Lee Sun-kyun Dead at 48, Parasite Actor Was Under Investigation



  • Acclaimed South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun was declared dead amid shocking personal details.
  • Lee was under investigation for illegal drug use allegations, part of a government crackdown on illegal drugs.
  • Lee’s previous statements mentioned being blackmailed by a bar hostess regarding drug use.

The acclaimed South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun has been declared dead amid several shocking details, according to Seoul police. As Reuters reports, “Lee had been under investigation over illegal drug use allegations amid an ongoing government crackdown on illegal drugs. Lee was found unconscious next to charcoal briquettes inside a car at a park in Seoul on Wednesday morning, after his wife reported to police that Lee had left home and she had found what appeared to be a suicide note, Yonhap said.” Lee was 48.

This follows Lee’s 19-hour-long interrogation by the police over the weekend before Christmas. He was previously questioned twice on the same case, on Oct. 28th and Nov. 4th, according to The Korea Times. Lee claimed he was being blackmailed by a bar hostess with whom he did drugs. After his weekend interrogation, he told reporters, “I feel like it is a bit too late, but I’ve finished the questioning by the police about the blackmail case. I hope the police wisely determine which statements are more reliable between mine and the blackmailers.”

South Korea has notoriously stringent and at times draconian drug laws. They forbid their citizens to consume cannabis even when traveling to another country where that drug is legal. People can be imprisoned for months, years, or even up to 14 years for drug use.

Suicide by charcoal (which Lee likely used) and thus carbon monoxide is more common in Asian countries. South Korean pop stars Kim Jong-hyun and Goo Hara have used this method similarly, as have Chinese pop star Du Yuwei and lead singer Brad Delp of the band Boston.

Lee Sun-kyun Was a South Korean Star



Release Date
May 30, 2019



Lee Sun-kyun appeared in numerous South Korean television shows before breaking big on the international scene thanks to acclaimed films like Paju, Helpless, and A Hard Day. The actor’s working relationship with the great director Hong Sang-soo took him to new heights on the festival circuit, and Lee became a recognizable face around the world for his role as the somewhat clueless rich father in the Bong Joon-ho film, Parasite, the first international movie to with the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Lee leaves behind his wife, Jeon Hye-jin, and two children.

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