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‘Parasite’ Actor Lee Sun-kyun Dead at 48

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film ‘Parasite,’ has been found dead.

He was 48.

According to local authorities, he was found unconscious in a car at a park in central Seoul on Wednesday.

via BBC:

It is unclear if Lee took his own life, but police received a report that he had left home after writing a note, Yonhap news agency said.

He had been under investigation for alleged drug use since October.

Yonhap reports that he was suspected of taking drugs with an employee at a bar in Seoul. He had said that though he had taken what she had given him he had not known that they were illicit drugs.

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The hostess had reportedly told the police that he used drugs at her home multiple times – something he denied. He had earlier requested through his lawyer to take a lie detector test.

His drug tests had returned negative or inconclusive results, the report added.

There has been extensive interest around the investigation, which caused considerable damage to Lee’s reputation. He was dropped from No Way Out, a mystery TV series that began shooting in October.

The actor, who was married to and had two sons with actress Jeon Hye-jin, had an acting career spanning more than two decades.

He starred as the lead in dozens of films and TV shows, becoming a household name through the 2010s.

He rose to international fame as Park Dong-ik in Parasite, the father in the wealthy Park family which was later infiltrated by members of a poor family posing as unrelated individuals.

The film swept four awards at the Oscars in 2020, including best picture – becoming the first non-English language film to win the prize.

Drug offences, including those involving usage of marijuana, are considered serious crimes in South Korea. Consumption of marijuana carries prison sentences of up to five years.


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