South Korean actor and model Song Yoo-jung died at the age of 26

South Korean actor and model Song Yoo-jung died at the age of 26

Actor and South Korean drama star Song Yoo-jung has died at the age of 26, according to her representatives.

Song was found dead inside her Seoul apartment on Saturday, Sublime Artist Agency said in a statement. The agency said she died suddenly but did not go into further detail about the cause.

“Yoo-jung was a friend who always gave us happiness with a bright smile, and an awesome actress who acted with a passion bigger than anyone,” the agency said.

Her family mourned her at a private funeral on Monday, the agency said.

Song launched her career as a model for Estee Lauder and Baskin Robbins before breaking into the K-drama world with Golden Rainbow in 2013.

South Korean actor Song Yoo-jung has died age 26. The causes are currently unknown.

The information was confirmed by Song’s representatives at the Sublime Artist Agency. The agency also posted the news on Instagram.

Song began as a model and debuted as an actor in MBC’s Golden Rainbow.” She was best known for her recurring role in MBC TV series “Make A Wish” where she appeared in 120 episodes between 2014 and 2015 as the character Han Da-won. More recently Song also appeared in another series “School 2017,” broadcast by KBS2, and “Dear My Name.”

Song’s sudden death re-ignited talk about suicides in South Korea’s entertainment industry on Tuesday, particularly in the world of K-pop. Korean management companies are well-known for grooming young performers into pop idols and mega-stars, but the sudden fame has taken a toll on others in the past.

Young stars such as singer Kim Jong-hyun, 27, Sulli, 25, and Goo Hara, 28, have died by suicide in recent years, citing depression and bullying in their final notes.

“Public entertainers like myself don’t have it easy,” Goo said in a statement to her fans before her death. “We have our private lives more scrutinized than anyone else and we suffer the kind of pain we cannot even discuss with our family and friends.”

The suicide conversation intensified this week after South Korean rapper Iron, 28, was found dead in his apartment on Monday, the South China Morning Post reports. The performer, born Chung Heon-chul, rose to fame as a reality show contestant in 2014.

South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, particularly among developed nations.

“Actress Song Yoo-jung has left us,” the notice said. “Yoo Jung was always a friend who gave happiness with a bright smile. She was a wonderful actor who played with passion bigger than anyone else. Thank you for joining us as an actor at the Sublime Artist Agency.”

It is understood that Song died on Saturday and that a private funeral has already taken place.

Korea has seen a succession of deaths of young celebrities. These include the death by suicide of K-pop star Jonghyun (real name: Kim Jong-hyun), who was 27. In 2019, the singer Sulli, formerly of the band f(x), was found dead at her home at the age of 25. Another K-pop star, Goo Hara, formerly a member of girl band Kara, was found dead at 28.

The Korean music, film and TV industries are currently enjoying global renown due to a combination of talent, rigorous training and social media marketing. Behind the glamour, however, the industry is known to put great pressure on its young stars, and fans can turn into bullying detractors online.

Actors and other female artists have also killed themselves, complaining of depression and disillusionment with the industry. Jang Ja-yeon, who had a supporting role in the Korean version of hit TV series “Boys Over Flowers,” wrote in her suicide note that she had been forced to perform sexual favors to so-called sponsors who help talent get roles in popular TV series or films.