Kim Hee-sun

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Kim Hee-sun
Kim Hee-sun (2).jpg
Born (1976-06-11) June 11, 1976 (age 41)
Seoul, South Korea
Other names Kim Hee-seon
Education Theater and Film
Alma mater Chung-Ang University
Occupation Actress, television host
Years active 1993–present
Agent Hinge Entertainment
Spouse(s) Park Ju-young (m. 2007)
Korean name
Hangul 김희선
Hanja 金喜善
Revised Romanization Gim Hui-seon
McCune–Reischauer Kim Hŭi-sŏn

Kim Hee-sun (born June 11, 1976) is a South Korean actress. She rose to fame in the 1990s with leading roles in television series such as Men of the Bath House (1995), Propose (1997), Wedding Dress (1997), Forever Yours (1998), Mister Q (1998), Sunflower (1998), and Tomato (1999). Kim also starred in the martial arts films Bichunmoo (2000) and The Myth (2005), historical media drama Faith (2012) and the teen drama Angry Mom (2015).


Kim Hee-sun won the Fair Face Beauty Contest in 1992 when she was a middle school student, and began modeling in teen magazines. In 1993, Kim (then a high school sophomore) appeared in a commercial for Lotte Samkang's crab chips, which led to her acting debut in Dinosaur Teacher and an MC gig for music show Live TV Music 20 that same year.[1]

She enjoyed peak popularity in the mid-to-late 1990s, starring in one hit Korean drama after another. These include Men of the Bath House (1995) written by Kim Soo-hyun, Propose (1997) and Forever Yours (1998) with Ryu Si-won, Wedding Dress (1997) with Lee Seung-yeon, Mister Q (1998) with Kim Min-jong and Song Yun-ah, Sunflower (1998) with Ahn Jae-wook, and Tomato (1999) with Kim Suk-hoon. Kim won the top prize at the 1998 SBS Drama Awards for Mister Q, making her (at the time) the youngest ever Grand Prize (Daesang) winner at 21 years old. During this period, she also appeared in numerous advertisements and rose to fame both at home and abroad as one of Korea's most beautiful and trend-setting actresses.[2]

But unlike her success in television, the big screen proved to be a bigger challenge for Kim's career. She made her film debut in 1997's Repechage opposite Jang Dong-gun, and the film's director Lee Kwang-hoon subsequently put her in his next film Ghost in Love (1999). In her most high-profile role to date, Kim played the daughter of a Mongolian general in the big-budget martial arts fantasy Bichunmoo, shot in China and released in the summer of 2000. Although criticized for her acting in the film, it gave her more local and international exposure than any of her other films. Along with her popular TV dramas, it cemented her position as a Korean Wave star in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia.[3][4]

In late 2001, Kim took on a completely different kind of role, cutting her hair short and starring as an animator in Wanee & Junah. Although her acting in this film drew a favorable response from critics, the film itself was a commercial flop. Her career took a downturn in 2003, when the environmentally-themed melodrama A Man Who Went to Mars (also known as A Letter From Mars) costarring Shin Ha-kyun became an utter bomb at the box office.[5] She returned to television, but My Fair Lady (2003) which was adapted from the Japanese television drama Yamato Nadeshiko, and Sad Love Story (2005) where she played a blind singer, both received low ratings.[6][7][8]

But thanks to her popularity among Chinese viewers, Kim was then cast opposite Jackie Chan in The Myth, for which she learned to speak Mandarin.[9] Back in Korea, her career slump continued with Smile Again in 2006.

Kim married in 2007, and she left the entertainment scene to devote her time to being a wife and mother. During this five-year hiatus from acting, apart from appearing in magazines,[10] Kim published a book in 2009 on childcare and how to lose post-pregnancy weight, titled Kim Hee-sun's Happy Mom Project.[11][12][13][14]

Though she had a minor role in the Chinese epic The Warring States (2011),[15] Kim officially made her comeback in 2012 as a modern-day doctor who time-travels to Goryeo in the period romance Faith, the last collaboration by screenwriter Song Ji-na and television director Kim Jong-hak.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

In 2013, Kim became one of the hosts of the revamped second season of variety talk show Strong Heart, titled Hwasin – Controller of the Heart.[22] After Hwasin was cancelled, she was cast in the Lee Kyung-hee-penned weekend family drama Wonderful Days (2014).[23][24] This was followed by Angry Mom in 2015, where Kim's portrayal of the titular character who returns to high school when she learns that her teenage daughter is being bullied was highly praised by critics.[25] She then began filming for Chinese fantasy television drama Ice Fantasy, which started airing in July 2016.

