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‘Parasite’ actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead in South Korea, officials say

Lee Sun-kyun, a popular South Korean actor best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” was found dead in a car in Seoul on Wednesday, authorities said, after weeks of intense police investigation into his suspected drug. to use.

Police and emergency workers first found Lee in what they believed to be an unconscious state in the car parked on a street in northern Seoul. Emergency services later confirmed he was dead, according to the Seongbuk police station in Seoul.

Police were searching for Lee, 48, after receiving a report that he was missing, Seongbuk police said.

They declined to provide further details, including whether they had determined Lee committed suicide. But South Korean media, including Yonhap News Agency, said Lee’s family reported to police on Wednesday that he left his home after writing a message similar to a suicide note.

Lee’s body was then taken to a nearby hospital in Seoul, according to Seongbuk police.

Actor Lee Sun Kyun attends the red carpet for the “Killing Romance” Midwest Premiere at AMC New City 14 on October 7, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

Barry Brecheisenn/Getty Images


Lee appeared in “Parasite,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and three other categories in 2020. The class satire was the first non-English film to win the Best Picture award in its 92-year history Academy Awards, and was the first South Korean film to win an Oscar. In the film, Lee played the role of the head of a wealthy family.

In 2021, he won a Screen Actors Guild Award for “casting in a motion picture” for his role in the same film. He was also nominated for Best Actor at the International Emmy Awards for his performance in the sci-fi thriller “Dr. Brain” last year.

Even before “Parasite,” Lee had long been a popular actor in South Korea. He rose to fame with his role in a hit television series, “Coffee Prince (2007)”, and gained popularity with the medical drama “Behind The White Tower (2007)”, “Pasta (2010)” and ” My Mister.” (2018).”

Lee had been the subject of a police investigation over allegations he used illegal drugs at the home of a bar hostess. The investigation gave rise to extensive media coverage in the tabloids. Lee insisted that he was tricked into taking the drugs and did not know what he was taking, according to Yonhap.

The scandal led to the loss of a number of acting projects, AFP reported. According to Reuters, a first conviction for drug use in South Korea can lead to six months in prison and up to 14 years for repeat offenders. South Korean laws are so strict that Koreans who legally use drugs abroad can still face prosecution when they return home, according to AFP.

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