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Actor Lee Sun-kyun of Oscar-winning film ‘Parasite’ dies

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun of the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” died in an apparent suicide, South Korean media reported Wednesday, citing police.

Lee was under investigation over allegations of using marijuana and other illegal drugs. He said he was innocent.

Police said Lee was found dead in a car in a park in central Seoul, according to Yonhap news agency. There was a charcoal briquette in the passenger seat of the car.

Investigators went to the scene in Seoul, South Korea, where Lee was found dead on Wednesday.Seo Dae-youn/Yonhap via AP

Police were searching for Lee after his family reported that he left his home after writing what appeared to be a suicide note, Yonhap said.

Lee, born in Seoul in 1975, played the role of the father of a wealthy family in the black comedy “Parasite,” which won four Oscars in 2020, including best picture. The film also won Best Casting in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Lee and Jo Yeo-jeong in a scene from “Parasite”.Neon / via Everett Collection
Lee, center, and director Bong Joon-ho, right, with the cast of “Parasite” at the 2020 Oscars.Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

The following year, Lee starred in “Dr. Brain”, a science fiction thriller which was the first Korean-language show produced for Apple TV+.

His long list of credits in South Korea includes the 2012 films “Helpless” and “All About My Wife.”

The ongoing crackdown on narcotics in South Korea, which has strict drug laws, has resulted in prosecutions of a number of celebrities and other high-profile figures.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis lifeline. You can also call the network, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

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