Jeon Do-yeon

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Jeon.
Jeon Do-yeon
Jeon Do-yeon Cannes 2014.jpg
Jeon Do-yeon at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Born (1973-02-11) February 11, 1973 (age 41)
Seoul, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Kang Shi-kyu (m. 2007)
Korean name
Hangul 전도연
Revised Romanization Jeon Do-yeon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏn Toyŏn

Jeon Do-yeon (born February 11, 1973) is a South Korean actress. She has won many awards in her career, including best actress at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of a broken woman who has lost everything in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine.[1]


Jeon Do-yeon spent five years starring in television dramas before achieving instant star status with her film debut opposite Han Suk-kyu in The Contact. She went on to establish a reputation as a "chameleon" who can take on a wide variety of roles, from her performance as a doctor in the hit melodrama A Promise, to that of a schoolgirl in The Harmonium in My Memory, then a wife having an adulterous affair in Happy End. In 1999 and 2000 she received a Best Actress award from both the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Grand Bell Awards for her role in The Harmonium in My Memory.[2][3]

In 2001 she skillfully played a very ordinary bank teller in Park Heung-shik's debut I Wish I Had a Wife. After starring as the tough-talking "Sunglasses" in Ryoo Seung-wan's No Blood No Tears (2002),[4] Jeon spent time acting in the TV drama Shoot for the Stars. In 2003 she found box-office success in E J-yong's Untold Scandal, an adaptation of the famous French novel Dangerous Liaisons set in Joseon. The following year she reunited with director Park Heung-shik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama My Mother, the Mermaid.[2]

In 2005 Jeon burst back into the limelight playing a prostitute who contracts AIDS in Park Jin-pyo's hard-hitting melodrama You Are My Sunshine. The performance helped turn the film into a box-office hit (3 million+ admissions), and also won her yet more additions to her collection of local acting awards.[2] She then returned to television in Lovers in Prague which depicts the love story between the president's daughter and an ordinary detective; the drama averaged over 27 percent viewership ratings.[5] In Korea, it is rare for a movie and a TV drama with the same leading actor or actress to become major hits at the same time, but Jeon managed to pull both roles off perfectly without causing any confusion in the audience.[6]

But it was her role in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine in 2007 that would see her emerge in full glory.[7][8] Although the film itself, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, evoked widely differing assessments from international critics, Jeon's performance was universally praised, and she was presented with a Best Actress award by the Cannes jury -- the first Korean ever to receive an acting award at Cannes.[2][9][10][11][12]

After making the charming, laidback road movie My Dear Enemy post-Cannes,[13][14][15][16][17] Jeon gave birth to a daughter and rested for a while. In 2010, she re-established her status as Korea's premier A-list actress, headlining the controversial remake The Housemaid.[18][19]

In caper movie Countdown Jeon played a female con artist who risks her life for ten days for a final deal with a cold-hearted debt collector.[20][21][22] Countdown premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.[23]

After a two-year break, Jeon starred in Bang Eun-jin's Way Back Home (2013), based on the true story of a housewife who was imprisoned for two years on the island of Martinique after being wrongly arrested for drug smuggling at Paris's Orly Airport in 2004.[24][25] She was next cast as a blind swordswoman in the Goryeo-set revenge period drama Memories of the Sword (2014), her third collaboration with Park Heung-shik.[26]

Jeon became a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the first Korean actor or actress to have that honor.[27][28][29][30]

After her jury stint in Cannes, she is slated to return to Korea to begin filming A Bastard, a thriller that explores the unexpected and carnal attraction that develops between a detective and the girlfriend of the murderer he's investigating.[31][32]

Although not as broadly popular with audiences as some other stars, Jeon is widely respected for her acting abilities, and many young actresses cite her as a role model.[2][33]

Personal life[edit]

Jeon married businessman Kang Shi-kyu in a private wedding ceremony at Shilla Hotel on March 11, 2007.[34][35][36][37][38] She gave birth to a daughter on January 22, 2009.


Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Contact Lee Soo-hyun / Woman 2
1998 A Promise Che Hee-ju
1999 The Harmonium in My Memory Yun Hong-yeon
Happy End Choi, Bora
2001 I Wish I Had a Wife Jung Won-ju
2002 No Blood No Tears Su-ji
2003 Untold Scandal Na-young
2004 My Mother, the Mermaid
2005 You Are My Sunshine Eun-ha
2007 Secret Sunshine Shin-Ae Asian Film Award for Best Actress
Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
2008 My Dear Enemy Kim Hee-su
2010 The Housemaid Eun-yi Li
2011 Countdown Cha Ha-yeon
2013 Way Back Home Geonj Ieon
2014 Memories of the Sword Seol-rang / Wallso
2015 A Bastard

Television series[edit]

  • On Air (SBS, 2008) (cameo, episode 2)
  • Lovers in Prague (SBS, 2005)
  • Shoot for the Stars (SBS, 2002)
  • Love Story "Host of Memory" (SBS, 1999)
  • MBC Best Theater "What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten" (MBC, 1998)
  • Snail (SBS, 1997)
  • Star in My Heart (MBC, 1997)
  • Sunday Family Theater "간이역" (MBC, 1996)
  • Until We Can Love (KBS, 1996)
  • Project (KBS, 1996)
  • Our Sunny Days of Youth (KBS, 1995)
  • General Hospital (MBC, 1994)
  • Love is Blue (SBS, 1994)
  • Scent of Love (SBS, 1994)
  • Our Paradise 2 (MBC, 1990)


Music video[edit]

The Name (The Name, 2002) - Co-starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Ryoo Seung-bum.

