Actor Lee Sun-kyun Dies by Suicide

Lee Sun-kyun starred in 'Parasite' and the Apple TV+ show 'Dr. Brain.'

Beloved actor Lee Sun-kyun had died, per Reuters and multiple other outlets. The Korea Times characterizes the movie/TV star's passing as an "apparent suicide." Sun-kyun was best known worldwide for starring in the 2019 movie Parasite, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 2020 ceremony.

Authorities discovered Sun-kyun's remains inside a parked car in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. local time. He reportedly left a suicide note at his residence. First responders declared the SAG Award winner dead at the scene. The news outlet reports that police discovered charcoal briquettes in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Though the official cause of death has yet to be determined, this is a sign of charcoal-burning suicide (self-inflicted carbon monoxide poisoning). 

In the months leading up to his death, police had questioned Sun-kyun three times over alleged drug use — including a 19-hour interrogation on Saturday. According to The Korea Times, the Dr. Brain star admitted to taking drugs but not of his own volition. Sun-kyun, who was married to actress Jeon Hye-jin, claimed he had been misled about the substances given to him by a hostess who he alleged blackmailed him afterward. He had notably lost work as a result of the investigation, dropping out of the upcoming movie No Way Out.

Sun-kyun played Park Dong-ik (a.k.a. Nathan) in Parasite. His character was the wealthy father whose life and home was soon infiltrated by the film's protagonists, the Kim family. He and other members of the Parasite cast won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for their work. Sun-kyun also appeared in Coffee Prince, My MisterKingmaker, Sleep, Helpless, A Hard Day, Diary of a Prosecutor, All About My Wife and the Apple TV+ show Dr. Brain.

He is survived by his wife Jeon Hye-jin and their two sons. No funeral arrangements or memorial details have been made public as of press time.Jeon Hye-jin,

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available.