiated his acting career in 2001 with a television sitcom titled Lovers. Over the years, he earned acclaim for his diverse roles, but on a global scale, he is most recognized for his portrayal of the affluent and superficial patriarch in director Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 Oscar-winning film Parasite.

Subsequently, he assumed the lead role in Apple TV+'s inaugural Korean-language original series, premiering in 2021. Dr. Brain, a six-episode sci-fi thriller, depicted the narrative of a dispassionate neurologist on a quest for answers to a cryptic family incident through intricate brain experiments.

His final cinematic endeavor, this year’s horror film Sleep, showcased his portrayal of a husband whose sleepwalking triggers chilling consequences. The movie received positive critical acclaim and earned a spot in the Critics’ Week section at the Cannes festival.

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