Korean Celebrities Who Passed Away In 2021

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2021 has been a year filled with many events, among them were the shocking deaths of some of South Korea’s brightest talents. Today, we’re remembering Korean celebrities who passed away in 2021.

Note: if we failed to mention a Korean celebrity please let us know in the comments so we can add them.

Note: this list doesn’t include parents or grandparents of idols and actors.

Comedian And Musician Kim Chul Min

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On December 16, it was reported that Kim Chul Min passed away at the age of 54, he passed away at the Korea Cancer Center Hospital hospice ward, where he was admitted earlier that day.

Back in 2019, Kim Chul Min was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. He’s been sharing his treatment journey for the past 2 years on social media and was always positive about his potential recovery. On December 16, he also left a final farewell message on social media, he wrote, “Thanks to everyone, I was happy. Thank you, I love you.”

Veteran Actor Nam Moon Chul

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On October 4, his agency, Management BK, released an official statement to confirm the unfortunate news. Nam Moon Chul passed away from a chronic illness at 6:20 a.m. on October 4, 2021.

The actor passed away at the age of 50 [in Korean reckoning] after being diagnosed with colon cancer. The procession took place on 6:30 a.m. on October 6.

Nam Moon Chul was a beloved veteran actor who originally began his career as a theater actor before transitioning to TV, he’s been in countless projects across the years including “Six Flying Dragons,” Nokdu Flower,” and “CHIP-IN.”

His last appearance was in the 2021 KakaoTV drama “Mad For Each Other.”

Director Kwon Soon Wook [BoA’s brother]

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The unfortunate news was revealed by BoA’s eldest brother Kwon Soon Hwon on Instagram, he shared that their brother had passed away on September 5 at 12:17 a.m. at the age of 39.

Previously, in May, Kwon Soon Wook personally shared through Instagram that he has been battling cancer, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 peritoneal cancer, he said he didn’t have much time left medically, back then, BoA left a comment of support on his post.

Director Kwon Soon Wook had worked with BoA many times, he’s directed her music videos such as “Game” and “Only One.” He has also worked with many other kpop groups such as Girl’s Day for “Twinkle,” MAMAMOO for “Piano Man,” Red Velvet’s “Be Natural,” and more.

He has also directed the web dramas “Bong Soon – A Cyborg in Love” and “The Reward of Waiting For Love”

Veteran Actress Kim Min Kyung

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On August 16, several media reported that Veteran Actress Kim Min Kyung has passed away.

The reason behind her sudden tragic passing hasn’t been revealed by media outlets.

Actress Kim Min Kyung has been acting for over 40 years, she debuted in 1979 and has done many plays, movies, and dramas. She’s best known for playing the compassionate mother role in many hit movies and dramas.

She’s been part of many hit dramas including “Moon Embracing The Sun,” “When The Camellia Blooms,” “V.I.P,” “Mouse” and more.

The veteran actress also participated in the recently premiered movie “Pipeline” starring Seo In Guk, Lee Soo Hyuk, and Eum Moon Sook.

She’s filmed for two more movies that were released after her passing. She took part in the 2021 movie “Spiritwalker” which stars Yoon Kye Sang, Park Yong Woo, Im Ji Yeon, Yoo Seung Mok, Park Ji Hwan, and more. She also played a role in the movie “Boston 1947” which was originally set to be released in 2020 but has been pushed back due to COVID-19. The movie is led by Ha Jung Woo, ZE:A’s Im Shi Wan, Bae Sung Woo, Kim Sang Ho, Park Hyo Joo, Lee Seung Joon, and more. 

Kim Min Kyung was only 60 years old when she passed away.

M.C the MAX Member J.Yoon

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On May 13, M.C the MAX Member J.Yoon agency contacted police after being unable to reach him, the police was later reported to have found him passed away at his home.

After finding out, the agency released a statement to relay the unfortunate and tragic news. They expressed how heartbroken they were to learn of his sudden passing, and asked fans to wish for J.Yoon to rest in peace.

M.C the MAX Member J.Yoon was only 38 years old. He debuted with his group in 2000. M.C the MAX is a Korean band that has been around for a long time, they had recently celebrated their 20th debut anniversary.

Member J.Yoon was the leader, bass guitar and in charge of the violin too.

Cheon Jeong Ha

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On April 28, Actress Cheon Jeong Ha’s family revealed that the actress was found dead in her home the previous day, she’s been suffering from low blood pressure. The cause of her death is thought to be cardiac arrest due to low blood pressure and congestive heart failure.

Cheon Jeong Ha had been active since the 1990s appearing in many dramas and films including “Flower of Evil,” “Forest of Secrets,” “More Than Friends,” and most recently “Beyond Evil” and “Mouse.”

In last tole “Mouse,” she played the mother of Na Chi Guk (Lee Seo Joon), who is Jung Ba Reum’s (Lee Seung Gi‘s) high school classmate and a prison guard.

