Eric Mun

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Mun.
Eric Mun
Eric Mun.jpg
Background information
Birth name Mun Jung-hyuk
Born (1979-02-16) 16 February 1979 (age 37)
Seoul, South Korea
Years active 1998–present
Associated acts Shinhwa
Korean name
Revised Romanization Mun Jeong-hyeok
McCune–Reischauer Mun Chŏnghyŏk

Eric Mun (born Mun Jung-hyuk on February 16, 1979) is a Korean singer and actor. He is a member and leader of the South Korean boy band Shinhwa. He is also well known for several dramas such as Phoenix, Super Rookie and Another Oh Hae-young. He was with Top Class Entertainment from 2007 to December 2013. In 2014, Eric teamed up with his long time manager of 10 years, Lee Jong Hyun, to set up a new management agency E&J Entertainment for his individual activities. Eric is also the CEO of Shinhwa Company with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO since 2011, with the remaining members: Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin and Andy Lee as shareholders.


Eric Mun (Mun Jung-hyuk) was born in Seoul. He is the youngest of the 3 siblings with 2 older sisters. Eric attended Daechi Elementary School located in Seoul. When his family moved to the U.S, he went to John Burroughs Middle School located in Los Angeles. Eric spent his years of high school at Parks Junior High School and Sunny Hills High School, both of which are located in Fullerton, California. In 1996 Eric returned to Korea and he joined SM Entertainment as a trainee and was featured as a rapper on label mate girl group S.E.S.' single "I'm Your Girl" along with Andy. On March 24, 1998, with the stage name Eric, he debuted as Leader and lead rapper of group Shinhwa with their single "해결사" (The Solver) on KM Music Tank. He stated that their debut album Resolver did not perform well and the band almost disbanded. At the time, he thought seriously about giving up and returning to the U.S.[1]

In 2005 Eric graduated from Dongguk University with a major in Theater and Film as one of its notable alumni.

2004: The Start of Acting Career[edit]

Even though in 2002 Eric and his Shinhwa band mates had cameo appearance in the movie Emergency 19 Act, Eric’s career as an actor really started in 2003 when director Park Sung Soo gave him 0.5 second to make a decision whether taking on a supporting role for MBC’s series Breathless (I Run). Eric responded with a "Yes" and that opened door to the path of acting.[2] In early 2004, he got a big break with the immensely popular drama Phoenix (Bulsae). The huge success of Phoenix further launch Eric to super stardom. Most memorable line was the infamous super cheesy “Do you smell anything burning? My heart is burning” that is still currently being used, parodied in many dramas and shows.

2005-2006: Acting and Injury[edit]

In 2005, Mun starred in lead role in MBC's Super Rookie with actress Han Ga-in.[3] It was also broadcast on Fuji Television. It got solid rating in Korea during the broadcast. Super Rookie was also a big hit in Japan after Fuji TV paid ₩2 billion for the broadcast rights in Japan.[4] It sparked a huge response in Japan when it was broadcast there, as the viewers could relate to the drama that further launch Eric to the Hallyu wave. In December 2005, Eric went to promote Super Rookie in Japan. Huge crowd was waiting to see him at the airport. Fuji TV and Narita Airport treated him like State Guest.[5]

In early 2006, Mun was injured on the set of MBC drama Wolf, resulting in it being pulled off air after four episodes. Mun was injured whilst shooting a scene, near Namdaemun in Seoul, where he was to save co-star Han Ji-min from being run over by a car. However the stunt car driver misunderstood the signals drove at them at 40 km/h and did not stop in front of them as planned.[6]

In August, after the successful run of Super Rookie, especially in Japan,[7] Eric collaborated again with its writers in Invincible Parachute Agent (also known as Korea Secret Agency).[8]

2008-2010: Military Enlistment[edit]

Shinhwa's 10th Anniversary concert in March 2008, that marked the start of Shinhwa's hiatus as a group to fulfill Korea mandatory military duty. Before his army enlistment, Eric picked up a period drama for the first time in his acting career with Strongest Chil Woo.[9] With 30 million wons per episode for Strongest Chil Woo, Eric was the highest paid singer-turned-actor in the industry at the time.[10]

