Uhm Tae-woong

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Uhm.
Uhm Tae-woong
Born (1974-04-05) April 5, 1974 (age 40)
Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea
Education Kyungmin College - Department of Theater
Kookmin University - School of Performing Arts
Konkuk University - Graduate School of Mass Communications
Occupation Actor
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Yoon Hye-jin (m. 2013)
Korean name
Hangul 엄태웅
Revised Romanization Eom Tae-ung
McCune–Reischauer Ŏm T'aeung

Uhm Tae-woong (born April 5, 1974) is a South Korean actor. He made his acting debut in 1998, but initially struggled to emerge from under the shadow of his older sister, popular singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa. After several years of bit parts, supporting roles, and work in one-act dramas, Uhm began to gain recognition after his villainous turn in the romantic comedy Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang. In 2005, he made his breakthrough in the critically acclaimed Resurrection, followed by another revenge-themed series The Devil in 2007. Since then, he has starred in diverse leading roles on film and television, notably in Forever the Moment, Chaw, Cyrano Agency, Architecture 101, Man from the Equator and The Blade and Petal.


He is very talented in art and drawing and he studied for art college exams when he was in high school. However his crush attended the theater department which led him to join the same department to be close to her. But even after the girl shifted majors, Uhm stayed after having befriended a fellow student who would become his current manager, and began acting in earnest.[1]

He stated that when he was very young he wanted to be a scientist; he then wanted to be an architect. When he was a pre-teenager, he wanted to join Vienna Boys' Choir however, he was afraid that he'd be homesick, he didn't tell anyone about this dream. He wanted to be part of the choir so much that he had dreams about it in which his voice broke during a live performance and he was kicked out.

He stated that he used to be in a band with his friends when he was in high school.

1998-2003- Early Career as a Struggling Actor[edit]

Uhm Tae Woong made his debut in 1998 at the age of 24. Until 2003, he struggled a lot due to being "Uhm Jung Hwa's kid brother". He acted in small roles in movies, dramas and music videos. He also acted in musicals.

He stated that during an audition for a role the director told him to "stop trying because in the entertainment business no two people from the same family hit it big and his sister was already one of the most popular celebrities in Korea". Uhm later met that director accidentally a few years later and the director, forgetting what he had told earlier, said that Uhm was "the best actor out there".

2003-2005- Recognition by the Viewers and Veteran Actors[edit]

In 2003, Uhm acted in Spring Bears Love and in Silmido, the first film to have a box office audience of over 10 million in South Korea, both as supporting characters. During Silmido's filming veteran actors Ahn Sung-gi and Sol Kyung-gu realized his talent and during an interview,Ahn Sung Gi said that Uhm Tae Woong "would turn into a true actor."

He gained lots of praise for his acting in Silmido. Even though, he was only a supporting actor, the viewers had started to search for who the actor was.

In 2004, he acted in a movie and a drama and in a few special one episode dramas. He was praised for his acting in Blue Skies of The Jeju Island, for which he won the "Excellence Award, Actor in a Special/One-Act Drama Award".

2005- Resurrection, Breakthrough, and UhmForce[edit]

In 2005, he was cast in drama Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang as the second male lead. With the named drama, he started to have a fanbase. Later the same year, he was cast in drama Resurrection again as the second lead. However, the lead actor Park Yong-woo had to drop due to schedule conflicts. The director, Hong Seong-deok, was thinking about what to do and the only person that came to his mind was Uhm Tae Woong. He cast Uhm after seeing him act as the lead character in his dream.

Uhm Tae Woong's acting in the drama shocked everyone because "it was the kind of acting you would expect from Choi Min Sik or Sol Kyung Gu not from a young actor who had acted in just a few dramas,movies in supporting roles."

His fans gave him the nickname "Uhm Force" which was derived from Star Wars.

He got Excellence Actor Award at the KBS Drama Awards for his acting and he was nominated as the Best Actor in TV at Baeksang Art Awards.

2006-2007- Projects and Reunion with Resurrection Staff[edit]

In 2006, he was cast in two dramas. In Wolf he was cast alongside Han Ji-min who was his co-star in Resurrection. However, an accident occurred on set which caused Han Ji Min and Eric Mun to be hospitalized. The drama was delayed for a long time which caused it to be cancelled.

The other drama, Stranger Than Paradise, Uhm acted as a gang member manager who fell in love with his client. The drama told the story of two brothers falling in love with a singer.

That year, he acted in movie, Family Ties, in which he was a reckless young man who got married to a woman 20 years his senior. In 2007, Uhm, reunited with his Resurrection director in The Devil. Both the dramas are revenge dramas. The director, told a similar story from different perspectives. In Resurrection, the main plot showed how the hero got revenge from the villains. However, in The Devil, the plot showed an antagonist sending death messages to the hero.Thee hero tried to understand what was happening and what the villains aim was.

