South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, acclaimed for his role in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has been discovered dead at the age of 48 in Seoul’s main park, as confirmed by authorities according to reports. The actor was found unconscious in a car on Wednesday, prompting an investigation into the circumstances of his demise.
While the cause of death remains unclear, authorities disclosed that Lee had left a note before departing from home. This tragic event follows an ongoing investigation since October regarding the actor’s alleged involvement in drug use. Although Lee denied accusations of drug consumption, he had been under suspicion, particularly for substances like marijuana and ketamine.
In Parasite, Lee portrayed the patriarch of the affluent Park family, a role that contributed to the film’s remarkable success at the Oscars. The actor’s agency, HODU&U Entertainment, expressed deep sorrow and urged the public to refrain from spreading unfounded information.
The investigation, conducted with Lee’s consent, included multiple rounds of questioning, with one session lasting an extensive 19 hours. Despite negative or inconclusive drug test results, the actor faced significant damage to his reputation, leading to his removal from the TV series No Way Out and the removal of his presence in various advertisements.
South Korea, known for its high standards regarding celebrity conduct, considers drug offences severe crimes. Lee’s demise comes amid a broader crackdown on drugs in the country, with President Yoon Suk Yeol pledging vigorous enforcement. Notably, Lee is not the sole South Korean celebrity recently implicated in drug-related investigations, as the entertainment industry grapples with legal challenges and public scrutiny.