Veteran South Korean actor Byun Hee Bong who starred in Park Shin Hye and Lee Jong Suk drama Pinocchio has died at the age 81.
Korean media outlet Soompi reported that the actor passed away on Tuesday, September 18, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Soompi quoted a representative of the actor saying: “Byun Hee Bong passed away while fighting a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, which had previously been declared cured.”
The late actor played the role as the grandfather (Choi Gong-pil) of Shin Hye (Choi In-ha) in the 2014 hit K-drama Pinocchio.
Byun, who launched his career as a theater and voice actor in 1965 appeared in other dramas such as My Girl (2005), My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (2010), and Witch Yoo Hee(2007).
He also starred in Oscar-winning filmmaker Bong Joon-ho movies Okja, The Host, and Memories of Murder.
The South Korean government awarded Byun the Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit in 2020 in recognition of his contribution to the development of the nation’s pop culture.