Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun dies of apparent suicide

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Horrible news from the entertainment industry:

Lee Sun-kyun, an actor who played one of the leads in the Oscar-winning film Parasite, was found dead on Tuesday in Seoul, Korea.

He was 48 years old.

Photography by Lee Sun-kyun
Lee Sun Kyun attends the “Project Silence” red carpet during the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Lee's body was discovered inside a car in a park, according to the Associated Press, which also reported that the actor's loved ones had been searching for Lee after he left an apparent suicide note.

However, the circumstances surrounding this tragedy appear to be even more unusual.

The star had faced police interrogations three times over allegations of illegal drug use amid a government crackdown… with one session lasting 19 hours just last weekend.

The actor had said that a bar waitress who was trying to blackmail him tricked him into taking drugs, Yonhap news agency reported.

He was found with a charcoal briquette in his passenger seat and pronounced dead at the scene.

Lee Sun-kyun in 2023Lee Sun-kyun in 2023
Lee Sun-kyun appears here at the “Project Silence” photocall at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Lee played the head of the wealthy Park family in Parasite, which took home the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards in 2020.

The South Korean film made history by becoming the first non-English language film to earn this honor.

Parasite also won Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film that year.

Image by Lee Sun KyunImage by Lee Sun Kyun
Lee Sun-kyun attends the opening night of the 2023 New York Asian Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theater on July 14, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by John Nación/Getty Images)

“Because the film received the Palme d'Or at Cannes, we expected it to receive some recognition at the Oscars, because it was the first Korean film that even had a chance,” Lee told HollywoodChicago.com while recalling his experience working on the film. in an interview published in October.

He added at that time:

“When all the nominations came out, I hoped that director Boon Joon-ho could win, but I never thought we had a chance to win Best Picture. So when our director won, we thought the day was over.

“You can't imagine how surprised and excited we were when the film was nominated for Best Picture. I will never forget.”

Lee also had leading roles in films such as Helpless and All About My Wife and starred in Apple TV+'s first Korean-language original series, Dr. Brain.

The actor is survived by his wife, Jeon Hye-jin, and two children.

May Lee Sun-kyun rest in peace.



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