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“Parasite” Actor Lee Sun-kyun Found Dead in Apparent Suicide Amidst Drug Probe

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Lee was found unconscious inside a car with a charcoal briquette, a method known to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, at a Seoul Park. He had been reported missing earlier in the day, and his manager informed the police about an apparent suicide note left behind.

Police examine a car at a park in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.

The actor’s death follows an ongoing investigation into his alleged illegal drug use, a matter taken seriously in South Korea. Lee was questioned multiple times by the police, and during the first interrogation in October, he apologized for causing disappointment and claimed to have been tricked into drug use.

Police investigate a car where the body of South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun was found at a park in central Seoul on Dec. 27, 2023.

Despite passing drug tests and a polygraph examination, the investigation took a toll on Lee, leading to widespread tabloid coverage. South Korea’s strict drug laws can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.

Lee starred in the 2019 movie “Parasite,” which became the first non-English film to win best picture at the Oscars.

Lee Sun-kyun gained international acclaim for his role as the father in “Parasite,” which won multiple Oscars in 2020, including Best Picture. He also received a Screen Actors Guild award in 2021 for his role in the film.

The actor’s unexpected death has left the entertainment industry and fans in shock. Lee is survived by his wife, award-winning actress Jeon Hye-jin, and their two children. His agency, Hodu & U Entertainment, announced that the funeral will be private for family and close friends, urging against the spread of speculation or false information.

December 28, 2023

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