Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead in apparent suicide | Ents & Arts News

December 27, 2023
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South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in Oscar-winning film Parasite, has been found dead in an apparent suicide.

The 48-year-old actor was identified by Seoul Police after a man in his 40s was found unconscious in a car park at 10.30am on 27 December, Yonhap news agency cited police as saying.

A charcoal briquette was reportedly discovered in the passenger seat of the car.

Earlier on Wednesday, the actor’s wife reported to police that Lee left home and she had found what appeared to be a suicide note, according to Yonhap.

Lee had been under investigation over illegal drug use allegations amid an ongoing government crackdown.

The actor had been questioned three times by police, including for 19 hours over the weekend.

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a police station for questioning regarding his alleged illegal drug use in Incheon, South Korea, December 23, 2023. Yonhap via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
Image:
Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a police station for questioning regarding his alleged illegal drug use

Drug laws in South Korea are particularly tough, and drug crimes are typically punishable by at least six months to up to 14 years in prison.

Lee claimed he was tricked into taking drugs by a waitress in a bar, who then tried to blackmail him, Yonhap reported.

Known for his role as Park Dong-ik, the rich father in 2019 comedy thriller Parasite, Lee alongside his castmates won a Screen Actors Guild Award for their efforts in the film.

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Parasite went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture at the 2020 Oscars.

Lee Sun-kyun attends the 50th International Emmy Awards in New York City, New York, U.S., November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
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The actor in 2022

The actor is also known for his leading roles in South Korean movies including the 2012 thriller Helpless and 2014’s All About My Wife.

He was also the lead in Apple TV+ 2021 series Dr Brain – the first Korean-language original series on the streaming platform – for which he received an International Emmy Award nomination.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.



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