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 December 27, 2023

'Parasite' star Lee Sun-kyun passes away, according to the South Korean emergency office

Known for his Oscar-winning role in "Parasite," South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun was found dead in a car, according to Seoul authorities who made the announcement on Wednesday.

The Washington Times reported that the actor had been under police scrutiny for a long time due to drug use claims.

Lee was found in a car, seemingly unconscious, by police and emergency services upon first arrival in northern Seoul.

According to the Seoul police station in Seongbuk, emergency services later confirmed his death. The police have been looking for Lee, 48, since he was reported missing.

Officials have blocked all questions about whether they had determined that Lee committed suicide or not. Early on Wednesday, Yonhap and other South Korean news outlets claimed that Lee's family had notified the authorities that he had departed the home following the discovery of what seemed to be a suicide note.

Lee was a part of the four-time Oscar-winning picture "Parasite," which premiered in 2020.

The satire made history by being the first South Korean film to win best picture at the Academy Awards in their 92-year existence. Furthermore, it made history as the first Oscar-winning film that was not made in English. In the film, Lee played the role of the wealthy family patriarch.

In 2020, the Screen Actors Guild presented an Oscar to the whole ensemble cast, including Lee, for their performances in the film. Last year, he was nominated for an International Emmy for his role in the science fiction thriller "Dr. Brain."

Prior to his breakout role in "Parasite," Lee had already been a renowned figure in South Korean cinema.

His breakthrough role was in the 2007 TV drama "Coffee Prince," and he has since been in other critically acclaimed series, including "Behind The White Tower," "Pasta," and "My Mister (2018)."

The authorities were investigating allegations that Lee used illegal drugs at the residence of a bar hostess.

Per Yonhap, Lee said he was deceived into taking the prescribed medicines and denied knowing they were provided to him.

As a result of the investigation, which received extensive tabloid publicity, unfounded online rumors about his private life and alleged drug usage spread like wildfire. According to Lee, the hostess was one of two people he sued for allegedly blackmailing him.

He respectfully bowed several times and apologized to his family and supporters upon his initial summons to appear before the police in Incheon, a city adjacent to Seoul, in late October.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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