Kim Ji-won (actress)

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Kim Ji-won
Kim in a white dress in white background.
Kim in July 2022
Born (1992-10-19) October 19, 1992 (age 29)
Geumcheon-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Alma materDongguk University
Years active2010–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Ji-won
McCune–ReischauerKim Chiwŏn

Kim Ji-won (Korean김지원; born October 19, 1992) is a South Korean actress. She gained attention through her roles in television series The Heirs (2013), Descendants of the Sun (2016), Fight for My Way (2017), Arthdal Chronicles (2019), Lovestruck in the City (2020-2021), and My Liberation Notes (2022).

The success of Kim's television dramas throughout Asia established her as a Hallyu star.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Kim Ji won was born on October 19, 1992, in Seoul and has an elder sister who is two years older than her. After graduating from Paekahm High School, she pursued her studies in drama in Dongguk University.[3]


2008–2012: Beginnings[edit]

Kim was trained in singing and acting but chose to pursue the latter. She was a background vocalist for the singer Younha and appeared in her music video "Gossip Boy" in 2008 with the stage name "JessicaK".[4][5] She rose to fame by appearing in commercials, and became known as the "Oran C Girl" and "Lollipop Girl".[6][7] She was also called Little Kim Tae-hee due to her resemblance to the actress.[8][9] Prior to her official debut, Kim made an appearance in the drama Mrs. Saigon.[4]

Kim first gained attention after starring in the 2011 sitcom High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged.[10] She was then cast in her first major television role in the musical drama What's Up[11] and made her film debut in the romance omnibus film Romantic Heaven.[12] Kim then starred in the high school drama To the Beautiful You[13][14] and headlined the horror film Horror Stories.[15] Kim also appeared in Baek Seung Heon's debut music video "Till the Sun Rises" alongside JYJ's Kim Jae-joong.[16]

2013–2016: Rising popularity and breakthrough[edit]

In 2013, Kim starred as one of the lead roles in the KBS Drama special Waiting for Love, about how four different youths with different views toward love start seeing each other.[17][18] The same year Kim co-starred in teen drama The Heirs, in which she played a chic and haughty heiress.[19][20] The drama's popularity raised Kim's profile,[2] and won her the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards.[21]

In 2014, Kim starred in the crime thriller Gap-dong as a high school student and a webtoon artist.[22] The same year, she played a supporting role in the KBS Drama special The Reason I'm Getting Married.[23] In December 2014, Kim signed an exclusive contract with King Kong Entertainment.[24]

In 2015, Kim starred alongside So Ji-sub in the romance web series One Sunny Day in 2015.[25] The same year, Kim made a cameo appearance in TVN drama Hidden Identity as Kim Bum's girlfriend.[26]

In 2016, Kim co-starred in KBS2's military romance drama Descendants of the Sun, playing an army surgeon.[27] The drama was a pan-Asia hit, and its success brought Kim further recognition outside Korea.[28][29][30] She hosted the year end KBS Drama Awards with Park Bo-gum and Jun Hyun-moo, where she won the Excellence Award.[31][32] Kim also won the Best Supporting Actress award at the APAN Star Awards.[33]

Kim in a pink blouse and black jeans.
Kim in August 2017

2017–present: Leading roles[edit]

In 2017, Kim was cast in her first leading role in KBS2's romance comedy drama, Fight for My Way alongside Park Seo-joon; as a department store employee at the information desk who dreams of becoming an announcer.[34][35] The series was a success and solidified Kim's status as leading actress.[36][37] Kim once again won the Excellence Award at the KBS Drama Awards.[38]

In 2018, she starred in her first period role in the third installment of the Detective K film series, Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead. She played the role of a mysterious woman who loses her memory and takes part in the investigation.[39] Kim, along with her Descendants of the Sun co-star Jin Goo made a cameo appearance in the historical drama Mr.Sunshine by Kim Eun-sook.[40]

In 2019, Kim played the role of Tanya, who is the head of the Wahan tribe and Song Joong-ki's love interest in the historical fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles.[41][42] The drama served as a reunion project for Song and Kim, who both starred in the 2016 hit drama Descendants of the Sun.[43]

