‘Pinocchio’ star Byun Hee-bong dies at 81 following battle with cancer
South Korean actor Byun Hee-bong, who’s best known for roles in the K-dramas “Pinocchio” and “My Girl,” died after his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.
Byun’s death was confirmed in an official statement from his representative last Monday, Sept. 18, as reported by Korean media outlet Yonhap News.
Prior to his death, the veteran actor had been struggling with a recurrence of pancreatic cancer which was previously declared as “cured.”
The veteran actor had been active in the entertainment industry since the 1970s, and was among South Korean director Bong Joon-ho‘s collaborator in films, including “Memories of Murder,” “Okja,” and “The Host.”
He also appeared in several K-dramas including “Pinocchio,” “My Girl,” “Witch Yoo Hee,” “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho,” and “Goddess of Fire,” among many others.
In 2020, he received the Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit — the second-highest honor in South Korea’s cultural awards system — in recognition of his significant contribution to the arts. EDV