Jeon Do-yeon

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Jeon Do-yeon
Jeon Do-yeon Cannes 2014.jpg
Jeon Do-yeon at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Born (1973-02-11) February 11, 1973 (age 44)
Seoul, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Kang Shi-kyu (m. 2007)
Children 1
Korean name
Revised Romanization Jeon Do-yeon
McCune–Reischauer Chŏn Toyŏn

Jeon Do-yeon (born February 11, 1973) is a South Korean actress. She has won many awards in her career, including Best Actress at the 60th Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of a broken woman who has lost everything in Lee Chang-dong's 2007 film Secret Sunshine.[1]


Jeon Do-yeon spent five years starring in television dramas before achieving instant star status with her film debut opposite Han Suk-kyu in The Contact. She went on to establish a reputation as a "chameleon" who can take on a wide variety of roles, from her performance as a doctor in the hit melodrama A Promise, to that of a schoolgirl in The Harmonium in My Memory, then a wife having an adulterous affair in Happy End. In 1999 and 2000 she received a Best Actress award from both the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Grand Bell Awards for her role in The Harmonium in My Memory.[2][3]

In 2001 she skillfully played a very ordinary bank teller in Park Heung-sik's directorial debut I Wish I Had a Wife. After starring as the tough-talking "Sunglasses" in Ryoo Seung-wan's No Blood No Tears (2002),[4] Jeon spent time acting in the TV drama Shoot for the Stars. In 2003 she found box-office success in E J-yong's Untold Scandal, an adaptation of the famous French novel Dangerous Liaisons set in Joseon. The following year she reunited with Park Heung-sik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama My Mother, the Mermaid.[2]

In 2005 Jeon burst back into the limelight playing a prostitute who contracts AIDS in Park Jin-pyo's hard-hitting melodrama You Are My Sunshine.[5][6][7] The performance helped turn the film into a box-office hit (3 million+ admissions), and also won her yet more additions to her collection of local acting awards.[2] She then returned to television in Lovers in Prague which depicts the love story between the president's daughter and an ordinary detective; the drama averaged over 27 percent viewership ratings.[8] In Korea, it is rare for a movie and a TV drama with the same leading actor or actress to become major hits at the same time, but Jeon managed to pull both roles off perfectly without causing any confusion in the audience.[9]

But it was her role in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine in 2007 that would see her emerge in full glory.[10][11] Although the film itself, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, evoked widely differing assessments from international critics, Jeon's performance was universally praised, and she was presented with a Best Actress award by the Cannes jury—the first Korean ever to receive an acting award at Cannes.[2][12][13][14][15]

After making the charming, laidback road movie My Dear Enemy post-Cannes,[16][17][18][19][20] Jeon gave birth to a daughter and rested for a while. In 2010, she re-established her status as Korea's premier A-list actress, headlining the controversial remake The Housemaid.[21][22]

In caper movie Countdown Jeon played a female con artist who risks her life for ten days for a final deal with a cold-hearted debt collector.[23][24][25] Countdown premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.[26]

After a two-year break, Jeon starred in Bang Eun-jin's Way Back Home (2013), based on the true story of a housewife who was imprisoned for two years on the island of Martinique after being wrongly arrested for drug smuggling at Paris's Orly Airport in 2004.[27][28] She then became a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the first Korean actor or actress to have that honor.[29][30][31][32]

In 2015, Jeon starred in The Shameless, a thriller that explores the unexpected and carnal attraction that develops between a detective and the girlfriend of the murderer he's investigating.[33][34][35][36] She then played a blind swordswoman in the Goryeo-set revenge period drama Memories of the Sword (2015), her third collaboration with Park Heung-sik.[37][38] This was followed by Jeon's second film with director Lee Yoon-ki, A Man and a Woman, about a forbidden romance that takes place in the snow-swept landscape of Finland.[39]

Although not as broadly popular with audiences as some other stars in South Korea, Jeon is widely respected for her acting abilities, and many young actresses cite her as a role model.[2][40]

Personal life[edit]

Jeon married businessman Kang Shi-kyu in a private wedding ceremony at Shilla Hotel on March 11, 2007.[41][42][43][44][45] She gave birth to a daughter on January 22, 2009.[28]