Gave up his American Citizenship in 2003 [11][12] to be able to serve his military duty, Eric was the first Shinhwa member to enlist for mandatory military service in October 2008. Because of his back injury from the filming of Wolf drama, Eric served non-active duty e.g. public service worker after under going four weeks of basic training. He was discharged on 30 October 2010.[13]

2011: Acting Comeback and The Founding of Shinhwa Company[edit]

After being discharged, Mun's first project was supposed to be KBS's action drama Poseidon opposite Kim Ok-bin, set for broadcast in July 2011. However they dropped out when production was halted after the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong incident in November 2010.[14] Instead, he made his comeback in another KBS drama, Spy Myung-wol with Han Ye-seul in July, playing a Korean wave star who is at the center of a kidnap plot by North Korean agents.[15][16]

On 1 July 2011, Mun became CEO (with Lee Min-woo as co-CEO) of Shinhwa Company, a joint venture agency for members Shinhwa to perform as a group. The Company manages the group as a whole, whilst members' individual activities are managed by their respective agencies.[17]

As part of Top Class Entertainment he produced girl group Stellar, who debuted in August 2011 with the song "Rocket Girl".[18]

2012: Shinhwa Comeback[edit]

In March 2012, Eric reunited with his Shinhwa band mates for their comeback after four years, under the management of Shinhwa Company. The group released their tenth studio album The Return on 23 March 2012,[19][20] launched their comeback concerts 2012 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Return throughout Asia[21][22] and their first exclusive variety program Shinhwa Broadcast premiered on 17 March 2012 on cable channel JTBC.[23]

Mun's rap is featured on Brown Eyed Girls' Ga In's digital single "Nostalgia", released on 30 November 2012.[24]

2013: Shinhwa Comeback and Leaving Top Class Management[edit]

On February 8, 2013, Shinhwa’s agency announced the legendary group’s comeback through their official website. The poster for their comeback 2013 Shinhwa Grand Tour: The Classic to commemorate the group’s 15 years since their debut was revealed. The album's name called The Classic.

It became a huge success, the concert's tickets were sold out within minutes. Mun along with Shinhwa won many awards in 2013. People regarded them as the Longest Running Boy Band in the South Korean music industry.

December 2013, Mun's contract with Top Class Entertainment came to an end. He did not re-sign another contract with Top Class Entertainment and therefore he's no longer in charge of group Stellar whom he helped the company to produce and promote the original line up.[25][26]

2014: Return to Acting[edit]

In March, Eric successfully concluded the 16th Anniversary Concerts with Shinhwa. After several casting offers from KBS,[27][28] Eric returns to the small screen in August with the drama Discovery of Love, which reunites him with Jung Yu-mi, who was his co-star in MBC's 2007 Que Sera, Sera.[29][30][31] It was also announced that he has formed his own management company, E&J Entertainment with his manager of 10 years, Lee Jong-hyun.[32]

Despite its average 7% Neilsen rating, Eric & the team of Discovery of Romance drama received a lot of praise for their acting and a good realistic drama. Eric won a Triple Crown at KBS' 2014 Year End Award (Excellent Actor, Best Couple, and Netizen Award). With this win, Eric has won acting awards at all 3 major Broadcasting Networks. In 2015, Discovery of Love was nominated for the 2015 Rockie Award[33] in Melodrama category alongside 30 Vies (Canada), EastEnders (UK), Grey’s Anatomy (USA), My Sunshine (China), and Mysterious Summer (Japan). In an 2015 Instiz discussion post about viewers' favorite drama characters, Eric's Kang Taeha Discovery of Romance stays in top 10 at #6.[34]

2015: Shinhwa Comeback[edit]

Eric made a comeback with Shinhwa's 12th studio album "WE". Shinhwa broke their previous record with 10 wins (a Triple Crown at Mnet's M! Countdown) for this comeback. Eric and Shinhwa were on concert tour starting in May and ended with an Encore concert in Seoul in August. Shinhwa also performed at KCON LA for the first time in early August.

2016 : Acting comeback[edit]

In 2016, Eric made an acting comeback starring in South Korean TV cable (TvN) drama Another Oh Hae-young with Seo Hyun-jin. The drama is currently the highest rated Monday-Tuesday drama in TvN history.


