Yu Oh-seong

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Yu.
Yu Oh-seong
Born (1968-09-11) September 11, 1968 (age 45)
Yeongwol County, Gangwon Province, South Korea
Other names Yoo Oh-sung
Yoo Oh-seong
Education Hanyang University - Theater and Film
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992-present
Family Yu Sang-beom
Korean name
Hangul 유오성
Revised Romanization Yu Oh-seong
McCune–Reischauer Yu Osŏng

Yu Oh-seong (born September 11, 1968) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his roles in The Spy (1999), Attack the Gas Station (1999), and Friend (2001).


Yu Oh-seong made his stage debut in 1992, and throughout the mid-1990s, he complemented a career in television with minor roles in film. With his success playing a young gangster in the hit movie Beat (1997), Yu's face became familiar to a new generation of moviegoers. The year 1999 was somewhat of a breakthrough for Yu, as he took the lead role in Jang Jin's acclaimed cult comedy The Spy and also starred in Kim Sang-jin's hugely successful Attack the Gas Station.[1]

His career reached its peak in the year 2001, however. Appearing as Jang Dong-gun's co-star in Kwak Kyung-taek's smash hit Friend, which sold an unprecedented 8 million tickets, Yu won effusive critical praise for his hard-edged performance as a ruthless gangster and enjoyed a tremendous degree of exposure.[1][2]

This fame would carry over somewhat when he took the lead in director Kwak's fourth feature Champion, a 1980s-set biopic of boxer Kim Deuk-gu, who dominated the Korean boxing scene until his death after the World Boxing Association lightweight championship in 1982. However, even though Yu was praised for his body makeover and acting skills, the film failed to deliver on the high expectations that preceded it.[1] Later that year, a series of highly public disagreements with Kwak, believed to stem from money problems, made headlines and served to cool some of the public's interest in the actor.[3]

Yu's next two films, the melodrama Star with actress Park Jin-hee and the patriotic/historical drama Thomas Ahn Jung-geun about the titular independence activist, bombed badly at the box office.[1]

He returned to television in 2004, headlining his first historical drama series Jang Gil-san. Set in the Joseon dynasty during the reign of King Sukjong, Jang Gil-san was born of a female servant, raised by gypsies, then rises politically.[4]

For the contemporary drama Invisible Man in 2006, he played a man in his thirties battling early-onset Alzheimer's disease with the support of his loving family (his wife is played by Chae Shi-ra).[5] Yu said his character Choi Jang-soo was closest to his real-life personality.[6] This was followed by a leading role in adultery drama Dear Lover (2007) with Yoon Son-ha, a remake of 1995 Japanese drama Koibito Yo.[7]

In 2009, Yu and Song Seon-mi played a gangster and doctor who fall in love in the stage play Turn Away and Leave, which was previously dramatized onscreen in the 1998 film A Promise and the 2006 TV series Lovers.[8] Later that year, he played a supporting role in Potato Symphony, about a man who moves back to his hometown with his daughter, and faces unresolved conflicts with his old high school friends (the protagonist is played by Jeon Yong-taek, who also wrote, directed and produced the film). Jeon and Yu are close friends in real life, and the film is set in their hometown Yeongwol County. Despite winning the Grand Prix at the 4th Festival Franco-Coréen du Film, Potato Symphony was little seen domestically.[9]

After the underwhelming box office and TV ratings of past projects he'd headlined, Yu stuck to supporting roles. He starred opposite Kim Dong-wook in buddy comedy Happy Killers (2010), in which Kim played a slacker cop assigned to investigate a serial killer case, while Yu played an unemployed man with natural instincts as a detective who gets in the way by trying to catch the killer as well.[6] Yu also appeared in action series Swallow the Sun (2009) which was filmed in Las Vegas, South Africa and Jeju Island, two horse-based human comedy films -- Lump Sugar (2006) starring Im Soo-jung and Champ (2011) starring Cha Tae-hyun,[10] and the crime drama Don't Cry Mommy (2012).[11]

More recently, he played villains in the 2010 historical drama Kim Su-ro, The Iron King starring Ji Sung as Suro of Geumgwan Gaya, and the 2012 fantasy Faith starring Kim Hee-sun and Lee Min-ho (as Choe Yeong).[12]

In 2013, Yu reprised his most memorable role in the sequel Friend 2, in which he faces the grown-up son of the friend he'd given orders to be killed (Kim Woo-bin), interspersed with scenes of his own father's gangster past in Busan (Joo Jin-mo).[13]


