Kim Hee-ae

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Kim Hee-ae
Kim Hee-ae.jpg
Kim Hee-ae as an LG DIOS Art Flower model (2009)
Born (1967-04-23) April 23, 1967 (age 51)
EducationChung-Ang University
B.A. in Theater and Film
M.A. in Communication and Journalism
Years active1983–present
AgentYG Entertainment[1][2]
Lee Chan-jin (m. 1996)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Hui-ae
McCune–ReischauerKim Hŭi-ae

Kim Hee-ae (born April 23, 1967) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her leading roles in Korean dramas such as Sons and Daughters (1992), Perfect Love (2003), My Husband's Woman (2007), A Wife's Credentials (2012), and Secret Love Affair (2014).

Early life[edit]

Kim Hee-ae was born in 1967 in Jeju City, and her family later moved to Seoul.

Kim was a freshman at Hyehwa Girls' High School when she was discovered by the younger brother of one of her teachers; he had been visiting the school by chance and worked for an advertising agency. This led to her first modeling job in a commercial for a school uniform brand in 1978.


1983–2003: Acting debut[edit]

In 1983, Kim made her acting debut in the film The First Day of the Twentieth Year. While studying at Chung-Ang University as a Theater and Film major, she appeared in her first television drama on KBS in 1986. Over the next decade, she would go on to have a successful career on Korean television, alongside fellow top actresses Chae Shi-ra and Choi Jin-sil. Among her most significant dramas during this period were Beyond the Mountains (1991) and Sons and Daughters (1992), for which she won the highest award at the MBC Drama Awards and the Baeksang Arts Awards, called the Daesang ("Grand Prize").

2003–2009: Breakthrough[edit]

She again drew praise in 2003 for two consecutive hit dramas. In Wife, her husband vanishes and reappears years later as an amnesiac with another family, while in Perfect Love (written by Kim Soo-hyun), her role as the perfect wife and mother who gets diagnosed with a terminal illness earned her another Daesang from the Baeksang Arts Awards.[3][4] She worked again with Kim a year later in Precious Family (also known as Letters to My Parents), playing a woman who marries into a rich family who treats her badly after she gives birth to a baby with autism.[5] Kim next starred in the melodrama Snow Flower.[6]

Her third collaboration with Kim Soo-hyun was 2007's My Husband's Woman, but unlike her previous saintly characters, this time she was cast against type as a sexy, worldly woman having an affair with her best friend's husband.[7][8] The adultery drama was a hit with a peak viewership rating of 38.7%, and Kim yet again won the Daesang at the Korea Drama Awards and the SBS Drama Awards.[9]

2010–2012: Hiatus and focus on commercials and magazines[edit]

Afterwards Kim went on a brief hiatus, during which she continued to appear in commercials and magazines, gaining a reputation as a style icon for Korean middle-aged women (called "ajumma") by inspiring them to wear younger and edgier clothes.[10] Kim returned to acting four years later with Midas, in the role of a wealthy chaebol heiress who fosters greed and ambition in a young lawyer.[11] She then won Best Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards for her portrayal of a housewife increasingly stifled by her husband's obsession with status who finds herself falling for her son's dentist in A Wife's Credentials, one of the inaugural dramas in 2012 of new cable channel jTBC.[12][13]


2013 marked Kim's first regular appearance in a reality show with Sisters Over Flowers, in which she, Youn Yuh-jung, Kim Ja-ok, Lee Mi-yeon and Lee Seung-gi go on a backpacking trip around Croatia and Turkey.[14][15][16]

In 2014, Kim returned to the big screen after a 21-year absence in Thread of Lies, a film adaptation of Kim Ryeo-ryeong's novel Elegant Lies about teen bullying which leads to a young girl's suicide.[17] Kim said she accepted the project because the script was "faultless" and she felt empathy for the characters,[18][19] and one review described her performance as "excellent as the grieving mother [...] understated but somehow believable, touching and honest."[20]

Shortly after, Kim reunited with the writer and director of A Wife's Credentials in Secret Love Affair, about an art foundation director who embarks on a passionate affair with a poor but talented pianist 20 years her junior.[21][22]

She next played the muse of real-life folk music group Twin Folio in the 2015 film C'est Si Bon, named after a music lounge located in Myeong-dong which was famous in the 1970s and 1980s for its live performances.[23] She returned to the small screen with the police procedural drama Mrs. Cop, playing a violent crime detective who struggles to become a good mother.[24][25]

In 2016, Kim signed with YG Entertainment.[1] The same year, she starred in the family melodrama Second To Last Love.[26]

Kim then returned to the big screen, starring in the psychological thriller The Vanished[27][28] and drama film Herstory, based on the real story of comfort women.[29][30] In 2019 she was cast in the romance film The Full Moon.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Kim married Lee Chan-jin, CEO of the web portal DreamWiz, in 1996.[8] They have two sons. Kim is a Roman Catholic and was one of thirty Catholic celebrities who appeared in the 2014 music video for the digital single "Koinonia" to commemorate Pope Francis's visit to South Korea, the first time in twenty-five years a pope has visited Asia.[32][33][34]



