Choi Soo-jong

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Choi.
Choi Soo-jong
Born (1962-12-28) December 28, 1962 (age 51)
Seoul, South Korea
Occupation Actor
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Ha Hee-ra
Korean name
Hangul 최수종
Hanja 崔秀宗
Revised Romanization Choe Su-jong
McCune–Reischauer Choi Su-chong

Choi Soo-jong (alternately Choi Su-Jong, born on December 28, 1962) is a South Korean actor. Choi made his debut in 1987 as a young actor in the TV soap opera ‘Love Tree’. He has appeared in movies, on television and as an MC for various award shows. He has received worldwide recognition for his leading roles in several highly successful shows. Most recently he garnered acclaim for his portrayals of the principal characters in the Korean historical dramas Emperor of the Sea playing the role of Jang Bogo, and as the title character Dae Joyoung in the epic series Dae Jo Yeong (TV series).


When reflecting on his more than twenty years as an actor, Choi said "To an actor, fame is short, but acting is long."

As a public figure and social activist, Choi Soo-jong has sought to project an image of integrity and wholesomeness. His fidelity to his wife and dedication to his role as father and husband are widely discussed in the media, although he strives to retain his family's privacy. Choi also openly discusses his commitment to clean living through regular exercise and healthy eating. Despite his advancing age, Choi continues to accept physically challenging roles that require horseback riding, combat and swordsmanship, and exposure to extreme temperatures. His youthful appearance and physical fitness allow Choi to play characters much younger than his actual age.

Despite Choi's image of integrity and health, in 2007 his career was briefly overshadowed by scandal. In a series of news stories, it was revealed that several high-profile Korean actors had falsified their academic credentials. Choi was among those whose educational background on his resume proved to be exaggerated and included untrue information.[1][2] Choi tearfully apologized for misleading the public.

In 2010, Choi was cast in a lead role in Legend of the Patriots, a remake of the 1975 series Comrades. According to a press release from KBS, Choi found acting in a war drama even more challenging than the historical dramas he is known for. When asked why he chose to pursue the challenging genre of war drama, Choi stated "There is a problem though that the more I act, the more I become greedy for acting. What do I have to do from now on? Anyway, I want to remain as a good actor as I put more effort into managing myself"."

Personal life[edit]

Choi is married to actress Ha Hee Ra, a Hwagyo. They have two children together: son Min-seo and daughter Yoon-seo. Choi Soo-jong and Ha Hee Ra's happy marriage is well-known in Korea. When Ha was pregnant, Choi did the housework, cooked, and let her rest, a fact that has made Choi very popular with Korean women and jokingly scorned by Korean men. In a television interview in early 2010, Choi's wife Ha stated the her husband is a better housekeeper than she is. Choi is frequently seen text messaging and making phone calls with his wife Ha Hee Ra while filming and was even documented doing so in the television special for Emperor of the Sea.

Choi has a reputation amongst co-stars as funny and bright. He is known as a jokester on the set that has earned him the title "NG Mawang" (NG Master). When he makes an NG (blooper), he attempts to make light of his error.

In his free time, Choi enjoys playing soccer on Sunday mornings. In 2008, Choi announced that he would also begin studying English in his spare time.

Social activities[edit]

When not filming, Choi and his wife also are involved with charitable projects both jointly and separately. They contribute regularly to charitable causes in addition to actively volunteering for causes such as disabled children and were actively involved in the cleaning up after the massive oil spill in Korea in 2007.[3] In the first half of 2009, Choi and Ha were selected to be the ambassadors for a worldwide campaign against tuberculosis. Also in 2009, Choi and Ha became goodwill ambassadors of the National Museum of Korea and sponsored a project to provide 50,000 Korean language guidebooks for visitors to the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Additionally, in December 2008, Choi was one of five celebrities appointed as a goodwill ambassador to the Korean capital Seoul.[4] As a member of the "Fabulous Five," Choi was chosen to publicize the international appeal of the city. In June 2009, Choi Soo-jong and six other high profile actors waived their fees to teach master acting classes at Im Kwon-taek Film and Art College of Dongseo University.



  • A Man Who Can't Even Kiss (1994)
  • A Woman Of Downstairs and A Man Of Upstairs (1992)
  • Do You Like Rain Stopped Afternoon (1991)
  • In A Starry Night (1991)
  • To You Once Again (1991)
  • Well, It's A Secret (1990)
  • Il Ji Mae, The Superman (1990)
  • A Young Punch (1988)


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1990 KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Won
1991 Baeksang Arts Awards Popularity Award in TV Won
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Won
KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Won
1992 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
1993 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
1994 Baeksang Arts Awards Popularity Award in TV Won
1995 KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Won
1996 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
1998 Korea Broadcasting Awards Best Actor Legendary Ambition Won
KBS Drama Awards Photogenic Award Won
Grand Prize/Daesang Won
1999 Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in TV Won
2001 KBS Drama Awards Grand Prize/Daesang Emperor Wang Gun Won
2002 KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Won
2003 KBS Drama Awards Special Award Won
2005 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Emperor of the Sea Won
2006 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Dae Jo Yeong Nominated
2007 KBS Drama Awards Netizen Award Won
Grand Prize/Daesang Won
2008 Seoul International Drama Awards Best Actor Nominated
Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
2013 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama The King's Dream Nominated


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Film `D-War Tops Internet News". 2007-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ "Fabulous Five to Promote Seoul". 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  5. ^ "KBS World". Retrieved 2013-08-02. 

External links[edit]