S. Korean Actress Found Dead at 26

Song Yoo-jung is only the latest of nation's young stars to die
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2021 11:19 AM CST
Another S. Korean Star Dies Young
A screenshot of Song Yoo-jung.   (YouTube)

A disturbing trend in South Korea has continued in 2021: Another of the nation's young stars has been found dead. Actress Song Yoo-jung, 26, died on Saturday in Seoul, though no cause of death has been revealed, reports CNN. As the New York Times notes, her unexpected death has once again put the spotlight on the grueling toll South Korea's entertainment industry takes on its performers. Song's death follows a spate of high-profile suicides, particularly in the K-pop music industry. While Song wasn't in music, she had become well-known in recent years. She began her career as a model for Estee Lauder in 2013 before moving on to starring roles in TV and web series.

In South Korea's entertainment industry, would-be stars are groomed as young teens, then turned into pop idols whose lives are put on public display on social media, per the Times. Many, including some of those who later took their lives, have complained about the intense scrutiny and bullying they endured as a result. However, it doesn't appear that Song had made similar complaints in public. Her breakout role came in a 2019 web series called Dear My Name, in which she played an architecture student. (The massively popular boy band BTS received a perk from the government in regard to military service.)

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