Year Title Role
1997 The Contact Soo-hyeon
1998 A Promise Chae Hee-ju
1999 The Harmonium in My Memory Yun Hong-yeon
Happy End Choi Bo-ra
2001 I Wish I Had a Wife Jung Won-ju
2002 No Blood No Tears Soo-jin
2003 Untold Scandal Lady Jeong
2004 My Mother, the Mermaid Kim Na-young / Jo Yeon-soon
2005 You Are My Sunshine Eun-ha
2007 Secret Sunshine Lee Shin-ae
2008 My Dear Enemy Hee-soo
2010 The Housemaid Eun-yi
2011 Countdown Cha Ha-yeon
2013 Way Back Home Song Jeong-yeon
2015 The Shameless Kim Hye-kyung
Memories of the Sword Seol-rang / Wallso
2016 A Man and a Woman Sang-min

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1992 Our Paradise Soo-hyeon MBC
1994 Love Is Blue SBS
Scent of Love Hye-jin SBS
General Hospital Kang Soon-young MBC
1995 Drama Game "Six Steps Towards Separation" KBS2
Our Sunny Days of Youth Im Jong-hee KBS2
1996 Project
Drama Game
"Can I Go to the Post Office to Find a Lost Love?"
Im Jong-hee
Sunday Family Theater "Ganyiyeok" Choi Kye-soon MBC
Until We Can Love Choi Kye-soon KBS2
1997 Star in My Heart Soon-ae MBC
Snail SBS
1998 MBC Best Theater
"What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten"
1999 Love Story "Host of Memory" SBS
2002 Shoot for the Stars Han So-ra
2005 Lovers in Prague Yoon Jae-hee
2008 On Air Herself (cameo, episode 2)
2016 The Good Wife Kim Hye-kyung tvN

Music video[edit]

Year Song Title Artist Co-stars
2002 "The Name" The Name Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Ryoo Seung-bum


Year Title Role
1997 Educating Rita Susan
1998 The Queen of Opera Tears

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1995 KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Our Sunny Days of Youth Won
1997 35th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress The Contact Won
18th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Won
Best Actress Nominated
1998 34th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (Film) Won
18th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best New Actress Won
19th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress A Promise Nominated
1999 35th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Won
36th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated
22nd Golden Cinematography Awards Most Popular Actress Won
20th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress The Harmonium in My Memory Won
Popular Star Award Won
2nd Director's Cut Awards Best Actress Won
2000 37th Grand Bell Awards Won
Happy End Nominated
8th Chunsa Film Art Awards Won
1st Busan Film Critics Awards Won
20th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Won
21st Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
2001 37th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) I Wish I Had a Wife Won
22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
2002 23rd Blue Dragon Film Awards No Blood No Tears Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
1st Korean Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Shoot for the Stars Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2003 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Untold Scandal Nominated
2nd Korean Film Awards Nominated
2004 41st Grand Bell Awards Nominated
25th Blue Dragon Film Awards My Mother, the Mermaid Nominated
3rd Korean Film Awards Won
7th Director's Cut Awards Won
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
13th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress Won
42nd Grand Bell Awards Nominated
25th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards You Are My Sunshine Won
26th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Hwang Jung-min) Won
4th Korean Film Awards Best Actress Won
6th Women in Film Korea Awards Won
8th Director's Cut Awards Won
SBS Drama Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) Lovers in Prague Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
2006 3rd Max Movie Awards Best Actress You Are My Sunshine Won
42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
43rd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Won
2007 60th Cannes Film Festival[1] Secret Sunshine Won
Asia Producers Network Asian Movie Artist Award Won
44th Grand Bell Awards Special Achievement Award Won
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit Won
1st Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Actress Won
28th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Won
Best Dressed N/A Won
27th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Secret Sunshine Won
7th Proud Korean Awards Recipient (for Movie category) Won
6th Korean Film Awards Best Actress Won
8th Women in Film Korea Awards Won
10th Director's Cut Awards Won
2008 2nd Asian Film Awards Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
45th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated
2009 Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Chevalier[46] N/A Won
Andre Kim Best Star Awards Super Artist Award N/A Won
12th Director's Cut Awards Cinema Angel recipient N/A Won
2010 47th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress The Housemaid Nominated
31st Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
8th Korean Film Awards Nominated
2011 2nd Seoul Art and Culture Awards Best Film Actor/Actress Won
31st Fantasporto Director's Week Best Actress Won
5th Asian Film Awards Nominated
People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress Won
2014 5th KOFRA Film Awards Best Actress Way Back Home Won
9th Max Movie Awards Won
19th Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
23rd Buil Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Nominated
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2015 24th Buil Film Awards The Shameless Won
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2016 7th KOFRA Film Awards Won
21st Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Won


