K-drama ‘It's Okay to Not Be Okay’ actor dies of cancer

Published May 26, 2022, 4:24 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Korean actor Lee Eol, who appeared in dramas such as “Voice” season 4, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” and “Hot Stove League,” passed away on May 26 due to cancer. He was 58.

Lee Eol died in the morning of May 26 after battling esophageal cancer, his agency told Korean media.

Korean actor Lee Eol (Photo from Star It Entertainment)

The actor had been battling cancer after the end of the drama “Voice” season 4, which aired from June to July 2021.

“Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus — a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. More men than women get esophageal cancer,” according to the Mayo Clinic website.

It added that “esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Incidence rates vary within different geographic locations. In some regions, higher rates of esophageal cancer may be attributed to tobacco and alcohol use or particular nutritional habits and obesity.”

Lee Eol debuted as a theater actor in 1983 and his first movie was “The End of a Short Trip” in 1993.

In “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” his role was Ko Dae-hwan, the father of actress Seo Ye-ji’s character and a patient in a hospital.

His other drama credits include “Move To Heaven,” “Love Scene Number,” “18 Again,” “Justice” and “Watcher.”

He also appeared in Korean movies such as “The Policeman’s Lineage,” “The 8th Night,” “Kim Ji-Young: Born 1982” and “Insadong Scandal.”

Lee Eol’s wake is at the Seoul Medical Center funeral hall. His funeral will be on May 28.