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Lee Sun-kyun, 'Parasite' star, passes away at 48

Lee Sun-kyun, 'Parasite' star, passes away at 48 Photo: Lee Sun-kyun, recognized for 'Parasite,' passes away at 48 (GettyImages)

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, known for his role in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite", has been found dead at the age of 48. The actor was discovered unconscious in a car in Seoul, with the circumstances surrounding his death still unclear, according to BBC.

Lee Sun-kyun's death comes amidst a drug investigation against him since October, involving allegations of marijuana and ketamine use. He had undergone extensive police questioning and had requested a lie detector test through his lawyer.

Despite his drug tests returning negative or inconclusive, the investigation significantly impacted his public image and career.

Lee, a family man with a previously clean image, was dropped from a TV series and saw his endorsements removed. His agency has urged the public to refrain from speculation and respect his final journey.

Legal consequences

Internationally, Mr. Lee gained significant recognition for his role in the 2019 thriller "Parasite," portraying the patriarch of a rich family around whose home the film is centered. "Parasite" achieved notable success, winning four Oscars in 2020, including Best Picture. It was the first non-English film to receive this prestigious award.

Lee Sun-kyun, 'Parasite' star, passes away at 48Lee Sun-kyun in 'Parasite' (Photo: Mashable ME)

His case reflects South Korea's stringent stance on drug offenses, where even marijuana use can lead to prison sentences. The country's president has recently intensified efforts against drug crimes amidst other high-profile drug investigations in the South Korean entertainment industry.

This strict approach has often led to significant public and professional consequences for celebrities involved in such allegations.

In recent months, several talented and famous people have passed away, such as Norman Lear, Ralph Cirella, Friends star Matthew Perry, Andre Braugher, iconic Captain Holt, and Doctor Who actor Richard Franklin.