SEOUL, South Korea: Lee Sun-kyun, renowned South Korean actor acclaimed for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was found dead in an apparent suicide, as reported by Yonhap news agency.
The actor’s lifeless body was discovered inside a vehicle at a park in central Seoul, with police confirming the tragic incident.
Lee, 48, had been under police investigation for his alleged involvement with marijuana and other psychoactive drugs. Once celebrated for his wholesome image, local news outlets revealed that the actor was facing removal from television and commercial projects following the scandal, signaling a downturn in his career.
A graduate of South Korea’s prestigious Korea National University of Arts, Lee made his acting debut in 2001 in the television sitcom “Lovers.” He gained acclaim for his diverse roles, portraying characters such as a charismatic chef and a diligent architectural engineer dealing with marital infidelity.
Internationally, Lee is best known for his role as the wealthy and shallow patriarch in director Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 Oscar-winning film “Parasite.” His last film, the 2023 horror flick “Sleep,” received critical acclaim and was featured in the Critics’ Week section at the Cannes festival.
In the wake of the drug scandal, Lee had spoken to reporters in late October, expressing sincere apologies for the disappointment caused to many and the pain endured by his family. South Korea has stringent laws against illegal drugs, with citizens facing legal repercussions, even for drug use abroad.
Lee Sun-kyun is survived by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons. The entertainment industry mourns the loss of a talented actor, emphasizing the challenges and pressures faced by individuals in the public eye.