Year English title Korean title Role
1983 The First Day of the Twentieth Year 스무해 첫째 날
1985 Reminiscent Flame 불의 회상
My Love Jjang-gu 내 사랑 짱구 Mi-hye
1987 The Hero Comes Back 영웅 돌아오다 Young-mi
1993 The 101st Proposition 101번째 프로포즈 Jung-won
2014 Thread of Lies 우아한 거짓말 Yoo Hyun-sook
2015 C'est Si Bon 쎄시봉 Min Ja-young (40s)
2018 The Vanished 사라진 밤 Yoon Seol-hee
Herstory 허스토리 Moon Jeong-sook
2019 Full Moon 만월 Yoon-hee


Year English title Korean title Role Network
1986 A Woman's Heart 여심 Song Da-young KBS2
1987 원다풍 KBS
Mother 어머니 KBS2
Terms of Endearment 애정의 조건 Kim Won-mi
1988 Forget Tomorrow 내일 잊으리 Seo In-ae MBC
1989 Your Toast 당신의 축배 Jeon Yeo-ok
1990 What Do Women Want 여자는 무엇으로 사는가 Cha Young-gun
Winter Wanderer 겨울 나그네 Da-hye KBS
500 Years of Joseon:
조선왕조 오백년:
Empress Myeongseong MBC
I'm Still Loving You 사랑해 당신을 Wan-joo
1991 The Beginning of the End 이별의 시작 Jung Hye-jung
Beyond the Mountains 산너머 저쪽 Kang Myung-ae
1992 Namok 나목 Kyung-ah
The Kingdom of Anger 분노의 왕국 Min Jae-kyung
Sons and Daughters 아들과 딸 Lee Hoo-nam
1993 The Stormy Season 폭풍의 계절 Lee Hong-joo
1994 Kareisky 까레이스키 Sung Nam-young
1995 Love and Marriage 사랑과 결혼 Yoon Soo-bin
Love Formula 연애의 기초 Choi Jeong-hee
1999 You're One-of-a-Kind 하나뿐인 당신 Jang Seo-young
2003 Wife 아내 Kim Na-young KBS2
Perfect Love 완전한 사랑 Ha Young-ae SBS
2004 Precious Family 부모님 전상서 Ahn Sung-sil KBS2
2006 Snow Flower 눈꽃 Lee Kang-ae SBS
2007 My Husband's Woman 내 남자의 여자 Lee Hwa-young
2011 Midas 마이더스 Yoo In-hye
2012 A Wife's Credentials 아내의 자격 Yoon Seo-rae jTBC
2013 Sisters Over Flowers 꽃보다 누나 Herself tvN
2014 Secret Love Affair 밀회 Oh Hye-won jTBC
2015 Mrs. Cop 미세스 캅 Choi Young-jin SBS
2016 Second To Last Love 끝에서 두번째 사랑 Kang Min-joo

Radio program[edit]

Year English title Korean title Station
1986 Popular Music FM with Kim Hee-ae 김희애의 FM인기가요 KBS Happy FM

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1986 KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress A Woman's Heart Won
1987 Our Star Awards Won
23rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Won
1990 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Forget Tomorrow Won
1991 MBC Drama Awards Beyond the Mountains Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
1993 29th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV Sons and Daughters Won
Best Actress (TV) Won
MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
TV Journal Star of the Year Won
14th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress The 101st Proposition Nominated
1994 32nd Grand Bell Awards Nominated
30th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) The Stormy Season Won
6th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Sons and Daughters Won
1995 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Love and Marriage Nominated
1996 8th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Won
2003 39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Wife Won
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Perfect Love Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
SBSi Award Won
16th Grimae Awards Best Actress Won
2004 40th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV Won
Best Actress (TV) Nominated
16th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Won
2005 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Precious Family Nominated
2007 Korea Fashion & Design Awards[35] Best Dressed N/A Won
1st Korea Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) My Husband's Woman Won
SBS Drama Awards[36] Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
2008 1st Style Icon Awards Style Icon, TV actress category Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
2011 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Midas Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) A Wife's Credentials Won
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Thread of Lies Nominated
Fashionista Award N/A Won
51st Savings Day[37] Presidential Commendation N/A Won
9th Seoul International Drama Awards[38] Best Actress Secret Love Affair Won
7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards[39] Top 10 Style Icons N/A Won
3rd APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Secret Love Affair Won
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Thread of Lies Nominated
2015 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Mrs. Cop Nominated
2016 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Romantic-Comedy Drama Second To Last Love Nominated
2018 27th Buil Film Awards[40] Best Actress Herstory Won
2nd The Seoul Awards[41] Best Actress (Film) Nominated
6th Marie Claire Asia Star Awards[42] Actress of the Year Won
39th Blue Dragon Film Awards[43] Best Actress Nominated
2nd Korea China International Film Festival[44] Won


