‘Parasite’ Actor Lee Sun-Kyun Found Dead at 48
Written by Sanjay Kumar
In a shocking turn of events, South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his role in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was discovered dead on Wednesday (December 27) in what authorities suspect to be a suicide. The news was first reported by the Yonhap news agency, citing information from the local police.
The 48-year-old actor’s lifeless body was found inside a vehicle at a park in central Seoul. Lee Sun-kyun had recently been the subject of a police investigation regarding allegations of his involvement with marijuana and other psychoactive drugs.
Once celebrated for his pristine and wholesome image, reports from local news outlets suggest that Lee was facing professional repercussions, with television and commercial projects reportedly dropping him amidst the drug scandal.
A graduate of South Korea’s prestigious Korea National University of Arts, Lee Sun-kyun marked his acting debut in 2001 in the television sitcom “Lovers.” Over the years, he garnered acclaim for his versatile performances, portraying characters ranging from a charismatic chef to a diligent architectural engineer grappling with marital infidelity.
Internationally, Lee gained widespread recognition for his role as the wealthy and superficial patriarch in director Bong Joon-ho’s groundbreaking 2019 film “Parasite.”
His most recent work, the horror film “Sleep,” released this year, showcased Lee in a gripping performance as a husband whose sleepwalking leads to horrifying consequences. The film received critical acclaim and was featured in the Critics’ Week section at the Cannes festival.
Lee Sun-kyun spoke briefly to reporters in late October before meeting with investigators at an Incheon police station. Expressing remorse, he stated, “I sincerely apologize for causing great disappointment to many people by being involved in such an unpleasant incident. I feel sorry for my family, which is enduring such difficult pain at this moment. Once again, I sincerely apologize to everyone.”
South Korea maintains stringent laws concerning illegal drugs, with citizens facing legal consequences even for drug use abroad, such as marijuana. This year, President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized the need for more rigorous measures to combat drug trafficking, declaring that the country was no longer “drug-free.”
Lee Sun-kyun leaves behind his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons. As news of his untimely death spreads, the entertainment industry and fans worldwide mourn the loss of a talented actor whose contributions to cinema will be remembered for years to come.