Song Yoo-jung, a South Korean actress known for her TV series Golden rainbow and web series Dear my name, died in Seoul on Saturday January 23. She was 26, and although no cause has been revealed, Song’s death follows a string of youth deaths by suicide that rocked the industry there.
Song’s death has been confirmed by representatives of the Sublime Artist Agency. A statement said a funeral “took place quietly”, according to the family’s wishes, and that a funeral procession would take place today.
“Song Yu Jung was a friend of ours who always gave us joy with her bright smile,” the statement said, “and she was a wonderful actress who acted with passion.”
An obituary in the New York Times notes that Song began her acting career six years ago and appeared in commercials for Estée Lauder products and Baskin-Robbins ice cream, as well as in various music videos. She also defended people with disabilities.
Her breakout role came in 2019 with the popular web series Dear my name, in which she played an architectural student.
The eruption of suicide deaths among young artists in South Korea has drawn attention to the stress and pressure on rising stars and the industry’s inability to address mental health issues. Since 2017, K-pop stars Kim Jong-hyun, Sulli and Goo Hara have committed suicide. All were in their twenties.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.