  1. ^ a b "Kim Hee-ae signs with YG Entertainment". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Profile: Kim Hee Ae" (in Korean). YG Stage.
  3. ^ Cheon, Seung-hoon (24 November 2003). "If I Were Young-ae, I Would Have Become an Invalid". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  4. ^ Kim, Soon-deok (5 January 2004). "Kim Soo-hyun's Power". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  5. ^ Suh, Jung-bo (24 August 2004). "Kim Hye-soo and Kim Hee-ae to Compete in Weekend TV Dramas". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  6. ^ "Drama `Snow Flower` to Be Shot in September". KBS World. 16 June 2006.
  7. ^ "Actress Kim Hee-ae". The Dong-a Ilbo. 12 April 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  8. ^ a b "Kim Hee-ae's Outstanding Acting Sparks Breakup Rumors". 4 May 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  9. ^ "My Man's Woman Empties Streets". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  10. ^ Han, Jane (18 January 2010). "Ajumma Adopt Stylish New Life". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  11. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (22 February 2011). "Money, ambition and love blend in Midas". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  12. ^ Sung, So-young (1 December 2011). "TV enters new era with launch of four networks". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  13. ^ Lee, Hye-ji (9 May 2013). "Yoo Jae-suk, Ryu Seung-ryong Win Top Prizes at 2013 Paeksang Arts Awards". TenAsia. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  14. ^ Cha, Yo-rim (27 November 2013). "Sisters over Flowers to showcase actresses' feminine charm". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  15. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (29 November 2013). "Hit travel show tries with 'sisters'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  16. ^ "Reality Show Catapults Kim Hee-ae into Fashion Icon Status". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  17. ^ Lee, Sun-min (2 April 2013). "Kim Hee-ae will return to big screen". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  18. ^ "Kim Hee-ae Returns to Silver Screen After Two Decades". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  19. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (21 February 2014). "Elegant Lies looks at family's ugly truths". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  20. ^ Lee, Claire (26 February 2014). "Elegant Lies tackles teen bullying". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  21. ^ Lee, Jeong-bong (17 March 2014). "The cougar and the pianist". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  22. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (19 March 2014). "Koreans quickly falling in love with Secret Love Affair". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  23. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (11 March 2014). "1970s folk film announces cast". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  24. ^ "'Mrs. Cop' offers arresting appeal for Korea's 'ajumma'". The Korea Times. 29 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Veteran actresses experiment with characters". The Korea Times. 12 August 2015.
  26. ^ "New TV series portrays mature love with humor". Yonhap News Agency. 27 September 2016.
  27. ^ "KIM Sang-kyung, KIM Gang-woo and KIM Hee-ae Make It Through LOST NIGHT". Korean Film Biz Zone. 19 September 2017.
  28. ^ "Veteran actress returns as thriller queen in 'The Vanished'". The Korea Times. 2 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Comfort Woman Court Drama Subpoenas KIM Hae-sook and KIM Hee-ae". Korean Film Biz Zone. 4 September 2017.
  30. ^ "Kim Hee Ae In Comfort Women Movie". Star News. 8 June 2018.
  31. ^ "Kim Hee-ae cast in 'The Full Moon'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 17 January 2019.
  32. ^ "뮤직비디오 '코이노니아' 공개". The Catholic Times (가톨릭신문) (in Korean). 13 July 2014.
  33. ^ "Catholics produce Koinonia music video to welcome papal visit". 11 July 2014.
  34. ^ Rausch, Franklin (13 August 2014). "Opinion: Why is Pope Francis going to South Korea?". CNN.
  35. ^ "Kim Hee-ae named best dressed 2007". The Korea Herald. 1 January 1970.
  36. ^ "2007 Year-end Korean drama awards round-up". Hancinema. 7 January 2008.
  37. ^ "51st Savings Day". Financial Services Commission. 28 September 2014.
  38. ^ "Seoul Drama Awards winner Kim Hee-ae mentions director Ahn Pan-seok". Hancinema. 4 September 2014.
  39. ^ "Jo In-sung wins top style icon award". Kpop Herald. 29 October 2014.
  40. ^ "[23rd BIFF]'허스토리' 김희애, 부일영화상 女주연상 수상 쾌거". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). 5 October 2018.
  41. ^ "'제2회 더 서울어워즈' 10월27일 개최, 드라마-영화 각 부문별 후보공개". iMBC (in Korean). 28 September 2018.
  42. ^ "#BIFF 아시아 스타 어워즈 2018". Marie Clarie Korea (in Korean). October 2018.
  43. ^ "청룡영화상 후보 발표, '1987' 최다·'공작'도 9개부문 후보". Newsen (in Korean). November 1, 2018.
  44. ^ "Kim Hee-ae, Ma Dong-seok honored". Korea JoongAng Daily. 14 November 2018.

External links[edit]