  • Shoot My Heart (2014) - Choi Ki-hoon
  • Friend 2 (2013) - Lee Joon-seok
  • Don't Cry Mommy (2012) - detective
  • Champ (2011) - trainer Yoon
  • Happy Killers (2010) - Young-seok
  • Potato Symphony (2009) - Jin-han
  • Lump Sugar (2006) - Yun-jo
  • Thomas Ahn Jung-geun (2004) - An Jung-geun
  • Star (2003) - Yeong-woo
  • Champion (2002) - Kim Deuk-gu
  • Friend (2001) - Lee Joon-seok
  • Attack the Gas Station (1999) - Mu Dae-po ("Bulldozer")
  • The Spy (1999) - Rhee Cheol-jin
  • Spring in My Hometown (1998) - Sung-min's uncle
  • Saturday, 2:00 pm (1998) - Dal-soo
  • Beat (1997) - Tae-soo
  • Poison (1997)
  • Kill the Love (1996) - Baek Joon
  • Man? (1995) - Seong Chung-do
  • Terrorist (1995) - Jeom-pyo
  • Dr. Bong (1995) - On-dal
  • I Wish for What Is Forbidden to Me (1994) - Hwang Nam-gi
  • First Love (1993)
  • Love, Love: Han Hee-jak's Love Stories (1991) - Dal-shik

Television drama[edit]

  • Gunman in Joseon (KBS2, 2014) - Choi Won-shin
  • Drama Special "The Devil Rider" (KBS2, 2013) - Moon-bok
  • Drama Special "Mother's Island" (KBS2, 2013) - Lee Tan
  • Faith (SBS, 2012) - Ki Cheol
  • Drama Special "Missing Case of National Assembly Member Jung Chi-sung" (KBS2, 2012) - Jung Chi-sung
  • Kim Su-ro, The Iron King (MBC, 2010) - Shingwi Ghan / Tae-gang
  • Invincible Lee Pyung Kang (KBS2, 2009) - policeman (cameo)
  • Swallow the Sun (SBS, 2009) - Jackson Lee
  • Dear Lover (SBS, 2007) - Go Dong-woo
  • Invisible Man (KBS2, 2006) - Choi Jang-soo
  • Jang Gil-san (SBS, 2004) - Jang Gil-san
  • Some Like It Hot (MBC, 2000) - Kang Man-ho
  • Aim for Tomorrow (MBC, 1998) - Kang Dae-ho


  • Turn Away and Leave (2009)
  • Oedipus (2006)
  • Tape (2005)
  • Story of an Old Thief[14]
  • Blood (1992)

Music video[edit]

  • MYNAME - "Baby I'm Sorry" (2013)[15][16]
  • Seo Yoon - "Goodbye" (2011)

Kim Bum Soo "I Miss You"

Variety show[edit]

  • Yu Oh-seong's Million Mystery (SBS, 2009)



  1. ^ a b c d "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Yoo Oh-sung". Koreanfilm.org. kfilm. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. ^ Hwang, Hee-yeon (22 March 2001). "Buddies tells story of lost youth, friendship". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  3. ^ Hong, Chan-shik (3 November 2002). "Friends". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  4. ^ Kim, Sun-woo (4 April 2004). "Yoo Oh-sung to Star in Drama Jang Gil-san". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  5. ^ Chung, Ah-young (31 July 2006). "Traditional Dramas Beat Trendy Ones". The Korea Times via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  6. ^ a b "All That Star: Genuine Actor, Yu Oh-seong is back with the comedic flick Happy Killers, looking more cheerful and easygoing than before". Arirang News. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Fresh Japanese Wave Threatens Korean Pop Culture". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  8. ^ "Events Calendar". The Korea Herald. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  9. ^ "New Films". Korean Film Council. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  10. ^ "Champ (2011)". The Chosun Ilbo. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  11. ^ Park, Eun-jee (2 November 2012). "Three films zero in on the limitations of legal system". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  12. ^ "Lee Min-ho, Kim Hee-seon unveils teaser for new TV series". 10Asia. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  13. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (8 November 2013). "12 years later, an iconic Friend returns". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  14. ^ "Events Calendar". The Korea Herald. 11 July 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  15. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (5 July 2013). "MYNAME Unveils its Powerful Yet Violent MV for Baby I'm Sorry". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  16. ^ "This Could Be a Movie: MYNAME Releases Blockbuster Baby I'm Sorry MV". Soompi. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 

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