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Lee Sun-kyun cause of death: How did the Parasite actor die?

Lee Sun-kyun cause of death

Lee Sun-kyun, a South Korean actor best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, has died at the age of 48.

He died on Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press and the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Lee Sun-kyun cause of death

How did Lee Sun-kyun die?

On December 27, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., Lee was found dead inside his car at a park in central Seoul.

In the passenger seat was a charcoal briquette. The police earlier received a report from his wife that Lee had left home after “writing a memo akin to a suicide note.

Who was Lee Sun-kyun?

Lee Sun-kyun was best known for his roles in the thriller Helpless (2012), romantic comedy All About My Wife (2012), and crime/black comedy A Hard Day (2014). Internationally, he was best known for his role in the Bong Joon-ho’s Academy Award–winning black comedy film Parasite, for which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award along with his castmates. He received several other awards, including a nomination for an International Emmy Award.

After beginning his career in musical theatre, for many years Lee was relegated to minor and supporting roles onscreen, only getting to play lead characters in one-act dramas on KBS Drama City and MBC Best Theater. In one such Best Theater project, he worked with TV director Lee Yoon-jung on Taereung National Village (2005), which led to him being cast in her later series Coffee Prince in 2007. Coffee Prince, along with medical drama White Tower brought Lee mainstream popularity, which he followed with Pasta (2010), Golden Time (2012) and My Mister (2018).

Meanwhile, on the big screen, he received a Best Actor award from the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival for his role in Paju (2009), followed by critical acclaim for mystery thriller Helpless (2012), romantic comedy All About My Wife (2012), and crime/black comedy A Hard Day (2014). Lee also continued to collaborate with auteur Hong Sang-soo, and his arthouse films with Hong include Night and Day (2008), Oki’s Movie (2010), and Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013). In 2019, he starred in Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning black comedy film Parasite.

How did Lee Sun-kyun die

Lee Sun-kyun had recently been under police investigation for alleged illegal drug use. South Korea’s Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency had been investigating Lee and seven other people over alleged drug use;

Lee claimed to be the victim of blackmail by another person being investigated and allegedly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to extortion.

According to Yonhap, police questioned Lee three times, as recently as last Saturday, for his alleged use of marijuana and other drugs at the home of a hostess of a high-end bar in Seoul several times earlier this year. He claimed to have been tricked and didn’t know what he was taking.

In 2020, “Parasite” won four Academy Awards, including best picture, director for Bong Joon-ho, original screenplay and international feature film for South Korea. It also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first South Korean film to do achieve the honor. The “Parasite” cast, including Lee, won a Screen Actors Guild award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

In the film, Lee played Park Dong-ik, the father of the wealthy Park family who unknowingly hires members of the scamming, lower-class Kim family into his home to help with his children and run his household. When the ruse is finally revealed, Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) kills Mr. Park in a fit of rage at his daughter’s birthday party.

After rising to fame in “Parasite,” Lee starred in the Apple TV+ series “Dr. Brain,” its first South Korean series, and was nominated for best actor at the 2022 International Emmy Awards. He also starred in South Korean projects like “Payback,” “Diary of a Prosecutor,” “My Mister,” “Killing Romance,” “Kingmaker” and many more in the 2000s and 2010s.

Lee was a very familiar figure in Korean cinema. In Cannes this year he appeared in “Project Silence” and “Sleep.” The latter had its commercial release in September and topped the Korean box office charts for three weeks.

Lee is survived by his wife, actor Jeon Hye-jin, and their two children.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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