Television dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2003 Breathless Shin Sang-Sik (supporting role) MBC
2004 Phoenix Seo Jung-min (2nd lead)
Banjun Drama Appeared in 10 episodes of the Banjun series SBS
2005 Super Rookie Kang Ho (male lead) MBC
2006 Wolf Bae Dae-Chul (male lead)
Invincible Parachute Agent Choi Kang (male lead) SBS
2007 Que Sera, Sera Kang Tae-joo (male lead) MBC
2008 Strongest Chil Woo Chil-woo (male lead) KBS2
2011 Spy Myung-wol [35] Kang Woo (male lead)
2014 Discovery of Love Kang Tae-ha (male lead)
2016 Another Oh Hae-young Park Do-kyung (male lead) tvN


Year Title Role
2002 Emergency Act 19 cameo with Shinhwa
2005 A Bittersweet Life cameo (gun dealer's brother)
Diary of June Kim Dong-wook

Variety Shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes Video
2012 - 2013 Shinhwa Broadcast JTBC episodes 1 - 62
2013 Running Man SBS Guest with Shinhwa episodes 160, 161
2015 Running Man SBS Guest with Shinhwa episode 236
Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook KBS2 Guest with Shinhwa episode 264 KBS World TV

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Phoenix Won
Popularity Award, Actor Won
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Super Rookie Won
Most Popular Actor (TV) Won
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
2006 42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Diary of June Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Invincible Parachute Agent Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2014 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Discovery of Love Won
Netizen's Award, Actor Won
Best Couple Award with Jung Yu-mi Won
Grand Prize Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
Popularity, Actor Nominated
2016 5th APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Another Oh Hae-young Nominated
Best Couple Award with Seo Hyun-jin Nominated
tvN10 Awards Rom-com King, Actor in a Miniseries Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated


  1. ^ "Eric Steps Out of Character for Recruit". Chosun Ilbo. 7 April 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kim, Jessica (29 October 2009). "Han Ga-in signs with Kim Ha-neul's agency". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Huge Crowds Greet Eric's Arrival in Tokyo" Chosun Ilbo. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  6. ^ "Eric Hurt in Gallant Attempt to Save Han Ji-min". Chosun Ilbo. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Moon Jeong-hyeok Chooses Interesting Roles" Dong-A Ilbo. 31 August 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  9. ^ Han, Sang Hee. "Chil-woo to Bring Joseon Hero to TV". Korea Times. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  10. ^ "Shinhwa member Eric returns to TV as the highest-paid singer-turned-actor.". AFspot. Sports Hankook. Archived from the original on 26 March 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Shinhwa Eric, Army Enlistment Date to be 2008". 
  12. ^ "Shinhwa Eric Mun gave up his American Citizenship to serve in the army". 
  13. ^ Choi Jun-yong "Shinhwa Eric discharged from military" 10 Asia. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  14. ^ Kim, Jessica (2 August 2011). "Choi Si-won, Lee Si-young embark Poseidon". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  15. ^ Hong, Luica (1 June 2011). "Eric to make comeback to small screen in Han Ye-seul starrer". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  16. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (10 July 2011). "Drama explores inter-Korean love story". Korea Times. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Shinhwa Form Their Own Agency" Chosun Ilbo. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
  18. ^ "에릭, '김가영 걸그룹' 스텔라 프로듀서 변신" Naver News 16 May 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-05. (Korean)
  19. ^ 신화, 섬뜩한 뱀파이어 변신…23일 10집 발매. Nate News (in Korean). 17 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  20. ^ "Shinhwa to release upcoming 10th album on March 23". 10 Asia. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  21. ^ Hong, Lucia (1 February 2012). "Shinhwa releases teaser video for upcoming concert". 10 Asia. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Suk, Monica (26 March 2012). "CONCERT REVIEW: Shinhwa: Reborn with The Return". 10 Asia. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Park, HyunMin (4 March 2012). "Shinhwa to have Shinhwa Broadcast". Mnet News. CJ E&M. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  24. ^ Ho, Stewart. "BEG's Gain's 'Nostalgia' to Feature Shinwha Eric's Rapping". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
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  33. ^ "2015 Rockie Awards". BANFF World Media Festival. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ Oh, Jean (5 July 2011). "Eric comes back with TV rom-com". Korea Herald. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 

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