South Korea’s emergency office confirmed the news to the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Authorities had been searching for the actor after his family reported finding a message akin to a suicide note. South Korean media reported that Lee was found dead in a car at a Seoul park.
He had been arrested and was under investigation after drug use allegations amid an ongoing crackdown on illegal drugs by the South Korean government. As a result, Lee reportedly dropped out of the drama No Way Out, which had just started production.
Local news service Yonhap reported that Lee had been questioned multiple times by authorities, including for 19 hours this past weekend. The actor had said he was tricked into taking drugs.
Lee starred as the wealthy architect whose family lives a seemingly charmed life in Parasite. He and his fellow castmembers won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture in 2020.
He also starred in Apple TV+’s 2021 Korean thriller drama Dr. Brain, earning an International Emmy Award nomination for his performance.