Lee Sun-kyun: 5 Things to Know About the ‘Parasite’ Actor Found Dead at 48

The 'Parasite' family has suffered a tragic loss. Lee Sun-kyun has died at the age of 48.

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The world is shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Lee Sun-kyun. The actor was found dead in Seoul, South Korea, on December 27. He was just 48 years old.

Lee recently became a global sensation with his fellow castmates after the release of the Oscar-winning film Parasite. At the time of his death, Lee was in the middle of a police investigation. Learn more about Lee and his life below.

Lee Sun-kyun Was Found Dead in His Car

Police and emergency officers discovered Lee in his car that he had parked on a street in northern Seoul, according to the Associated Press. They initially believed he was unconscious, but the actor was later pronounced dead. A cause of death has not been revealed.

Lee Sun-kyun
Lee Sun-kyun in 2023. ( Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock)

Police had been looking for Lee after he was reported missing. His family had reportedly found what appeared to be a suicide note at his home.

Lee Was Under Investigation

The actor had been questioned on suspicion of using marijuana and other illegal drugs at the home of a woman who worked at a bar in Seoul, Yonhap News Agency reported, according to The Washington Post. Lee claimed that the hostess tricked him into taking drugs. The actor had filed a suit against the hostess and another person. He alleged that these two people had blackmailed him.

Lee had been interrogated about the accusations the weekend before his death. One round of questioning took 19 hours, according to Reuters. All of the drug tests Lee took came back negative, according to CNN. South Korea has strict drug laws. Some offenders can face up to 14 years in prison.

Lee Notably Starred in ‘Parasite’

Lee played Park Dong-ik, the head of the family, in Bong Joon-ho’s critically acclaimed film Parasite in 2019. The movie won the Oscar for Best Picture. The South Korean film made history as the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture. Lee also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Cast in a Motion Picture.

Lee Sun-kyun
Lee Sun-kyun in 2019. (GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Lee Was Married

Lee married actress Jeon Hye-jin in 2009. They had been dating for several years prior to getting married. They have two children together. 

Lee Had Been Acting Since the Early 2000s

The actor had his breakout moment in the South Korean TV shows Behind the White Tower and Coffee Prince in 2007. Before Parasite, Lee was best known for his roles in the films Helpless, All About My Wife, and A Hard Day.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.