In February 2020, Kim signed with new agency S.A.L.T Entertainment.[44][45] Later that year she starred in romantic comedy web series Lovestruck in the City which premiered on Kakao TV in December 2020.[46] In April 2022, she starred in JTBC television series My Liberation Notes, where she played an introverted temporary employee struggling to escape from her mundane life.[47] In June 2022, Kim's contract with Salt Entertainment ended, and she decided not to renew.[48]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011 Romantic Heaven Choi Mi-mi [12]
2012 Horror Stories Kim Ji-won segment: "Beginning" [15]
2013 Horror Stories 2 Sa Tan-hee segment: "The Escape" [49]
2018 Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead Wol-young / Crown Princess [39]

Television series[edit]

My Liberation Notes co-stars, Son Seok-koo and Kim Ji-won for Marie Claire in 2022
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2008 Mrs. Saigon Hye-ryeon [citation needed]
2011 High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Kim Ji-won [10]
What's Up Park Tae-yi [11]
2012 To the Beautiful You Seol Han-na [14]
2013 The Heirs Rachel Yoo [19]
Waiting for Love Choi Sae-rom [50]
2014 Drama Special Kim Ji-young Episode: "The Reason I'm Getting Married" [51]
Gap-dong Ma Ji-wool [52]
2015 Hidden Identity Min Tae-hee Cameo (Eps. 1–2, 9–10) [53]
2016 Descendants of the Sun Yoon Myung-joo [27]
2017 Fight for My Way Choi Ae-ra [34]
2018 Mr. Sunshine Hui-jin Cameo (Ep. 1) [40]
2019 Arthdal Chronicles Tan-ya [41][54]
2022 My Liberation Notes Yeom Mi-jeong [55]

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Ref.
2014 One Sunny Day The Girl (Kim Ji-ho) [25]
2020–2021 Lovestruck in the City Lee Eun-oh / Yoon Seon-a [56]


Year Title Notes Ref.
2016 30th KBS Drama Awards With Jun Hyun-moo and Park Bo-gum [57]

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Artist Ref.
2008 "Gossip Boy" Younha [58]
2010 Lollipop Pt. 2 Big Bang
2012 "Until the Sun Rises" Baek Seung-heon [59]



Title Year Album
"Pick A Star From The Sky" 2010 OranC Commercial[60]
"Over The Rainbow" 2011 High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged OST
"Might Gonna"
with Jo Jung-suk & Yang Jiwon
2012 What's Up OST (Japan Edition)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
APAN Star Awards 2016 Best Supporting Actress Descendants of the Sun Won [33]
Best Couple Award (with Jin Goo) Nominated
Asia Artist Awards 2016 Best Celebrity Award, Actress Won [61]
Asia Rainbow TV Awards 2014 Best Supporting Actress The Heirs Nominated
Elle Style Awards (Korea) 2016 Young Icon Award Kim Ji-won Won [62]
KBS Drama Awards 2016 Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Descendants of the Sun Won [32]
Best New Actress Won
Best Couple (with Jin Goo) Won
2017 Top Excellence Award, Actress Fight for My Way Nominated [38]
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Won
Netizen Award – Female Won
Best Couple (with Park Seo-joon) Won
KBS WORLD Global Fan Awards 2017 Won [63]
Korea Drama Awards 2019 Excellence Award, Actress Arthdal Chronicles Nominated [64]
SBS Drama Awards 2013 New Star Award The Heirs Won [21]
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards 2016 Asia Popular Artist Award Kim Ji-won Nominated


