The famous South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, known for his role in the movie “Parasite,” was found dead on Wednesday in what seems to be a suicide, according to reports from the Yonhap news agency. The police found him inside a vehicle at a park in central Seoul.
Lee, who was 48, was being investigated by the police for using marijuana and other drugs. Despite once being well-regarded for his clean image, it was reported that he was being dropped from TV and commercial projects after the scandal.
A graduate of South Korea’s respected Korea National University of Arts, Lee started acting in 2001 in a TV show called “Lovers.” He became famous for playing various roles, like a charming chef and a hardworking architectural engineer who finds out about his wife cheating.
Internationally, he’s best known for playing the rich and superficial dad in the 2019 Oscar-winning film “Parasite.” His last movie, a horror film called “Sleep,” released this year, got good reviews and was featured at the Cannes festival. In the movie, he played a husband whose sleepwalking causes scary situations.
In late October, Lee spoke briefly to reporters before meeting with investigators at a police station in Incheon. “I’m really sorry for disappointing many people with this unpleasant incident,” he said. “I feel bad for my family going through such a tough time. Again, I apologize to everyone.”
South Korea has strict laws against illegal drugs. Even if citizens use drugs like marijuana legally in other countries, they could face charges when they come back. This year, President Yoon Suk Yeol called for tougher measures to get rid of drug trafficking, saying the country is no longer “drug-free.”
Lee Sun-kyun is survived by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and their two sons.