Lee Bo-young

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Lee.
Lee Bo-young
Lee Bo-Young.jpg
Born (1979-01-12) January 12, 1979 (age 35)
Seoul, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Alma mater Seoul Women's University (B.A. in Korean Literature)
Occupation Actress
Years active 2002–present
Agent Will Entertainment
Spouse(s) Ji Sung (m. 2013)
Korean name
Hangul 이보영
Revised Romanization I Bo-yeong
McCune–Reischauer I Poyŏng

Lee Bo-young (born January 12, 1979) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for starring in the television dramas Man from the Equator (2012), My Daughter Seo-young (2012) and I Can Hear Your Voice (2013).


Lee Bo-young won the Miss Korea beauty pageant in Daejeon and the surrounding South Chungcheong Province in 2000.[1] Having majored in Korean literature at Seoul Women's University, she originally dreamed of becoming a news presenter. She was one of 15 finalists in MBC's annual recruitment drive in 2002, but ended up not getting the job.[2] Instead, she turned to modeling, and was chosen as the exclusive advertising model for Asiana Airlines, considered a gateway to stardom.

Lee made her acting debut in 2003, and among her early roles was in People of the Water Flower Village (2004) opposite Song Il-gook,[3] and as the antagonist in Save the Last Dance for Me (2004).

In 2005, Lee played her first leading role in the daily drama My Sweetheart, My Darling,[4] followed by the Silla-set historical epic Ballad of Seo Dong with Jo Hyun-jae. She spent the next several years in television dramasMr. Goodbye with Ahn Jae-wook, Queen of the Game with Joo Jin-mo, and Becoming a Billionaire (also known as Birth of the Rich) with Ji Hyun-woo[5] — but none struck a chord with audiences or critics.

After playing the love interest in My Brother (2004) and A Dirty Carnival (2006), Lee was cast in her first major big screen role in Once Upon a Time (2008). The heist comedy is set during colonial rule in the 1940s, and she and Park Yong-woo played notorious swindlers out to steal a diamond from the Japanese army.[6]

Her two films released in 2009 were both melodramas. In More Than Blue (also known as A Story Sadder Than Sadness), Kwon Sang-woo played a terminally ill man who selflessly marries off his soulmate (Lee) to an eligible doctor (Lee Beom-soo), but the tragedy is undercut with a poetic sparseness.[7][8] While in the ironically titled I Am Happy, Lee played a nurse who falls for a patient in the psychiatric ward (Hyun Bin), and in each other they find consolation to see them through their harsh and miserable reality.[9]

Lee returned to television in 2010, playing a seductress in the quirky cable drama Harvest Villa opposite Shin Ha-kyun.[10] She then had a guest arc as the president's daughter on spy series Athena: Goddess of War, followed by post-divorce romance Hooray for Love (also known as A Thousand Affections, 2011) with Lee Tae-sung, and revenge drama Man from the Equator (2012) with Uhm Tae-woong.[11]

She then played the titular character in My Daughter Seo-young, a career woman who is angry at her father (Chun Ho-jin), whose gambling addiction led to her mother's death, yet she struggles to keep the family together and make ends meet. Lee said playing Seo-young required a greater depth of emotion than any of her previous roles, which left her drained but also feeling a greater sense of achievement.[2] The family drama was the biggest hit yet of Lee's career; it dominated the weekly ratings chart for 22 straight weeks, and recorded a series high of 47.6% on its last episode, the highest Korean drama rating in 2013.[12]

Her follow-up series I Can Hear Your Voice (2013) was also popular during its run.[13] In it, Lee played a materialistic public defender who testified in behalf of a boy with supernatural abilities (Lee Jong-suk) a decade ago after she witnessed the boy's father being murdered.[14] Critics said with her stubborn and argumentative character, Lee was able to break free of her previous calm and elegant image.[15] She won several awards for her performance, including the Daesang ("Grand Prize"), the highest honor at the SBS Drama Awards.[16][17]

In 2014, Lee played a mother who travels back in time two weeks before her daughter's kidnapping and murder in God's Gift - 14 Days.[18]

Other activities[edit]

Lee is also active in environmental causes, including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Lee met actor Ji Sung on the set of 2004 TV series Save Last Dance for Me, and they confirmed their relationship in 2007.[21][22][23][24] On August 2, 2013, they announced their engagement by uploading handwritten letters on their respective official fan sites.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] They married at Aston House, W Seoul Walkerhill Hotel on September 27, 2013.[33][34][35]


Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2003 Escape from Unemployment Cha Mi-rim SBS
Long Live Love Se-ryung SBS
2004 People of the Water Flower Village Yoo Yeo-kyung MBC
Jang Gil-san Kwi-rye SBS
Save the Last Dance for Me Yoon Soo-jin SBS
2005 Encounter Choi Eom-ji MBC
My Sweetheart, My Darling Yoo In-young KBS1
Ballad of Seo Dong Princess Seonhwa of Silla SBS
2006 Mr. Goodbye Choi Young-in KBS2
Queen of the Game Kang Eun-seol SBS
2010 Becoming a Billionaire Lee Shin-mi KBS2
Harvest Villa Yoon Seo-rin tvN
Athena: Goddess of War Jo Soo-young
(guest appearance, episodes 3-5)
2011 Hooray for Love Kang Jae-mi MBC
2012 Man from the Equator Han Ji-won KBS2
My Daughter Seo-young Lee Seo-young KBS2
2013 I Can Hear Your Voice Jang Hye-sung SBS
2014 God's Gift - 14 Days Kim Soo-hyun SBS


