South Korean actor Cha In-ha was found dead in his home, police said Wednesday, making him the third young entertainer to die in the country in the last two months.
Police said the 27-year-old’s cause of death is not yet known, reports Reuters.
Cha, whose real name was Lee Jae-ho, made his film debut in 2017 and was previously a member of K-pop group Surprise U, which released two albums, according to Reuters.
The day before his death, the up-and-coming actor left an Instagram post urging fans to take care of themselves in the cold winter.
Cha’s talent agency, Fantagio, released a statement expressing “deep mourning for his passing.” It also cautioned against spreading rumors about what had happened to him.
The news about Cha comes after the recent deaths of two prominent female K-pop idols. On Nov. 24, 28-year-old Goo Hara was found dead in her Seoul home, while Sulli, 25, reportedly ended her life in October. Before her death, Sulli had spoken out about cyber bullying and the backlash she faced over her lifestyle.
The string of untimely deaths has sparked conversations in the country about the intense pressure and personal attacks Korean celebrities face. While the K-pop industry projects a wholesome image on stage and on screen, it has been rocked by recent reports of sexual abuse, as well as by a series of apparent suicides.
In August, BTS announced they were going on a “period of rest” in order to “enjoy the ordinary lives of young people in their 20s,” according to a statement by the group’s management company. The group has championed the topic of mental health, and spoken about how they were impacted by the suicide of mega star Kim Jong-Hyun from the group SHINee in December 2017.
After news of Cha’s death broke, fans posted condolences in several languages under his Instagram pictures. “So sad, breaks my heart,” one wrote.