Kim will be appearing in the upcoming television series, Women of Dignity alongside Kim Sun-ah.

Personal life[edit]

Kim wed businessman Park Ju-young in a lavish ceremony at the Seoul Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel on October 19, 2007.[1][26][27] She gave birth to daughter Park Yeon-ah on January 21, 2009.[28][29][30]


Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1993 Dinosaur Teacher Kim Hee-sun SBS
1994 The Story of Chunhyang Seong Chunhyang KBS1
1995 Agatha Christie Lee Joon-hee SBS
Sons of the Wind Lee Yeon-hwa KBS2
Men of the Bath House Kim Soo-kyung KBS2
1996 Colors "White Side" Kim Hye-jin/Song Eun-young KBS2
A Faraway Country Seo Woon-ha KBS2
1997 Propose Kim Yoo-ra KBS2
New York Story Jae-in SBS
Wedding Dress Kim Doo-na KBS2
1998 Forever Yours Han Seo-hee MBC
Mister Q Han Hye-won SBS
Sunflower Han Soo-yeon MBC
1999 Tomato Lee Han-yi SBS
Goodbye My Love Seo Yeon-joo MBC
2003 My Fair Lady Ha Min-kyung SBS
2005 Sad Love Story Park Hye-in MBC
2006 Smile Again Oh Dan-hee SBS
2012 Faith Yoo Eun-soo SBS
2014 Wonderful Days Cha Hae-won KBS2
2015 Angry Mom Jo Kang-ja MBC
2016 Ice Fantasy[31] Lian Ji Hunan TV
2017 Woman of Dignity Woo Ah Jin JTBC


Year Title Role
1997 Repechage Eun-hye
1999 Ghost in Love Jin Chae-byul
Calla Kang Ji-hee
2000 Bichunmoo Sullie
2001 Wanee & Junah Wa-ni
2003 A Man Who Went to Mars So-hee
2005 The Myth Princess Ok-soo
2011 The Warring States Pang Fei

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
1993 Live TV Music 20 SBS Host
1995 TV Time Travel MBC Host
1996-1998 Live TV Music 20 SBS Host
1999 There Is Something Special
with Kim Hee-sun
SBS Host
2001 A Very Special Gift with Kim Hee-sun SBS Host
2009 Human Documentary Love:
I Want to Be Thumbelina's Mom Ⅲ
MBC Documentary narrator
2012 Taxi tvN Guest, episode 227[32]
Running Man SBS Guest, episode 100[33]
Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy SBS Guest, episodes 74-75[34]
2013 Hwasin – Controller of the Heart SBS Host
2014 Happy Together KBS2 Guest, episode 339[35]
2015 With You All the Way Zhejiang Satellite TV Guest, episode 4
2017 Knowing Bros JTBC Guest, episode 66
2017 Island Trio O'live / tvN Cast member


Year Title Publisher ISBN
2009 Kim Hee-sun's Happy Mom Project L Company ISBN 9788996837268

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1992 Fair Face Beauty Contest Grand Prize (Daesang) N/A Won
1995 KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress Sons of the Wind Won
1996 32nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Men of the Bath House Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress A Faraway Country, Colors Won
1997 KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award Propose Won
1998 SBS Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Mister Q Won
MBC Drama Awards Popularity Award Forever Yours, Sunflower Won
2000 36th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Tomato Won
21st Blue Dragon Film Awards Popular Star Award Bichunmoo Won
SBS Drama Awards SBSi Award Tomato Won
Big Star Award Won
2001 22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Wanee & Junah Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
2002 38th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (Film) Won
2003 1st Andre Kim Best Star Awards Star Award N/A Won
2005 39th Tax Payer's Day Prime Minister's Commendation N/A Won
Chung-Ang University's Blue Dragon Achievement Award Recipient N/A Won
2007 3rd Andre Kim Best Star Awards Star Award N/A Won
2009 4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards Star Award N/A Won
2012 9th Cosmo Beauty Awards Beauty Icon of the Year[36][37] N/A Won
20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Faith Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
Popularity Award Nominated
2013 1st DramaFever Awards Best Couple with Lee Min-ho Won
2014 3rd APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Wonderful Days Won
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Nominated
2015 8th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Angry Mom Nominated
2nd Asian Influence Awards Oriental Ceremony Most Influential Asian Award N/A Won
4th APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Angry Mom Won
MBC Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple with Ji Soo Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Nominated
2016 5th APAN Star Awards N/A Won


