SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- Actor Shin Sung-il, the most popular heartthrob of South Korea's movie industry in the 1960s-70s, died of lung cancer on Sunday. He was 81.
Shin, who also served as a national legislator in the early 2000s, died at 2:25 a.m., people close to him said. They didn't say where Shin died, but he had been undergoing chemotherapy at a hospital in South Jeolla Province since he was diagnosed with stage-three lung cancer in June last year.
Shin, a good-looking star who was often called the "James Dean" of South Korea, appeared in more than 500 movies and swept a number of movie awards in the country.
Shin debuted in 1960 and appeared in 524 films, including "The Barefooted Young" and "Keep Silent When Leaving," both from 1964.
He witnessed the rapid development of Korean cinema and played a critical role in it. Shin also won a parliamentary election in 2000.