Industry under scrutiny after South Korean actress dies

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A popular South Korean actress has passed away in mysterious circumstances, sparking concern over pressures within the country’s entertainment industry.

Jeon Mi-seon was found dead in her hotel room in Jeonju on Saturday about midday (local time) after her manager hadn’t seen her for two days and raised the alarm.

The 48-year-old had reportedly been depressed and recently dealt with the loss of a family member, local police said, according to Variety.

Her management agency, Boas Entertainment, confirmed the news in a statement.

Photo of South Korean actress Jeon Mi-seon who was found dead in her hotel room.
Ms Mi-seon starring in Six Flying Dragons. Source: SBS

“The late Jeon Mi-sun had received treatments for her depression. We regret that we bring sad tidings,” the statement read.

“We ask for your condolences, and we ask the media to refrain from reporting on unconfirmed rumours and speculations out of respect for her family, who are in shock and grief-stricken.”

Ms Mi-seon starred in various dramas including Moon Embracing the Sun (2012), Love is a Crazy Thing (2005), and Hide and Seek (2013) throughout her three-decade long career.

Her death follows several South Korean stars who have died by suicide in recent years, including TV actor Choi Jin-sil in 2008, and her brother and fellow actor Choi Jin-young in 2010.

Photo of South Korean actress Jeon Mi-seon who passed away after a battle with depression.
Ms Mi-seon in the 1989 KBS drama series based on the novel Toji (The Land). Source: KBS

Actor Lee Eun-Joo took his own life at the age of 25 in 2005, and singer Yuni, 26, also died by suicide in 2007, along with actor Jeong Da-Bin.

South Korean pop star Kim Jonghyun, a member of boy band SHINee, also took his own life in December 2017, aged 27.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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