Lee Sun-Kyun, the award-winning actor who starred in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, was found dead in his car on Tuesday in an apparent suicide, according to local media reports.
The 48-year-old actor was discovered in a park in Seoul with a charcoal briquette next to him, a common method of carbon monoxide poisoning in South Korea. He was pronounced dead at the scene and no cause of death has been confirmed yet.
Lee Sun-Kyun’ death came amid a drug scandal that had tarnished his reputation and career. He was accused of using marijuana and other illegal substances several times this year at the home of a bar hostess in Seoul. Lee had undergone three rounds of police questioning and denied the allegations, claiming he was tricked by the woman. He also requested a polygraph test to prove his innocence. His drug tests all came back negative, including one by the National Forensic Service.
Lee Sun-Kyun was best known for his role as the patriarch of a wealthy family in Parasite, the dark comedy that made history by winning four Oscars in 2019, including Best Picture. He also won a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture along with his co-stars.
The Circumstances of Lee Sun-Kyun’ Death
Lee’s family reported him missing after he left a note that sounded like a suicide note and drove away from home. They expressed their grief and asked for privacy in this difficult time.
Lee Sun-Kyun’s death has shocked and saddened his fans and colleagues, who remembered him as a talented and versatile actor. He had appeared in more than 40 films and TV shows, ranging from comedy to thriller, and had received critical acclaim for his performances. He was also a devoted husband and father of two children.
Lee Sun-Kyun death has also raised questions about the pressure and stigma faced by celebrities in South Korea, especially those involved in drug scandals. South Korea has strict laws and harsh penalties for drug use, and public opinion is often unforgiving of those who are accused or convicted of drug offenses. Many celebrities have faced severe backlash and career damage after being linked to drugs, regardless of the evidence or circumstances.