Lee Sun-kyun, ‘Parasite’ Actor, Dies at 48

The actor had reportedly gone missing earlier Wednesday

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Lee Sun-kyun, the South Korean actor who played Park Dong-ik in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” died Wednesday at the age of 48. The South Korean emergency office confirmed to the Associated Press that Lee was found unconscious in a car in a Seoul park.

According to South Korean news outlet Yonhap, the actor had gone missing earlier Wednesday after leaving what appeared to be a suicide note at his home. Lee had been under investigation for drug use and had gone through three rounds of police questioning over using marijuana and other illegal drugs, Yonhap reported. The actor maintained his innocence throughout the government’s drug crackdown.

Lee starred in the 2012 South Korean films “Helpless” and “All About My Wife” before gaining international acclaim in Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Lee played the Park family patriarch in the film and won a Screen Actors Guild award for Best Performance by an Ensemble as part of the movie’s cast.

The actor got his start on the small screen, garnering acclaim for his role on the 2007 medical drama “White Tower.”

In 2021, Lee starred in “Dr. Brain,” the first Korean-language show produced for Apple TV+.

He is survived by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and two sons.


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