South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his acclaimed role in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has been discovered deceased, as per police reports.
The 48-year-old actor was found unconscious in a car at a central Seoul park on Wednesday. While it remains uncertain whether Lee took his own life, authorities received a report indicating he had left home after leaving a note, according to the Yonhap news agency.
Lee had been under investigation for alleged drug use since October, suspected of consuming drugs with an employee at a Seoul bar. He asserted that he was unaware of the illicit nature of the substances provided by the employee. Despite the hostess claiming he used drugs at her home multiple times, Lee denied the allegations and had requested a lie detector test through his lawyer. His drug tests yielded negative or inconclusive results.
Police expressed regret over Lee’s death amid ongoing investigations but emphasized that the inquiry was conducted with his consent, as reported by News1 Korea.
In response to the situation, Lee’s agency, HODU&U Entertainment, issued a statement, expressing deep sorrow and despair. The agency requested refraining from spreading false information based on speculation to ensure that Lee’s final journey is not unfairly represented.
The investigation significantly impacted Lee’s reputation, leading to his removal from “No Way Out,” a mystery TV series that commenced shooting in October.
Lee Sun-kyun, who was married to actress Jeon Hye-jin and had two sons, enjoyed a prolific acting career spanning over two decades. Rising to international fame as Park Dong-ik in Parasite, his role contributed to the film’s historic success at the 2020 Oscars, where it secured four awards, including Best Picture, marking the first non-English language film to achieve such recognition.
Drug offenses, particularly those involving marijuana, are considered serious crimes in South Korea, with consumption carrying potential prison sentences of up to five years.