Commercials and Print Ads[edit]

  • Sisleÿa Global Firming Serum (2011)
  • Emons Furniture (2008-2011)
  • Hana Financial Group (2007)
  • Hankook Tire 'Driving Emotion' (2006)
  • Chung Kwang Plus One apartments (2006)
  • Nadri Cosmetics Sanghwang NAG (2005-2006)
  • Shinsegae
  • QUA (2002)
  • (2000)
  • Hite (2000)
  • Korea Telecom (1999)
  • Daewoo Chorus (1999)
  • Dongsan C&G Sexy Mild Essence (1997)
  • Esquire Beart (1997)
  • Orion Basic Crackers
  • Haitai Sunkist 과일촌Ca (1996)
  • Haitai Bongbong (1994)
  • Lamy Cosmetics Lafine Vegetable (1994)
  • Crown Jollypong
  • Crown Orange Montt (1993)
  • Crown Caramel Corns&Peanuts (1992-1994)
  • Crown Choco Heim (1992)
  • Crown Minishell (1992)
  • Johnson & Johnson Lite Baby Skin Lotion (1992)



  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Secret Sunshine". Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  3. ^ A Tale of Two Jeons. The Chosun Ilbo. April 1, 2004.
  4. ^ 2 characters working without a script. Korea JoongAng Daily. February 25, 2002.
  5. ^ Drama Looks for Love in Prague. The Korea Times. September 14, 2005.
  6. ^ Jeon Do-yeon's multiple hits stem from passion for acting. The Korea Herald. September 29, 2005.
  7. ^ "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1". 10Asia. April 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2". 10Asia. April 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Cannes top prize goes to Korean film actress. Korea JoongAng Daily. June 7, 2007.
  10. ^ Actress without ambition gets it all. Korea JoongAng Daily. May 16, 2007.
  11. ^ Interview with Jeon Do-yeon. CNN. October 9, 2007.
  12. ^ Int'l Awards Only the Start for Jeon, Kang. The Chosun Ilbo. October 8, 2007.
  13. ^ Cannes winner takes her next step. Korea JoongAng Daily. October 3, 2007.
  14. ^ Jeon Do-yeon, Ha Jung-woo as Ex-Lovers. The Korea Times. August 27, 2008.
  15. ^ Jeon Do-yeon on Pregnancy, Post-Cannes Film. The Korea Times. September 21, 2008.
  16. ^ Queen of Cannes Is Back with Lighter Fare. The Chosun Ilbo. September 22, 2008.
  17. ^ Enemies conquer poverty to rekindle love. Korea JoongAng Daily. October 2, 2008.
  18. ^ Jeon Do-yeon Returns to Screen in Risque Role. The Chosun Ilbo. April 16, 2010.
  19. ^ Korea’s Queen of Cannes is back. Reuters. April 26, 2010.
  20. ^ Cannes Winner Jeon Hopes Countdown a Commercial Hit. The Chosun Ilbo. October 1, 2011.
  21. ^ Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  22. ^ Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  23. ^ Korean pic Countdown announced as part of 1st lineup for TIFF. 10Asia. July 27, 2011.
  24. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Plays Inmate on Tropical Island in Latest Flick". The Chosun Ilbo. November 29, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon speaks about her latest movie, motherhood". The Korea Herald. December 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ "JEON Do-yeon in Way Back Home and Memories of the Sword: From Actress to Mother, and Mother to Actress". Korean Cinema Today. January 28, 2014. 
  27. ^ "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon first Korean actress to be Cannes jury member". The Korea Herald. April 29, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Invited to Cannes' Jury". The Chosun Ilbo. April 29, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon arrives in Cannes". The Korea Times. May 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Joins Kim Nam-gil in Thriller A Bastard (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. May 16, 2014. 
  32. ^ "New JEON Do-yeon Thriller Gets Underway in June". Korean Film Council. May 19, 2014. 
  33. ^ "JEON Do-yeon, Korean Cinema's Leading Actress: Her Past, Present and Future". Korean Film Council. January 28, 2014. 
  34. ^ Jeon Do-yeon to Tie Knot in Private Ceremony. The Chosun Ilbo. March 6, 2007.
  35. ^ Stars Have Nuptial Plans: Actress Jeon Do-yeon Cuts Tape. The Korea Times. March 6, 2007.
  36. ^ Actress Jeon Marries. The Korea Times. March 11, 2007.
  37. ^ Jun Do-yeon weds. PopSeoul. March 11, 2007.
  38. ^ Jeon Do Yeon’s never seen before wedding pictures. PopSeoul. March 19, 2007.
  39. ^ Jeon Do-yeon Awarded Top French Honor.The Chosun Ilbo. October 10, 2009.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Miki Nakatani
for Memories of Matsuko
Asian Film Award for Best Actress
for Secret Sunshine
Succeeded by
Zhou Xun
for The Equation of Love and Death