Aspiring Actress Jo Hana

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The shocking news was belatedly revealed by a close acquaintance who revealed the tragic news via social media. The 23-year-old actress was scammed and passed away by suicide after suffering from voice phishing and losing 2 million won (roughly $2000).

The young aspiring actress has previously made an appearance on KBS’s Joy “Ask Anything” and revealed that she’s lived 19 years without a birth certificate. This was because her of her parents divorce when she was a kid, they had failed to register her, thus, she couldn’t go to school. At the age of 19, she was finally able to issue a birth certificate and took the GED exam by herself.

The tragedy for Jo Hana didn’t end here. It had been over 11 years since she’s seen her father and the actress had to work at a club to support her mother. She talked about dreaming of becoming an actress one day. However, due to the pandemic, her career faced many difficulties. Jo Hana opened a YouTube channel recently after her dream of being an actress wasn’t fulfilled. The shock of being scammed and deceived caused Jo Hana to commit suicide according to various Korean news reports.

Indie Band Vocalist Kim Doma

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Indie Band DOMA Vocalist Kim Doma passed away at the young age of 28.

The news was revealed by her fellow DOMA member Geonu via an Instagram post.

Kim Doma passed away on March 19.

Fans were shocked by the sudden tragic news, the singer was active five days prior to her death sharing a video to her Instagram of the band preparing for their new album.

The exact cause of Kim Doma’s death is not known. It is also said that an autopsy was conducted to determine the exact cause of death according to various media outlets.

Kim Doma debuted in 2015. She is known for her dreamy voice and an album she released in 2017 gained many favorable reactions from critics and fans.

Actress Lee Ji Eun

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Actress Lee Ji Eun, who appeared in a popular drama in the 1990s, suddenly passed away.

According to a police report on the 9th of March, the actress was found dead in her home in Jung-gu, Seoul at 8 pm the previous day. The police were dispatched to her house after receiving a report from a concerned acquaintance who stated that Lee Ji Eun couldn’t be contacted.

It is said that the actress was living alone after her son joined the military.

Lee Ji Eun debuted as a model in 1994 SBS Program “Good Morning,” she also won best new actress award at the 16th Blue Dragon Film Festival and the 34th Daejong Film Festival for a movie she starred in.

Kim Bo Kyung

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On February 5, it was belatedly revealed that Kim Bo Kyung had passed away on February 2 after battling cancer. She had been battling liver cancer for the past 11 years. Kim Bo Kyung made a strong impression by taking on the role of the short-haired vocalist of Rainbow in the classical hit movie “Friends” in 2001. She was also the MC of “Music Bank” after that as well.

Since then she’s been in many productions with her last project being the 2015 drama “Blood.” In 2012, she announced her marriage to a business man who was one year younger than her. After 2015, she stopped working and it was revealed to be due to cancer.

Rapper Iron

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On January 25 Korean news outlets reported that the rapper was discovered laying in a flowerbed outside his apartment complex by a security guard, he was bleeding. He was discovered around 10:25am.

Rapper Iron was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The rapper was known for being the runner-up in Show Me The Money 3.

He’s been in the spotlight for various controversies including recently getting charged with physical assault after beating a minor [his roommate] with a baseball bat. He was also charged with assaulting his girlfriend in 2017 and also has drug charges related to marijuana use, Iron received two years of probation in 2016.

Iron had recently became 29 years old, he was born in 1992.

Song Yoo Jung

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On January 25, Maeil Kyungjae exclusively reported that the rising rookie actress has passed away on January 23.

The rising rookie actress made her debut in the entertainment industry as a cosmetics brand model before transitioning to acting in MBC‘s 2013 weekend drama “Golden Rainbow.”

Since then, she’s appeared on many dramas such as MBC‘s 2014 daily drama Make Your Wish and most notably KBS‘s “School 2017.” She is also known as the lead actress in iKON’s “Goodbye Road” music video. She was also a featured model for many brands.

The shocking sudden news has devastated the industry; Song Yoo Jung was only 26 years old when she passed away. She had signed to Sublime Artist Agency in 2019 to focus more on her acting career. Sublime Artist Agency is also home to Song Kangho, Rain, EXID’s Hani, Lim Nayoung, and more.

Her agency later released a statement to confirm the actress had passed away on January 23. However, the agency didn’t confirm nor deny the reports about the cause of her death.

Rapper BIGJO

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On January 6, various Korean news outlets reported that the rapper died at a hospital in Gimpo at 6:20PM KST, he was 43 years old.

It’s been revealed that he recently took a hiatus from activities due to his deteriorating health. His weight had reached 320kg (705 lbs).

According to reports, the rapper couldn’t breathe properly so his neck had to be pierced to allow the use of an oxygen respirator. He was hospitalized due to severe inflammation that led to bleeding.

He made headlines in 2013 after his weight loss, but his weight continued to yo-yo and his health deteriorated as a result.

BIGJO is known for songs like “Energy Drink” and “One Better.”

May their souls rest in peace.