Popular South Korean actor Lee Sun-Kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was found dead in a car in Seoul, according to authorities. The discovery followed weeks of intense police investigation into Lee’s alleged drug use, and his death has sparked shock and sadness in the entertainment industry.
Lee, 48, was initially found in what appeared to be an unconscious state in a parked car in northern Seoul. Emergency responders later confirmed his death. While details regarding the cause of death were not immediately provided by the police, local media reported that Lee’s family had earlier reported to the police, indicating he left home after leaving a message resembling a suicide note.
The actor rose to international fame with his role in “Parasite,” the groundbreaking film that won four Oscars, including Best Picture, in 2020. In the movie, Lee played the head of a wealthy family. He also received acclaim for his work in TV dramas such as “Coffee Prince” and “My Mister.”
Lee had been under investigation for alleged drug use, maintaining that he was tricked into taking drugs without knowing their nature. The investigation had led to significant media coverage and online rumors about his personal life. Lee had filed a lawsuit against two individuals, including a bar hostess, accusing them of blackmail.
South Korea has strict anti-drug laws, and Lee’s case brought attention not only to the issue of drug-related offenses but also to the challenges celebrities face, including cyberbullying and invasive media coverage. The investigation into Lee’s drug use allegations has now ended, with authorities continuing to look into the individuals he had sued.
Lee is survived by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons. His death adds to the ongoing concern about mental health and cyberbullying in South Korea’s entertainment industry, which has witnessed several celebrity suicides in recent years.