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  2. ^ a b "Hallyu booming again in China, bigger than ever". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 14, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
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  8. ^ "Female Won Bin, Kim Ji-won looks like Kim Tae-hee". Hancinema. Nate. March 16, 2011.
  9. ^ "김지원 '김태희 닮은꼴' 검색어 장악…연기 실력은?". Arts News (in Korean). March 17, 2011.
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  14. ^ a b "Kim Ji Won Flaunts her Feminine Charms on ′To the Beautiful You′". enewsWorld. August 28, 2012.
  15. ^ a b "[Preview] "Horror Stories": Return of authentic Korean horror film". TenAsia. July 20, 2012.
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  21. ^ a b Cory Lee (January 2, 2014). "Lee Bo-young Grabs 1st Top Prize at the 2013 SBS Drama Awards". TenAsia.
  22. ^ "Kim Ji Won Wants to Change Her Evil Image from 'The Heirs'". enewsWorld. April 14, 2014. Archived from the original on September 1, 2017.
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  26. ^ 김지원, '신분을 숨겨라' 특별출연…김범 연인 役 [Kim Ji-won special appearance in 'Hidden Identity' as Kim Bum's lover]. OSEN (in Korean). June 10, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Actors chosen for 'Sun's Descendant'". Korea JoongAng Daily. April 3, 2015.
  28. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) 'Descendants of the Sun' actress: In expressing love, nothing is 'too much'". Yonhap News Agency. March 23, 2016.
  29. ^ "Kim Ji-won Gains Leverage from Hit TV Soap". The Chosun Ilbo. April 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "Kim Jiwon Just Begins to Fly High". Yahoo. May 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "박보검·김지원·전현무, 2016 KBS 연기대상 MC". Dispatch (in Korean). December 8, 2016.
  32. ^ a b "[2016KBS연기대상] 대상은 '태양의후예' 송중기·송혜교, 다관왕은 '구르미'(종합)" [2016 KBS Drama Awards Winners]. eToday (in Korean). January 1, 2017.
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  34. ^ a b "'Ssam My Way' to star actors Park and Kim". Korea JoongAng Daily. February 25, 2017.
  35. ^ ""망가져도 OK" 김지원, '태후' 이후 '쌈마이웨이' 선택한 이유". Osen (in Chinese). April 27, 2017.
  36. ^ "Kim Ji-won Looks Forward to New Challenge in Upcoming Project". The Chosun Ilbo. July 29, 2017.
  37. ^ "[Interview] Kim Ji-won finds another success with 'Fight for My Way'". The Korea Times. July 31, 2017.
  38. ^ a b "KBS Drama Awards 2017: Kim Young Chul, Chun Ho Jin share grand prize; complete winners list". International Business Times. January 1, 2018.
  39. ^ a b "Actress Kim Ji-won Tackles 1st Period Role in Her Latest Film". The Chosun Ilbo. February 3, 2018.
  40. ^ a b "Goo-Won couple to cameo in 'Mister Sunshine'". Kpop Herald. January 12, 2018.
  41. ^ a b Sung Ji-eun (July 20, 2018). "Star-studded cast of tvN drama revealed". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  42. ^ "Cast, producer nervous, excited ahead of 'Arthdal Chronicles' premiere". The Korea Times. May 29, 2019.
  43. ^ "'아스달 연대기' 김지원, 신비로운 비주얼 "시청자분들은 '처음'을 보게 될 것"" [Kim Ji Won Shares Why She Chose To Star In “Arthdal Chronicles”]. enews24 (in Korean). May 29, 2019.
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  45. ^ "김지원, 박신혜x김선호와 한솥밥..킹콩→솔트 전속계약 "큰 행운" [공식입장]". OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  46. ^ "Ji Chang-wook and Kim Ji-won Confirmed to Star in Kakao M "City Couple's Way of Love" @ HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database". HanCinema.
  47. ^ Ha Su-jeong (March 22, 2022). "'나의 해방일지' 김지원, 무채색 인생 해방을 원하는 여자 '깊어진 눈빛'" ['My Liberation Journal' Kim Ji-won, a woman who wants the liberation of a colorless life 'deep gaze'] (in Korean). OSEN. Retrieved June 5, 2022 – via Naver.
  48. ^ Ryu Ji-yoon (June 10, 2022). "김지원, 솔트 엔터테인먼트 전속계약 만료…"앞날 응원" [Kim Ji-won's contract with Salt Entertainment expires... "Support for the future] (in Korean). Dailyan. Retrieved June 10, 2022 – via Naver.
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  51. ^ "KBS 드라마스페셜 단막 2014 '내가 결혼하는 이유' 김지원 깜짝 카메오, '상속자들' 유라헬이 드라마스페셜에!박희본의 털털한 여동생 지영 역, 김지원 "드라마스페셜 본방사수 부탁드려요"". In Daily (in Korean). March 20, 2014. Archived from the original on April 13, 2015.
  52. ^ "Kim Ji Won Wants to Change Her Evil Image from 'The Heirs'". enewsWorld. April 14, 2014. Archived from the original on September 1, 2017.
  53. ^ 김지원, '신분을 숨겨라' 특별출연…김범 연인 役 [Kim Ji-won special appearance in 'Hidden Identity' as Kim Bum's lover] (in Korean). OSEN. June 10, 2015.
  54. ^ Kim Jin-seok (February 13, 2020). "[단독]'아스달 연대기' 새 시즌 올 가을 크랭크인". Daily Sports (in Korean). Retrieved February 16, 2021.
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External links[edit]