  1. ^ a b "Fans Eagerly Await Wedding of Kim Hee-sun". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ "Fans of Snubbed Beauties up in Arms". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  3. ^ Yeo, Si-dong (25 July 2001). "China's TCL Signs Actress Kim Hee-sun in Promo Deal". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Actor Ahn Jae-wook and Actress Kim Hee-sun Most Popular in China". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 November 2003. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema: Kim Hee-sun". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ Suh, Jung-bo (21 October 2004). "Kim Hee-sun, A Blind Singer in the New Drama Sad Love Song". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ Hwang, You-mee (15 January 2005). "TV dramas woo viewers with top actresses". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Actress Kim Hee-seon Holds Promo Tour in Japan". KBS Global. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ Song, Won-sup (12 July 2004). "Chinese Press Predict Kim Hee-sun to be Reborn as Representative Brand of Asia". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ "Actress on Magazine Cover With Daughter". The Korea Times. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ "Kim’s 1st Appearance After Delivering Baby". The Korea Times. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ "Actress Kim Hee-sun Promotes Her Book at Charity Bazaar". The Chosun Ilbo. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ Park, Min-young (6 April 2009). "Celebrity moms, what`s their secret?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ "Actress Kim Hee-sun Set to Make Comeback". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  15. ^ Mao, Renjie (17 March 2010). "Why Kim Hee-Sun?". Global Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  16. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (5 January 2012). "Kim Hee-sun lands lead role in Faith". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (13 July 2012). "Kim Hee-sun, Lee Min-ho start filming". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ Kim, Ji-yeon (10 August 2012). "Kim Hee Sun and Lee Min Ho of Faith Call Each Other Babies". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  19. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 August 2012). "Kim Hee Sun Says Secret Garden, Sun And The Moon Inspired Her to Return to Acting". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ Choi, Bo-ran (4 September 2012). "Actress Kim Hee Sun says, "Unless you accept time goes by, that will give you huge stress"". Star News. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  21. ^ Yu, Ah-jeong (29 November 2012). "After 5 years, TV beauty has Faith in comeback". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  22. ^ Ho, Stewart (15 January 2013). "Strong Heart 2 to Be Led By Shin Dong Yeop, Kim Hee Sun and Yoon Jong Shin". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  23. ^ Lee, Sun-min (6 January 2014). "New drama for Kim Hee-sun". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  24. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (10 February 2014). "Kim Hee-sun gets Wonderful". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  25. ^ Sohn, Ji-young (18 March 2015). "New MBC drama to address school violence, bullying". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  26. ^ Choi, April (30 July 2007). "Actress Kim Hee-sun's Fiance Is Businessman". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  27. ^ "S. Korean star Kim Hee-sun's wedding". Xinhua News Agency. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  28. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (21 January 2009). "Kim Hee-sun Gives Birth to Baby Girl". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  29. ^ "Actress Kim Hee-sun Gives Birth to a Baby Girl". The Chosun Ilbo. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  30. ^ "Popular actress regrets admitting to having a daughter". The Korea Times. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  31. ^ "《幻城》又有大咖加盟 徐娇金喜善造型妖异(组图)". September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  32. ^ Ko, Hong-ju (13 January 2012). "Kim Hee Sun Reveals Husband for the First Time". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  33. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (25 June 2012). "Kim Hee Sun States that She's the Prettiest in Korea on Running Man". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  34. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (18 December 2012). "Kim Hee Sun Says Her Return was a Success Thanks to Lee Min Ho". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  35. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (7 March 2014). "Kim Hee Sun Reveals Her Connection with Song Seung Hun During School Years". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  36. ^ Ho, Stewart (5 November 2012). "Kim Hee Sun Selected as Icon of the Year at 9th Annual Cosmopolitan Asia Beauty Awards". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  37. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (6 November 2012). "Kim Hee-sun 'iconic woman' of 2012". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

External links[edit]