South Korean Actor Lee Sun-kyun, Known for ‘Parasite,’ Passes Away at 48

Lee Sun Kyun Cause of Death
Lee Sun Kyun Cause of Death

Lee Sun-kyun, a South Korean actor best known for his part in the Academy Award-winning film “Parasite,” died while being probed for illegal drug usage, authorities announced Wednesday. He was 48.

In a statement, Seoul police said they had received a missing person report from Lee’s boss via their hotline. Lee was discovered in his automobile early Wednesday morning.

The cause of death is “presumed to be suicide,” police said. Photos taken on Wednesday at the scene show forensic investigators peering inside a police-tape-sealed car.

Lee was questioned three times by police in the city of Incheon since October as part of an investigation into alleged drug use.

Lee was most recently summoned by police on December 23 and imprisoned for 19 hours before being released the next day.

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Lee’s drug tests had all come back negative during the inquiry, according to Incheon police, who did not indicate how many tests he had taken.

Lee allegedly claimed that the same person tricked him into consuming drugs and then blackmailed him. According to authorities, Lee filed a lawsuit against the accused blackmailer after receiving a tip.

“Actor Lee Sun-kyun passed away today,” the company said, according to Yonhap. “There is no way to contain the sorrow and devastated feelings.”

“Please refrain from spreading false information based on speculation or assumption,” the company added. We reached out to the agency for a comment but did not receive a response right away. Lee gained praise for his portrayal of Park Dong-ik, the rich Park family’s father, in “Parasite.”

He has received acclaim for his appearances in the 2007 television series “Behind the White Tower,” the 2010 series “Pasta,” and the sci-fi thriller series “Dr. Brain,” for which he received an International Emmy nomination.

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