  1. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Secret Sunshine". Retrieved December 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  3. ^ A Tale of Two Jeons. The Chosun Ilbo. April 1, 2004.
  4. ^ 2 characters working without a script Archived 2012-07-10 at Korea JoongAng Daily. February 25, 2002.
  5. ^ "너는 내운명 (You're My Sunshine) Production Meeting". Twitch Film. August 12, 2005. 
  6. ^ "너는 내운명 (You're My Sunshine) Press Screening Report". Twitch Film. September 7, 2005. 
  7. ^ "An Actress Who Puts All Her Energy Into Love". The Dong-a Ilbo. September 15, 2005. 
  8. ^ Drama Looks for Love in Prague. The Korea Times. September 14, 2005.
  9. ^ Jeon Do-yeon's multiple hits stem from passion for acting. The Korea Herald. September 29, 2005.
  10. ^ "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1". 10Asia. April 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2". 10Asia. April 21, 2010. 
  12. ^ Cannes top prize goes to Korean film actress Archived 2012-07-30 at Korea JoongAng Daily. June 7, 2007.
  13. ^ Actress without ambition gets it all Archived 2012-07-15 at Korea JoongAng Daily. May 16, 2007.
  14. ^ Interview with Jeon Do-yeon. CNN. October 9, 2007.
  15. ^ Int'l Awards Only the Start for Jeon, Kang. The Chosun Ilbo. October 8, 2007.
  16. ^ Cannes winner takes her next step Archived 2012-07-10 at Korea JoongAng Daily. October 3, 2007.
  17. ^ Jeon Do-yeon, Ha Jung-woo as Ex-Lovers. The Korea Times. August 27, 2008.
  18. ^ Jeon Do-yeon on Pregnancy, Post-Cannes Film. The Korea Times. September 21, 2008.
  19. ^ Queen of Cannes Is Back with Lighter Fare. The Chosun Ilbo. September 22, 2008.
  20. ^ Enemies conquer poverty to rekindle love Archived 2012-07-13 at Korea JoongAng Daily. October 2, 2008.
  21. ^ Jeon Do-yeon Returns to Screen in Risque Role. The Chosun Ilbo. April 16, 2010.
  22. ^ Korea’s Queen of Cannes is back Archived 2011-03-13 at the Wayback Machine.. Reuters. April 26, 2010.
  23. ^ Cannes Winner Jeon Hopes Countdown a Commercial Hit. The Chosun Ilbo. October 1, 2011.
  24. ^ Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  25. ^ Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  26. ^ Korean pic Countdown announced as part of 1st lineup for TIFF. 10Asia. July 27, 2011.
  27. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Plays Inmate on Tropical Island in Latest Flick". The Chosun Ilbo. November 29, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "Jeon Do-yeon speaks about her latest movie, motherhood". The Korea Herald. December 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon first Korean actress to be Cannes jury member". The Korea Herald. April 29, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon Invited to Cannes' Jury". The Chosun Ilbo. April 29, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon arrives in Cannes". The Korea Times. May 15, 2014. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ "The Shameless gears up for Cannes". The Korea Herald. April 24, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Award-Winning Actress Still Excited About Cannes Screening". The Chosun Ilbo. May 2, 2015. 
  35. ^ "JEON Do-yeon Visits Cannes for the 4th Time with THE SHAMELESS". Korean Cinema Today. June 1, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Jeon shows reluctance over her latest image". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 2, 2015. 
  37. ^ "JEON Do-yeon in Way Back Home and Memories of the Sword: From Actress to Mother, and Mother to Actress". Korean Cinema Today. January 28, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Herald Interview: Memories of the Sword a welcome challenge for Jeon Do-yeon". The Korea Herald. August 12, 2015. 
  39. ^ "JEON Do-yeon and GONG Yoo Pair Up for LEE Yoon-ki". Korean Film Council. August 12, 2014. 
  40. ^ "JEON Do-yeon, Korean Cinema's Leading Actress: Her Past, Present and Future". Korean Cinema Today. January 24, 2014. 
  41. ^ Jeon Do-yeon to Tie Knot in Private Ceremony. The Chosun Ilbo. March 6, 2007.
  42. ^ Stars Have Nuptial Plans: Actress Jeon Do-yeon Cuts Tape. The Korea Times. March 6, 2007.
  43. ^ Actress Jeon Marries. The Korea Times. March 11, 2007.
  44. ^ Jun Do-yeon weds. PopSeoul. March 11, 2007.
  45. ^ Jeon Do Yeon’s never seen before wedding pictures. PopSeoul. March 19, 2007.
  46. ^ Jeon Do-yeon Awarded Top French Honor.The Chosun Ilbo. October 10, 2009.

External links[edit]