Year Title Role
2004 My Brother Mi-ryung
2006 A Dirty Carnival Hyun-joo
2008 Once Upon a Time Haruko / Choon-ja
2009 More Than Blue Eun-won ("Cream")
I Am Happy Soo-kyung

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Notes Network
2007 She's Olive - Lee Bo-young from Grasse to Paris O'live TV
2013 eat CITY - Lee Bo-young's Italian Cafe O'live TV
Running Man guest, ep 142 SBS
Happy Together guest, ep 275 KBS2
2014 Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy guest, ep 130-131[36][37] SBS

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2010 "Crying, Calling" Zia & 4Men

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2005 SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Ballad of Seo Dong Won
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress My Sweetheart, My Darling Won
2006 14th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actress A Dirty Carnival Won
SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Queen of the Game Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Mr. Goodbye Nominated
2007 3rd Andre Kim Best Star Awards Female Star Award[38] N/A Won
2008 44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress Once Upon a Time Nominated
2009 4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards Female Star Award[39] N/A Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Hooray for Love Won
2012 KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Lee Sang-yoon My Daughter Seo-young Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Man from the Equator Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best TV Actress My Daughter Seo-young Nominated
7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star - Female My Daughter Seo-young,
I Can Hear Your Voice
6th Korea Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk I Can Hear Your Voice Won
Daesang (Grand Prize)[40] My Daughter Seo-young,
I Can Hear Your Voice
6th Style Icon Awards The Ratings Queen I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards Best Couple Award with Lee Jong-suk Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress My Daughter Seo-young,
I Can Hear Your Voice
SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars I Can Hear Your Voice Won
Producer's Award Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Won


  1. ^ "2000 Miss Korea - Lee Bo-young". Miss Korea - Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  2. ^ a b "My Daughter Seo-young". The Chosun Ilbo. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  3. ^ "Start off your Sunday Mornings... in a Warm Garden Village". The Dong-a Ilbo. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  4. ^ "Lee Bo-young Tries Her Skills as Sweet Darling". KBS Global. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  5. ^ Wee, Geun-woo (24 February 2010). "PREVIEW: KBS TV series The Birth of the Rich". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  6. ^ Yi, Chang-ho (29 January 2008). "Once upon a Time shines bright". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  7. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (13 January 2009). "Kwon Sang-woo Resumes Romantic Role". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  8. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (5 March 2009). "More Than Blue Is Poetic, Luminous". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  9. ^ Lee, Ji-hye (16 November 2009). "Hyun Bin's Happy is unhappy". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  10. ^ Yoon, Hee-seong (5 March 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actress Lee Bo-young". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  11. ^ Jeon, Ji-young (7 May 2012). "Um Tae Woong and Lee Bo Young Begin Romance". KBS Global. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  12. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (4 March 2013). "My Daughter Seo Young Concludes with the Warmth of Family". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  13. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (2 August 2013). "Lee Jong-suk's Voice Closes Curtains Atop TV Charts". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  14. ^ Jang, Seo-yoon (31 May 2013). "Courtroom Drama Meets Fantasy Romance for SBS drama I Can Hear Your Voice". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  15. ^ Yang, Seong-hee; Lee, Sun-min (5 July 2013). "Drama gives Voice to unique storylines". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  16. ^ Lee, Cory (2 January 2014). "Lee Bo-young Grabs 1st Top Prize at the 2013 SBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  17. ^ Park, Sunghee (2 January 2014). "2013 SBS Drama Award, Lee Bo Young, To Win the Grand Award". BNTNews. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  18. ^ Lee, Cory (9 January 2014). "Lee Bo-young to Make TV Comeback Next Month". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  19. ^ "Lee Bo-young to Promote UN Environmental Conference". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  20. ^ Kim, Tae-gyu (1 July 2011). "Desertification happening just next to us". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  21. ^ Park, So-yeon (18 November 2009). "Ji-sung's girlfriend Lee Bo-young not ready for marriage". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  22. ^ Hong, Lucia (31 May 2012). "Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young deny June wedding rumor". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  23. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (1 June 2012). "Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung agencies dismiss rumors of wedding plans". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  24. ^ "Celebrity Couple Attend Psy's Concert". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  25. ^ An, So-hyoun (2 August 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Get Married in September". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  26. ^ Lee, Sun-min (3 August 2013). "A hand-written engagement". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  27. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (2 August 2013). "Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung to Tie the Knot on September 27". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  28. ^ "Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung to Wed in September". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  29. ^ Suh, Hye-rim (2 August 2013). "Star couple Lee Bo-young, Ji Sung to wed in September". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  30. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (21 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung Are Happy and in Love in Wedding Shoot". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  31. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (24 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung Invites Wedding Guests to Their Star". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  32. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (27 September 2013). "Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung to Tie the Knot Today (9/27)". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  33. ^ "Star couple Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung pose at their wedding at a hotel in Seoul on Friday.". The Chosun Ilbo. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  34. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (27 September 2013). "Actors Ji Sung, Lee Bo-young Tie the Knot (2)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  35. ^ Kim, Byung-kwan (27 September 2013). "Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young Tie the Knot". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  36. ^ Lee, Min-ji (10 March 2014). "Male Actors Refused to Act Opposite Lee Bo Young After She Went Public with Ji Sung". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  37. ^ Lee, Jawon (11 March 2014). "Lee Bo Young Affect, Dominating the Rating". 10Asia. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  38. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (1 May 2007). "Top Stars Win Andre Kim Awards". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  39. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (29 November 2009). "Stars Shine at Andre Kims Atelier". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  40. ^ Im, Woo-jung (3 October 2013). "Lee Bo-young wins 2013 Korea Drama Awards". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 

External links[edit]