That same year, he acted in movie, My Love, in which his character was an activist who had traveled and came back to Korea after 6 years in order to meet his ex-girlfriend.

2008- Year of Movies[edit]

In 2008, he acted only in movies. He was cast in 5 movies. In Forever the Moment, he was a strict trainer, in Sunny he was the heroine's husband who had been sent off to Vietnam. In Iri, he had an ill sister whom he had to take care of. In Handphone (which was released in 2009) he acted as a manager who is threatened by an unknown man. In Chaw (which was also released in 2009), he acted as a policeman who was trying to catch a man eating boar.

2009-2010- Sageuk Drama Debut,Goodwill Ambassador, Cyrano Agency[edit]

In 2009, his two movies which he had acted the previous year, Handphone and Chaw were released. He was cast in his first historical drama, Queen Seon Deok, as the great general Kim Yu-Shin.

The same year he was designated as the goodwill ambassador of makgeolli which is a traditional Korean alcoholic beverage.

In 2010, he acted in the movie Cyrano Agency as an actor turned dating coach who helped people to make the ones they love fall in love with them. However, everything gets twisted when the woman that his client was to date is his ex-girlfriend whom he is not over.

The same year, he acted in Dr. Champ, as a former athletic who had been injured and worked as a doctor in the Olympic Village.

2011-1 Night 2 Days and Movies[edit]

In March 2011, Uhm joined the variety show 1 Night 2 Days as one of the regular members. He shocked viewers with his shy, introverted, quiet and dorky character. He and Kim Ha-neul who appeared as a guest on the show were chosen the "best fit entertainers" by the netizens. He was the second on the list of celebrities who would make perfect parents chosen by the netizens. (The male celebrity who was in the first place was Lee Seung-gi.)

Uhm was cast in 3 movies in 2011. In SIU, he acted as a police officer who tried to solve a mysterious murder. In Never Ending Story (which was released in 2012) he acted as a terminal ill man who was preparing for his last days with another terminal ill woman. In Architecture 101 (which was also released in 2012), he acted as an architect who built his first love's house.

2012-2013- Man from the Equator, Cancelled Projects, Model Tax Payer, Top Star[edit]

In 2012, Uhm was cast in Man from the Equator, a revenge drama which is about a young boy whose father's killed and he ends up blind. He grows up and he has to get revenge from the villains. The drama's rating weren't high at the beginning when the story told about the young actors. From Uhm's first appearance, the drama started to get high ratings and after a couple of episodes, the drama started to get the highest rating in of the night.

Uhm's acting was praised and he got Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama at the KBS Drama Awards. He was also chosen as the Actor of the Year by 150 directors from 3 broadcasting systems. He was nominated as the Best Actor in TV at the Baeksang Art Awards.

Later that year, he reunited with Chaw's director and as cast in The Dog. However, the shooting got delayed for several times which led Uhm and fellow actress Han Ye-seul to drop off. In late 2012, he was cast in the Autobiography of Yi Sun Shin in which he was going to act as the title character. The drama was supposed to air in June, however, nobody but Uhm was cast until May. The drama eventually got cancelled.

In 2013, he made a cameo appearance in 7th Grade Civil Servant in order to support his 1 Night 2 Days costar Joo Won. He was cast in Top Star in which he acted as a manager of a top star who wishes to be one himself. He becomes one due to a twist but he changes and he turns into a totally different person. The movie is veteran actor Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut. Park Joong Hoon praised Uhm's acting and said "I think that Uhm Tae Woong is an amazing actor and it was an honor working with him."

In March 2013, Uhm and his Architecture 101 costar Han Ga-in were chosen as Model Tax Payers and were given medals (along with trot singer Tae Jin-ah) by the Korean National Tax Service for paying their taxes diligently. Uhm and Han were chosen as goodwill ambassadors of the Korean National Tax Service.

In May 2013, he was cast in drama The Blade and Petal as the illegitimate son of Korean dictator Yeon Gaesomun. It tells the forbidden love story of Yeon Gaesomun's illegitimate son and the princess whose father,the king, was murdered by Yeon.

On 11 November 2013, it was confirmed that Uhm had left the shown 1 Night 2 Days along with Sung Shi Kyung, Yoo Hae Jin and Lee Soo Geun

In November 2013, he was cast in Can We Love as a bad tempered and conceited award-winning and internationally famous director who falls in love with a divorced woman.[2]

2014- Can We Love[edit]

In January 2014, Uhm's new drama Can We Love started to air. Uhm acted as a very talented and famous director Oh Kyung Soo who received awards at Cannes. Kyung Soo is a perfectionist, bad tempered but funny and sensitive deep inside.

