Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead in his car amid drug controversy

Debodinna Chakraborty
Debodinna ChakrabortyDec 27, 2023 | 12:40

Parasite actor Lee Sun-kyun found dead in his car amid drug controversy

Lee Sun-kyun was famous for his role in Parasite, Dr Brain, Sleep, Coffee Prince. (Photo: Letterboxd)

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, known for his performance in the Academy Award-winning film Parasite, was found dead in a vehicle in Seoul on Wednesday (December 27), according to authorities.

This discovery follows an extensive police investigation into his suspected drug involvement that lasted several weeks.


  • Lee Sun-kyun passed away at the age of 48 in central Seoul. Reports suggest it was a suicide, with his wife informing the police that he left home, leaving behind a note indicating his intentions.

  • Initially discovered in a car on a street in northern Seoul, police and emergency responders initially believed Lee to be unconscious.

  • Later, Seoul's Seongbuk police station confirmed his death.

  • The 48-year-old actor left a note, presumed to be a suicide message or a 'will' for his wife, as stated by a police official.

Drug trial

  • Lee Sun-kyun, famous for his role in the award-winning movie Parasite and other works like Sleep, Coffee Prince, and A Hard Day, faced public scrutiny during a drug controversy.
  • Since October this year, several industry elites, including Lee Sun Gyun and BIGBANG's G-Dragon, were accused of drug involvement after police investigations. 
  • G-Dragon, however, cleared his name through multiple drug tests.
  • Following this, the actor withdrew from several upcoming projects on the morning of December 27, 2023, citing ongoing issues.
  • The Parasite actor was stamped with uncertainty regarding his future in the industry, but a thorough examination by the National Institute of Forensic Science proved the absence of drugs in Lee Sun-kyun’s body. 

His career

  • Even before Parasite, Lee was already a well-known actor in South Korea. 
  • He became famous for his role in the TV series "Coffee Prince (2007)" and gained widespread recognition for his performances in medical dramas like Behind The White Tower (2007), Pasta (2010), and My Mister (2018).
  • In 2021, he won a Screen Actors Guild award for his role in the same film. He was also nominated for best actor at the International Emmy Awards for his performance in Dr. Brain last year.
Last updated: December 27, 2023 | 12:40
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