Lee Sun-kyun: A Legacy in Korean Cinema | Quizzop

Lee Sun-Kyun: A Legacy in Korean Cinema

Famous Personalities  •  28 Dec, 2023  •  67,002 Views  •  ⭐ 2.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia

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In a shocking turn of events that has rippled through the entertainment world, the sudden demise of Lee Sun-kyun, a prominent South Korean actor famed for his role in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite," has left fans and colleagues in a state of disbelief. Known for his dynamic portrayals and significant contributions to Korean cinema, Lee's untimely death under mysterious circumstances has become a focal point of media attention. This blog delves into the life and legacy of Lee Sun-kyun, exploring his career highs, the enigmatic end to his life, and the aftermath that has captivated a global audience.


Tragic Passing of Lee Sun-Kyun

Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead inside a car amid illegal drug use  trial - India Today
Image Credits: India Today

The untimely demise of South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, renowned for his role in the critically acclaimed film "Parasite," has left a profound impact on the world of Korean cinema. Lee was tragically discovered deceased in a vehicle parked in a Seoul park on Wednesday. His portrayal as the affluent head of the Park family in the 2019 Academy Award-winning movie "Parasite" earned him worldwide recognition.

Investigation into Lee Sun-Kyun's Death

Actor Lee Sun-kyun of Oscar-winning film 'Parasite' dies
Image Credits: NBC News

The circumstances surrounding Lee Sun-kyun's death are currently under investigation, with suicide being a suspected cause, though this has yet to be confirmed. The search for the actor commenced following a worrying call from his wife, who found a letter resembling a suicide note.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of Lee Sun-kyun's career and the ongoing investigation into the mysterious circumstances of his passing.



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Lee Sun-Kyun's Illustrious Career

Tragic Loss: Parasite Actor Lee Sun-Kyun Found Dead | FridayWall
Image Credits: FridayWall

Lee Sun-kyun, born in 1975, established himself as a notable figure in Korean film. A graduate of the Korea National University of Arts, he embarked on his acting career in 2001, beginning with the TV sitcom "Lovers." His international fame soared with his portrayal of Park Dong-ik, the patriarch of the affluent Park family, in the 2019 Academy Award-winning movie "Parasite." This role contributed to the entire cast, including Lee, receiving the Screen Actors Guild Award for their exceptional ensemble performance.
Lee Sun-kyun's career spanned several acclaimed South Korean titles, such as "Payback," "Diary of a Prosecutor," "My Mister," "Killing Romance," and "Kingmaker." His prominence further increased after "Parasite," particularly through his role in "Dr. Brain," the inaugural South Korean series on Apple TV Plus. This performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the 2022 International Emmy Awards.
His final cinematic endeavour was the horror drama "Sleep," in which he played a sleepwalking husband. The film garnered critical praise and was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee is mourned by his wife, actress Jeon Hye-jin, and their two sons.

Discovery and Police Response

Parasite' Star Lee Sun-kyun Found Dead in Car | Vanity Fair
Image Credits: Vanity Fair 

According to reports from Yonhap, a leading South Korean news outlet, actor Lee Sun-kyun, aged 48, was tragically discovered deceased in a vehicle located at a park in Seoul on Wednesday. Inside the vehicle, alongside him, a charcoal briquette was found on the passenger seat. This discovery came after law enforcement began a search initiated by a distress call from his wife. She reported that Lee had left their home, leaving behind a message that she interpreted as resembling a suicide note.
Investigators from the Korean Crime Scene Investigation unit were seen examining the area where the actor was found unresponsive. This incident occurred in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, and was documented by photographer Seo Dae-youn for Yonhap, as per the news agency's report.

Drug Investigation and Legal Challenges

Lee Sun-kyun Dead: 'Parasite' Star, South Korean Actor Was 48
Image Credits: Variety

Lee Sun-kyun, famed for his role in "Parasite," was subject to an investigation by the South Korean authorities for allegedly using illegal substances in the residence of a high-end bar's hostess in Seoul. The Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency of South Korea was conducting the inquiry. According to Reuters, Lee faced questioning on three occasions by the police, with one interrogation extending to 19 hours during the weekend.
Lee alleged that he was the victim of extortion by one of the co-accused in the case, claiming to have lost a substantial amount of money to this individual. He also stated his unawareness of the illicit nature of the substance he ingested.
As reported by Yonhap, a prominent Korean news agency, Lee underwent two drug tests, both of which returned negative results. These included a rapid reagent test by the police and a more comprehensive laboratory-based test by the National Forensic Service. Nevertheless, the accuser, a hostess from the bar, persisted with her allegations. Consequently, Lee requested that the police conduct a polygraph test to ascertain the truth.
Lee's legal representative informed Yonhap that the negative outcome of the National Forensic Service's drug test contradicted the hostess's allegations. Asserting Lee's innocence, the lawyer advocated for a lie detector test for both parties to scientifically determine the veracity of their claims.
In South Korea, the legal framework governing drug-related offences is stringent. The consumption of illegal drugs can result in imprisonment ranging from six months to as long as 14 years for repeated offences or drug trafficking.


Statements and Reactions Post-Death

Lee Sun-kyun dies at peak of his fame - The Korea Times
Image Credits: The Korean Times

The Guardian covered a statement from Lee Sun-kyun, who addressed the media briefly in late October, prior to his interrogation at the Incheon police station. He expressed, "I deeply regret being involved in such a distressing matter and apologize for disappointing many. I am also remorseful for the immense pain my family is suffering through at this time."
Following the demise of Lee, his management company, HODU&U Entertainment, issued a statement, as reported by media outlets. The statement conveyed profound grief and despair and urged the public to avoid speculation and the spread of unverified information. The agency emphasized the importance of ensuring fairness in Lee's final journey.
Regarding Lee Sun-kyun's passing, BBC referred to a report from News1 Korea, which highlighted the police's response. The police expressed their regret over Lee's death, especially as it occurred amid ongoing investigations. However, they emphasized that the investigation was carried out with Lee's full cooperation and consent.


The loss of Lee Sun-kyun is a poignant reminder of the transient nature of life, even for those who seem larger than life on the silver screen. As we reflect on his remarkable journey from a promising actor to a celebrated star in Korean cinema, his passing leaves a void that is deeply felt across the entertainment industry. While his fans and loved ones continue to grapple with the tragedy, Lee's legacy endures through his memorable performances and the indelible mark he left on the world of film. His story, both inspiring and tragic, will undoubtedly continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

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