After many years as a struggling actor, Uhm started receiving positive notices after playing a dying man in the acclaimed Drama City episode Blue Skies of Jeju Island. This led to his well-received turn as a villain in the romantic comedy Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang.[3] His memorable lead performances in the noir dramas Resurrection and The Devil,[4] in which he expressed a soul conflicted between the good and bad, between sin and punishment, increased his popularity and he gained the nickname "the Uhm force" among fans.[5][6][7][8]

No longer known as simply singer-actress Uhm Jung-hwa's kid brother,[9] he began building an impressive acting resume. His roles have all displayed his acting prowess and versatility: an irresponsible young man who falls in love with a woman twenty years his senior in Family Ties, a cold elite coach for the National Women's Handball Team in Forever the Moment, a celebrity manager who is driven to the extremes in Handphone,[10] a newly married Korean soldier conscripted during the Vietnam War in Sunny, a policeman battling with a mutant boar in Chaw, Silla general Kim Yushin in Queen Seondeok,[11][12][13] a cranky sports medicine doctor in Dr. Champ, a theater actor-turned-dating coach in Cyrano Agency,[1] one half of a quirky terminally ill couple in Never Ending Story,[14][15] an architect building his first love's house in Architecture 101, and a blind revenge seeker in Man from the Equator.[16][17][18][19]

In 2011 he joined the hit reality show 1 Night 2 Days, showing audiences the dorky personality behind his intense screen persona.[20][21]

In actor Park Joong-hoon's directorial debut Top Star, Uhm was cast in the lead role of a manager who dreams of becoming an actor.[22][23][24] For his next television series The Blade and Petal, Uhm reunited with Kim Yong-soo who previously directed Man from the Equator, in a period drama about a forbidden love set in Goguryeo.[25][26]

Personal life[edit]

Uhm's father was a public school music teacher who died from a motorcycle accident when Uhm's mother was pregnant with him. After his father's death, his family (consisting of his mother, three older sisters, and Uhm as the youngest) faced serious financial problems. His older sister Uhm Jung-hwa entered show business as a pop singer and released her first album in 1993 (earning the label "Madonna of Korea"); she later turned to acting.

Uhm was engaged to actress-model Lee Young-jin from 2007 to 2009.[27]

In 2011, Uhm and actress Soo Ae were rumored to be dating. Uhm constantly said that they were close friends that ate and drank together. However, he added that Soo Ae was his ideal type.

On the November 4, 2012 episode of 1 Night 2 Days, Uhm made the surprise announcement that he was engaged to ballerina Yoon Hye-jin, and that they are expecting their first child. The daughter of veteran actor Yoon Il-bong and niece of veteran actor Yoo Dong-geun, Yoon was a principal dancer with the Korea National Ballet before she moved to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. They were introduced by Uhm's older sister Uhm Jung-hwa.[28][29][30][31][32] The couple wed on January 9, 2013 at Conrad Hotel Seoul.[33][34][35] Their daughter, Uhm Ji-On, was born on June 18, 2013.[36]

He has stated that he doesn't have a particular music genre he is into and he liked Sanulrim, Hot Potato, Lucid Fall, Nell (band), and Hwang Bo-ryung.

Uhm Tae Woong has a road dedicated to him in South Korea.



Television series[edit]

Variety show[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]


Music video[edit]

  • 1998: Kim Dong-ryool - 기적 ("Miracle")
  • 2001: Hwayobi - 눈물 ("Tears")
  • 2003: Page - 난 늘 혼자였죠 ("I am always alone")
  • 2004: SG Wannabe - Timeless
  • 2004: SG Wannabe - 죽을만끔 사랑했어요 ("I love you till death")
  • 2005: Lyn - 보통여자 ("Ordinary Woman")


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2004 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Special/One-Act Drama Blue Skies of Jeju Island Won
2005 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Resurrection
Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang
Won [37]
Best Couple Award with Han Ji-min Resurrection Won
2006 14th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best New Actor Family Ties Won
42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in TV Resurrection Nominated [38]
2007 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries The Devil Nominated
2009 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Queen Seondeok Won [39]
2008 29th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Forever the Moment Nominated
2010 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Planning Drama Dr. Champ Nominated
2011 KBS Entertainment Awards Top Entertainer Award 1 Night 2 Days Won [40]
Grand Prize/Daesang
(shared with 1 Night 2 Days cast)
2012 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star (Male) Man from the Equator Nominated [41]
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Man from the Equator Won
PD Award Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor in TV Man from the Equator Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama The Blade and Petal Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated


