Cha In-Ha, a South Korean performer who began acting professionally in 2017, passed away suddenly at the age of 27. He was found dead on December 3, 2019.
Cha, whose real name was Lee Jae-ho, was associated with the acting group SURPRISE U. He is the third K-pop star to die within the past two months.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Report: Cha In-Ha’s Manager Found Him Dead at His Home & His Agency Asked Fans Not to Speculate About the Cause of Death
The exact cause of Cha In-Ha’s death has not been announced to the public. According to the Korean newspaper Hankook Ilbo, the actor’s manager found him deceased at his home on Tuesday, December 3. The report states that the police are “investigating details.”
Cha’s talent agency, Fantagio, released a statement asking the actor’s fans not to speculate or spread unfounded rumors about the cause of death “in order for his family… to send him away peacefully.” The agency said that the funeral would be private.
The statement added, “We are truly heartbroken to deliver sad news to everyone who has sent lots of love and support to Cha In Ha until now. We are filled with grief at this news that is still hard to believe.”
2. The Actor’s Final Role In a Korean TV Series, Which Premiered Days Before His Death, Will Air As Planned
Cha In-ha was recently cast in a Korean television series called Love with Flaws on MBC. The show premiered on November 27, just days before the young actor’s sudden death. In-ha had a supporting role in the series, which stars Ahn Jae-hyun and Oh Yeon-seo.
The Love with Flaws production team issued a statement after Cha’s death confirming that his scenes would broadcast as planned. The team described In-ha as an actor who “worked more passionately than anyone during the drama filming and had a “shining presence” on the set. The statement further expressed condolences for his family.
3. Cha In-Ha’s Final Instagram Post Featured Him In a Leather Jacket Warning Fans to Watch Out for the Cold Weather
Cha In-ha posted a final Instagram message one day before his death. It was a series of pictures of him sitting at a table drinking from a white mug. He was wearing a leather jacket and was looking at his phone in all of the pictures.
The caption read, “Everybody, watch out,” according to the South China Post. But he included a snowman emoji, leading to the assumption that he was talking about the cold weather, as opposed to anything more ominous.
4. Cha In-ha Began Acting Professionally In 2017
Cha’s acting credits included four TV series: Temperature of Love, Wok of Love, Clean with Passion for Now, and the Banker.
5. Cha In-ha Is the Third Young Korean Performer to Die Within Two Months
Singer Sulli, whose real name was Choi Jin-ri, was 25 years old when she died on October 14, 2019, of an alleged suicide. She was found at her home in Seongnam, South Korea. The singer had spoken about feeling isolated and depressed amid the intense pressures of her profession.
On November 24, 2019, singer Goo Hara was discovered dead at her home in Seoul at the age of 28. She too was believed to have committed suicide, though her cause of death was not formally announced. She had attempted to kill herself in March of 2019.