The Korea Herald


Actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Dec. 27, 2023 - 11:39

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Lee Sun-kyun (Yonhap) Lee Sun-kyun (Yonhap)

South Korean police confirmed that Lee Sun-kyun had been found dead Wednesday morning at Waryong Park in northern Jongno-gu in Seoul. He had been under investigation for alleged drug use.

Police confirmed his identity after earlier reports said the body of a man suspected to be the well-known actor had been found at the park. Lee was found unconscious inside of his car at around 10:30 a.m., having inhaled smoke from charcoal briquette.

Emergency workers said he was already dead at the time of discovery, and that he was not taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

The 119 emergency service had received a report at 10:12 a.m. from a woman that her husband "left home after writing a note that looks like a will." She added, "He could be contacted until yesterday. The car is also gone."

Officials have not yet confirmed the exact cause of death.

Lee, who was 48 years old, was being investigated for suspected drug use. He claimed to have mistakenly illegal substances, thinking they were sleeping pills, after having been tricked by a host at a high-end bar.

The woman in question claimed that the actor had been aware of what he was taking.

Lee made a request with police for polygraph tests for him and the woman on Tuesday to verify who was telling the truth.

Lee was a prolific actor in Korean TV and cinema over the last two decades, most recently starring in this year's breakout comedy-horror hit "Sleep." He was best known internationally for his role as the wealthy patriarch in Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning “Parasite.”

If you’re thinking about self-harm or suicide, contact the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s helpline on 1393, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please request a translator for English-language services.