South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun who gained international attention with his performance in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite”, was found dead at the age of 48 on Wednesday in an apparent suicide in a Seoul park according to the officials.
Lee had faced police questioning three times over accusations of illegal drug use amid a government crackdown, with one interrogation lasting 19 hours over the weekend. The actor said that he was tricked into consuming drugs by a bar hostess trying to blackmail him.
Authorities found Lee in a search triggered by a missing person report, the matter is sensitive. Lee was found in a car at a park in Seoul, after his manager told police the actor had left home, leaving behind an apparent suicide note. Lee’s agency, HODU&U Entertainment, did not respond to calls from the officials investigating the matter.
However, local media cited a statement by the agency that expressed sadness at the death, while urging restraint regarding false information, speculation, or malicious reports.
A dark-comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” won the Academy Award in 2020 in the four categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, after six Oscar nominations. The film became the first non-English language movie to win the Best Picture award.
In the film, Lee plays the character of Mr. Park, whose well-off home is infiltrated by members of a lower-class family posing as highly qualified domestic workers in a tangled scheme that ends in violence.
Lee, born in 1975, had leading roles in South Korean films such as the 2012 thriller Helpless and 2014’s All About My Wife, as well as the acclaimed 2018 TV series My Mister. He played the lead in Apple TV+’s first Korean-language original series, rolled out in 2021.
Lee’s wife is award-winning actress Jeon Hye-jin, and the couple had two children.