Lee at a G.I. Joe: Retaliation premiere in Sydney, on 14 March 2013
July 12, 1970 |
Seoul, South Korea
|Revised Romanization||I Byeongheon|
Lee Byung-hun (Korean: 이병헌; born July 12, 1970) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for starring in Joint Security Area (2000), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008), I Saw the Devil (2010) and Gwanghae (2012).
He made his big breakthrough in 2000 with Joint Security Area directed by Park Chan-wook, which broke the box office record and became the highest grossing film of all time. His portrayal of the border-guard soldier won him Best Actor at the Pusan Film Critics Awards.
In 2001, he gained wide popularity in the drama Beautiful Days as an arrogant businessman who falls for an innocent orphan (Choi Ji-woo). In 2003 he received the Grand Prize at the SBS Drama Awards and Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in the poker drama All In.
In 2005, he earned critical acclaim for his performance in A Bittersweet Life directed by Kim Ji-woon which was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Lee was nominated for Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Grand Bell Awards, and won at the Chunsa Film Art Awards, Baeksang Arts Awards and the Critics Choice Awards.
He reunited with director Kim Ji-woon in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, taking on his first villain role. The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. The followng year he appeared in I Come with the Rain opposite American actor Josh Hartnett and Japanese actor Takuya Kimura. He then made his Hollywood debut as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, also starring Channing Tatum and Sienna Miller.
In late 2009, Lee returned to TV in the espionage action thriller Iris as a secret agent who finds himself at the center of an international conspiracy. It was one of the most expensive shows ever produced with filming locations in Hungary, Japan as well as South Korea.  It became one of the highest rated dramas of 2009 and his performance earned him the Grand Prize at the KBS Drama Acting Awards and Best Actor at the Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2010 Lee starred in I Saw the Devil with Choi Min-sik, his third collaboration with director Kim Ji-woon, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His portrayal of the intelligence agent won him the Grand Prize at the Paeksang Arts Awards.
In 2013, he reprised his role as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. On 23 June 2012, Lee, along with Ahn Sung-ki, became the first Korean actors to leave their hand and foot prints on the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. He was recognised as an emerging star in Hollywood for his role of Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and its sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. In October, he won Best Actor at the Grand Bell Awards for his dual role in the lavish period drama Gwanghae. The film was a box office hit, becoming the 7th film in Korean history to surpass 10 million admissions.
Other work 
Lee Byung-hun most notably in the video game industry provided his likeness for the main character Wayne Holden, in the 2006 instant mega-hit Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, for the Xbox 360, PS3 & PC.
Personal life 
Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea. His father was a businessman. He has a younger sister, Lee Eun-hee, who was Miss Korea in 1997. He graduated from Hanyang University with a major in French Literature and the Graduate School of Chung-Ang University with a major in Theater and Cinematography.
|1995||Who Drives Me Mad?||Lee Jong-du|
|1996||Kill the Love||Love|
|1997||Elegy of the Earth||Park Jong-man|
|1999||The Harmonium in My Memory||Kang Soo-ha|
|2000||Joint Security Area||Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok|
|2001||Bungee Jumping of Their Own||Seo In-woo|
|2002||My Beautiful Girl, Mari||Adult Nam-woo (voice)|
|2004||Everybody Has Secrets||Choi Su-hyeon|
|Three Extremes - segment "Cut"||Ryu Ji-ho|
|2005||A Bittersweet Life||Kim Sun-woo|
|2006||Once in a Summer||Yun Suk-young|
|2008||The Good, the Bad, the Weird||Park Chang-yi, the Bad|
|2009||I Come with the Rain||Su Dongpo|
|G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra||Storm Shadow|
|2010||Iris: The Movie||Kim Hyun-jun|
|I Saw the Devil||Kim Soo-hyeon|
|2012||Gwanghae||King Gwanghae, Beggar Ha-sun|
|2013||G.I. Joe: Retaliation||Storm Shadow|
|1991||Asphalt My Hometown|
|Flower That Never Wilt|
|Days of Sunshine||Choi Hyung-man|
|Tomorrow Love||Shin Bum Soo|
|1993||The Sorrow of the Survivor||Ja-myung|
|1994||The Fragrance of Love||Kim Jun-ho|
|1995||Asphalt Man||Kang Dong-joon|
|Son of Wind||Chang Hong-pyo|
|1997||Beautiful My Lady||Hwang Jun-ho|
|1998||White Night 3.98||Min Gyeong-bin|
|1999||Happy Together||Suh Tae-poong|
|Love Story - Story 1: Sunflower||Tae-sung|
|Sally is Back|
|Beautiful Days||Lee Min-chul|
|2003||All In||Kim In-ha|
|2011||Diplomat Kosaku Kuroda||John (cameo)|
|1999||Lee Byung Hun - To Me|
|"Endless Road"||Iris OST|
Awards and nominations 
- "Joint Security Area". koreanfilm.org. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "Festival de Cannes: A Bittersweet Life". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- IESB.net - Movie News, Reviews, Interviews and More! - UPDATED WITH STUDIO CONFIRMATION - GI Joe Casting!
- "Lee Byung-hun in Expensive Spy Drama Series IRIS". Beyond Hollywood.
- Park Soo-mee. "Lee Byung-hun to Reprise 'G.I. Joe' Role". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "‘G.I. Joe 2′ Gets a Release Date; But Will We See The Cast Return?". The Film Stage.
- "Ahn Sung-ki, Lee Byung-hun to Leave Handprints in Hollywood". Chosun Ilbo. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "'Gwanghae' sweeps Korean Oscars". The Korea Times. 31 October 2012.
- Lee, Rachel (21 October 2012). "'Masquerade,' 7th film to reach 10 million viewers". The Korea Times.
- Schwartz, Terri (2012-05-11). "'Red 2' Adds Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-Hun Lee". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Byung-Hun Lee Talks Storm Shadow and "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Q&A - G.I. Joe Star Byung-hun Lee Explains Storm Shadow's Martial Arts Style". ACMTV. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- Cho Chung-un and Lee Woo-young (2012-08-19). "Top actors say they are dating". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Actor Lee Byung-hun admits dating". The Korea Times. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Lee Byung-hun and Lee Min-jung Admit They're Going Steady". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Lee Byung-hun to star in ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ remake" JoongAng Ilbo 15 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-23