As sort of a long belated follow-up to this piece, here are a selection of “lasts” from a few of the Korean female entertainers who took their own lives within the last several years. The above ad for Enprani cosmetics, was the late Lee Eun-ju’s last ever TV commercial. Upon news of her suicide, the company immediately stopped running this and print ads featuring her. Enprani cited it was out of respect for her family, but I’m sure it was also because having an actress who committed suicide while she was still under contract with them, as the face of their company, would have been terrible for their public image. The following month, Enprani signed then-little-known actress Park Si-yeon as their new spokesmodel.
News segment on singer U;nee shortly after her suicide, with video footage of her rehearsing her dance routine to “Sorrow Fantasy.” It was a number she never did perform on stage, as this rehearsal footage was shot just days before her death. The song was the first single off of her posthumously-released album Habit.
Actress Jung Da-bin signed her last autograph on this piece of paper to the manager of the hof she and a group of friends (including her boyfriend) were drinking at on the last night of her life. It was reported that the group consumed several bottles of soju and seemed in good spirits when they left around 3:00 AM. Da-bin accompanied her boyfriend back to his apartment where he discovered her body hanging in the bathroom the next morning. She wrote upon the paper “be happy.”
(May, 2013 Author’s Note: I’ve noticed some official bios and sources have now changed the English spelling of her family name from “Jung” to “Jeong.” This is perhaps to avoid confusion between her and the child actress of the same name, spelled as “Jung Da-bin.”)
The last photos taken of actress Choi Jin-sil on October 1, 2008, the day before she committed suicide. These were for a print ad shoot for Ildong Pharmacuticles’ vitamin supplements. Perhaps she had already made the decision to take her own life when these shots were taken, despite her smile. Needless to say, Ildong never ran the ad featuring her.
Jang Ja-yeon giving a shout-out to her fans at the end of the last interview she ever gave. She ends with the standard “thank yous and loves” that most Korean celebs give during these short goodbye closings. At the time of this interview, she was currently appearing in the popular TV drama Boys Over Flowers and was awaiting the release of her first (and only) two movies; Searching for the Elephant and They Are Coming. Neither of which she lived to see released.
Ja-yeon’s sex scenes from the last movie she made before her death, Searching for the Elephant (aka Apartment Elephant). She didn’t live to see the release of this or the only other film she did; They Are Coming.
The infamous trunk scene, which was Lee Eun-ju’s final scene of her last film, The Scarlet Letter (2004). Ironically, her character takes her own life here. It’s believed that the racy scenes Lee did for this film gave her cause for anguish and regret, which was a factor in her decision to end her own life on February 22, 2005.