  1. ^ a b "엄태웅 "'선덕'서 받은 상처,'시라노'로 풀었죠"(인터뷰)" [Uhm Tae-woong: Healing through Cyrano]. Star News (in Korean). 8 September 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Eom Tae-woong stars in "Can We Love?"". 
  3. ^ "Um Tae-woong from Sassy Girl Chung-hyang Rises as a New Star". KBS Global. 24 January 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Um Tae-woong to Play Lead in KBS Miniseries Resurrection". KBS Global. 23 March 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  5. ^ "KOREAN TV DRAMA REVIEWS: 부활 (Rebirth)". Twitch Film. 4 November 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ "KOREAN TV DRAMA REVIEWS: 부활 (Rebirth - Director's Cut) PART 1". Twitch Film. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ "KOREAN TV DRAMA REVIEWS: 부활 (Rebirth - Director's Cut) PART 2". Twitch Film. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Um Tae-ung Scouted by Five Japanese Talent Agencies". KBS Global. 22 June 2005. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ Han, Eun-jung (18 January 2006). "Actor Uhm Tae-woong Steps Out of Pop Singer Sister's Shadow". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (7 January 2010). "Uhm Tae-woong's Song Picks". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (11 January 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Uhm Tae-woong (Part 1)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (11 January 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Uhm Tae-woong (Part 2)". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ "All That Star: Uhm Tae-woong". Arirang News. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  14. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (9 January 2012). "Uhm Tae Woong Tricks Jung Ryeo Won into Kissing Him Over...and Over...". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  15. ^ "‘순둥이’ 엄태웅 담배 물고 마초 매력 물씬 ‘이게 바로 엄포스’" [Uhm Tae Woong shares his thoughts on acting in ‘Harper’s Bazaar’]. Newsen (in Korean). 20 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  16. ^ Yu, Ah-jeong (22 February 2012). "Three hunks heat up spring TV season". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (7 April 2012). "Uhm Tae Woong Garners Praise for His Acting in Equator Man". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ Lee, In-kyung (18 April 2012). "Will Uhm Tae Woong's Transformation in Equator Man Help it to Surpass ′Rooftop Prince′?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  19. ^ Suk, Monica (27 August 2012). "6 TV series that were inches away from clinching SDA nomination". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ "나영석PD 엄태웅 새 멤버 낙점 이유? "만날수록 궁금한 인물"" [Actor Uhm Tae Woong is the new member of 1 Night 2 Days!]. Newsen (in Korean). 20 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  21. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (15 November 2011). "Uhm Tae Woong Proves He is Indeed an Actor". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  22. ^ Kim, Hyun-min (15 March 2013). "Casting for Director PARK Joong-hoon's TOP STAR Complete". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  23. ^ Lee, Sun-min (18 March 2013). "Actor takes director’s chair Sunday". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  24. ^ "Park Joong-hoon Calls It a Wrap for Directorial Debut". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  25. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (30 April 2013). "Uhm Tae-woong and Kim Ok-vin Cast in New Drama". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  26. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (1 July 2013). "Uhm Tae Woong Says He′ll Act With His Hair for Blade and Petal". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  27. ^ "엄태웅·이영진 2년 사랑 마침표…. 최근 성격차 결별" [Uhm Tae Woong and Lee Young Jin Break Up]. The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  28. ^ Baek, Byung-yeul (5 November 2012). "Actor Uhm Tae-woong to marry in ballerina in Jan.". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  29. ^ "Actor Uhm Tae-woong to Wed Ballerina". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  30. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (5 November 2012). "Actor Uhm Tae-woong to Wed Ballerina Next January". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  31. ^ Kim, Ji-yeon (5 November 2012). "Uhm Tae Woong to Wed Ballerina in January". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  32. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (6 November 2012). "Uhm Tae-woong to marry ballerina". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  33. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (10 January 2013). "Uhm Tae-woong marries ballerina". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  34. ^ An, So-hyoun (10 January 2013). "Uhm Tae Woong Grins in Official Wedding Photos". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  35. ^ "Actor Uhm Tae-woong Weds Ballerina". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  36. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (19 June 2013). "Actor Uhm Tae-woong Becomes Father". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  37. ^ "2005 KBS Drama Awards". Korean Broadcasting System (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  38. ^ "42nd Baeksang Awards Nominations + Winners". Twitch Film. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  39. ^ Park, So-yeon (31 December 2009). "Ko Hyun-joung wins grand prize at MBC Acting Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  40. ^ Oh, Mi-jung (25 December 2011). "Who Took Home the Grand Prize at the 2011 KBS Entertainment Awards?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  41. ^ Lee, Nancy (8 June 2012). "20's Choice Awards Nominees Announced, Voting Open". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

External links[edit]