Lee Sun-kyun had been under police investigation over his alleged use drugs. Image Credit: Reuters

Seoul: Lee Sun-kyun, an actor in South Korea's Oscar-winning film 'Parasite', was found dead on Wednesday by authorities following up a report that he had gone missing, a fire official in the capital said.

The actor had said he was tricked into taking drugs by a bar hostess trying to blackmail him, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Lee, 48, who played the head of a wealthy household in the film, had faced investigation over accusations of illegal drug use amid a government crackdown in which police questioned him three times, with one session running 19 hours over the weekend.

Authorities found Lee in a search triggered by the report that he was missing, the fire official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, as the matter is a sensitive one.

Earlier, citing police, Yonhap said Lee was found in a car at a park in Seoul, after his manager told police the actor had left home, leaving an apparent suicide note.

Officials at Seoul's Jongno and Seongbuk police stations did not immediately respond to telephone calls from Reuters to seek comment.

Police investigate a car in which the body of South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun was found at a park in central Seoul on December 27, 2023. South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite", was found dead on December 27, in an apparent suicide, Yonhap news agency reported. Image Credit: Photo by Yonhap / AFP

Infringements of South Korea's tough drug laws can lead to six months in jail, or up to 14 years for repeat offenders and dealers.

Lee's agency, HODU&U Entertainment, also did not respond to calls.

It had received six Oscar nominations.

South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun arrives at a police station for questioning regarding his alleged illegal drug use in Incheon, South Korea, December 23, 2023. Image Credit: Yonhap via Reuters

A 2019 dark-comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho, 'Parasite' won the Academy Award in February 2020 in the four categories of best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best international feature film.

In the film, Lee acted as Mr. Park, whose affluent home is infiltrated by members of a lower-class family posing as highly qualified domestic workers in a tangled scheme that leads to a gory end.

South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, South Korean actor Choi Woo-shik, South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, South Korean actress Cho Yeo-jeong and South korean actress Chang Hyae-jin wave as they arrive for the screening of the film "Parasite (Gisaengchung)" at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2019. South Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite", was found dead in an apparent suicide, Yonhap news agency reported on December 24, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Lee, born in 1975, had leading roles in South Korean films such as the 2012 thriller "Helpless" and 2014's "All About My Wife".

He played the lead in Apple TV+'s first Korean-language original series, which rolled out in 2021.

A six-episode sci-fi thriller, "Dr. Brain" unspooled the tale of a cold-hearted neurologist, hunting for clues to a mysterious family accident through brain experiments.