Lee Sun-kyun, star of ‘Parasite,’ dead at 48—reports

Lee Sun-kyun, star of ‘Parasite,’ ‘My Mister,’ dead at 48—reports

/ 12:03 PM December 27, 2023

Lee Sun-kyun. Image: Instagram/@cjenmmovie

Lee Sun-kyun. Image: Instagram/@cjenmmovie

Lee Sun-kyun, a South Korean actor who gained international acclaim after starring in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” died Wednesday, Dec. 27, while facing an investigation over suspected drug use. He was 48 years old.

An initial report from the Seoul Seongbuk Police Station, per Korean media outlet Tenasia, said Lee was discovered inside a parked vehicle in Waryong Park located at South Korea’s capital.


Authorities had been alerted after an emergency call cited Lee leaving home after writing what appeared to be a suicide note, per reports from The Korea Times and Korea JoongAng Daily. He was then found in a car at around 10:30 a.m. with charcoal briquettes in the passenger seat.


“As he was pronounced dead, he wasn’t taken to hospital,” an official told The Korea Times.

Prior to his death, Lee had been under police investigation over suspected drug use since October, where he was allegedly using illegal drugs “multiple times this year” along with seven other people mainly in entertainment establishments.

The actor’s last questioning by authorities took place last Saturday, Dec. 23, and he recently sought a lie detector test three days later. He had been investigated three times before his death, per Tenasia.

Previously celebrated for his wholesome image, local news outlets reported that the actor was being dropped from television and commercial projects following his drug scandal, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

Details about his wake and burial have yet to be released as of this writing.


Lee gained global recognition after portraying the role of Park Dong-ik in the Bong Joon-ho-helmed film “Parasite.”

The actor is also known for his appearances in the K-dramas “My Mister,” “Coffee Prince,” “Pasta” and “Miss Korea,” as well as the films “All About My Wife” and “A Hard Day.”

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TAGS: celebrity death, obituaries, Parasite, Suicide

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