As reported by various outlets, including the South Korean news service Yonhap, on December 26, “Parasite” actor Lee Sun-kyun has died at the age of 48. The publication claimed that the actor was found inside a car in a park in central Seoul, South Korea. Police had previously received a report that his car was gone and that he had left behind something close to a suicide note.
The news of Sun-kyun’s death comes a few months after the actor made headlines for being at the center of an illegal drug use probe. He also notably made a blackmail complaint with law enforcement, claiming to have lost thousands of dollars to the individual extorting him (via Variety). At the time of publication, Sun-kyun’s cause of death is unknown; reports have stated that fire officials declared him dead at the scene and he wasn’t taken to a hospital.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his death, Sun-kyun leaves behind an impressive body of acting work that will be enjoyed by film and television fans for years to come.
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- Lee Sun-Kyun was best known for his role as the well-to-do patriarch in Parasite
Lee Sun-kyun’s entertainment journey goes back to the early 2000s when he got his start in film and television. He built his name at the movies in films such as “Scent of Love” and “Sa-kwa” and sharpened his TV acting skills via the likes of “Loveholic” and “Behind the White Tower.” As the 2000s changed to the 2010s, he continued to add titles to his filmography, with the end of the decade bringing his biggest — “Parasite,” the class drama that took the film world by storm in 2019.
Sun-kyun put in a memorable performance in “Parasite” as the well-to-do patriarch of the Park family, Park Dong-ik, contributing greatly to the movie’s overall incredible success. From the Cannes Film Festival to the Oscars, where the film won best picture awards at the 92nd Academy Awards, director Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece picked up accolades and praise left and right. Naturally, this improved Sun-kyun’s stock in the entertainment world significantly, bringing him to such efforts as “Diary of a Prosecutor,” “Dr. Brain,” and “Payback” in the years that followed.
In his work as an actor, Lee Sun-kyun utilized his acting skills in a range of projects and mediums while entertaining a wide swath of audiences. The effect of his work will be felt on a global level for years to come. May he rest in peace.