Kim Myung-min

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Kim Myung-min
(특별수사 사형수의 편지) 같이가치 with kakao KimMyungMin.png
Kim Myung-min in 2016
Born (1972-10-08) 8 October 1972 (age 46)
EducationSeoul Institute of the Arts - Theater
Years active1996–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Myeong-min
McCune–ReischauerKim Myŏng-min

Kim Myung-min (Korean김명민, born October 8, 1972) is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his leading roles in the television series Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin (2004), White Tower (2007), Beethoven Virus (2008), and Six Flying Dragons (2015-2016), as well as the films Closer to Heaven (2009) and the Detective K film series.[1][2]


Early years[edit]

Kim Myung-min debuted as an actor when he won the 6th SBS public talent audition in 1996.[3][4][5] Over the next five years he appeared in a number of television series in various supporting roles.

Kim' first leading role came with critically appraised 2001 horror film Sorum, the feature debut of the director Yoon Jong-chan, telling the story of a taxi driver moving into a decrepit building that hides several dark secrets. For this part Kim received Best New Actor award at 2001 Busan Film Critics Awards and Director's Cut Awards

Building on his new status of a lead actor, Kim started to work on several film projects, many of which however ended unfinished, mostly due to financial problems. At that time he also suffered from injuries incurred while he was shooting action scenes.[6]

When he starred in the 2004 KBS family drama More Beautiful than a Flower, he was expected to have a successful career as a lead actor. He was badly injured while performing a stunt and his film contracts kept being withdrawn. This series of unfortunate events led him to quit stage acting in 2004.[7] However, he was then given the opportunity to play the lead role in a historical drama Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin, a 104-episode TV series based on the life of Korea's beloved hero of the Imjin War. The series, which aired in 2004-2005, put Kim in the spotlight[8][9] and brought him a host of awards including Grand Prize at KBS Drama Awards.

Mainstream success[edit]

Kim was then cast in leading roles, playing a comical ex-gangster in Bad Family and a detective in Open City.[10][11]

He then played a surgeon in two productions: the television series White Tower and film Wide Awake.[12][13] White Tower was a critical and ratings hit in South Korea, gaining praise for its acting (particularly by Kim), writing, direction, and its intelligent and uncompromising story without concessions to melodrama or romance.[14][15] Kim won the Best Actor awards at the year-end Baeksang Arts Awards and Grimae Awards, and was chosen as the Best Performer of the year by producers.

Subsequently, his performance as a maestro in the 2008 TV series Beethoven Virus created a sensation in Korea referred to as "Kang Mae Syndrome" and again earned him acclaim from critics and viewers.[16][17] Kim received the Grand Prize (Daesang) for the second time at the MBC Drama Awards.

In late 2008, it was announced that his next project is a film about a character living with Lou Gehrig's Disease, titled Closer to Heaven.[18] To realistically portray the role of the dying patient, Kim painstakingly lost 20 kilos during the course of the filming.[19] Kim was widely commended for this feat, and won Best Actor Awards in Korea's leading film ceremonies, the 46th Grand Bell Awards and the 30th Blue Dragon Film Awards.[20] Closer to Heaven was followed by another film, Man of Vendetta, where Kim portrayed the role of a father for the first time.[21]

In January 2011, Kim took on the role of Joseon's Sherlock Holmes in historical comedy-mystery film Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow.[22] He then starred in sports movie, Pacemaker, where he played a marathon runner.[23]

Summer of 2012 saw Kim as a pharmaceutical agent in disaster movie Deranged.[24] The film, directed by Park Jung-woo became the fastest Korean film in 2012 to reach 2 million admissions, eight days after its July 5 release date.[25] and topped the box office for three consecutive weeks.[26] Kim then starred in The Spies, his second collaboration with Woo Min-ho, director of his 2010 film, Man of Vendetta. The movie tells about Agent Kim and his three North Korean comrades who are working undercover in South Korea.[27]

Kim made a comeback to the small screen after four years in satire dramaedy The King of Dramas, where he played a drama production company CEO.[28] He next played a brilliant but cynical lawyer who gets into an accident and loses his memory in A New Leaf (2014).[29]

In 2015, Kim reprised his role as Detective K in Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island, the second installment in the Detective K series.[30] The historical television series Six Flying Dragons followed, in which he played Jeong Do-jeon, who served as the First Prime Minister of the Joseon Dynasty.[31][32]

He next starred in the disaster film Pandora, portraying the aftermath of an explosion in a nuclear plant.[33] Crime drama Proof of Innocence followed, where Kim played a former cop-turned-legal broker.[34]

In 2017, Kim starred in the noir film V.I.P, playing a police detective.[35]; followed by mystery thriller A Day. The same year, he was cast in the period comedy film Monster.[36]

In 2018, Kim again reprised his role as Detective K in Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead, the third installment in the Detective K series.[37] The same year, he returned to the small screen in the melodrama Miracle That We Met.[38]

In 2019, Kim starred in the war film Battle of Jangsari.[39]



Year Title Role
2001 Sorum Yong-hyun
2003 Into the Mirror Ha Hyun-su
2007 Return Ryu Jae-woo
2008 Open City Jo Dae-yeong
2009 Closer to Heaven Baek Jong-woo
2010 Man of Vendetta Joo Young-soo
2011 Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow Kim Min "Detective K"
Pacemaker Joo Man-ho
2012 Deranged Jae-hyuk
The Spies Section Chief Kim
2015 Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island Kim Min "Detective K"
2016 The Great Actor (cameo)
Pandora South Korean President
Proof of Innocence Choi Pil-jae
2017 VIP Chae Yi-do
A Day Kim Joon-young
2018 Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead Kim Min ("Detective K")
Monstrum Yoon-gyeom
2019 Battle of Jangsa-ri 9.15

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1999 KAIST Kim Hyun Moo SBS
2000 Some Like it Hot Choi Jin Sang MBC
Look Back in Anger Kim Suk-gyu KBS2
2001 A Father and a Son Jae Doo SBS
2004 More Beautiful Than a Flower Jang In Chul KBS2
Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin Yi Sun-sin KBS1
2006 Bad Family Oh Dal-geon SBS
2007 White Tower Jang Joon-hyuk MBC
2008 Beethoven Virus Kang Gun-woo/Kang Mae MBC
2012 The King of Dramas Anthony Kim SBS
2014 A New Leaf Kim Seok-joo MBC
2015-2016 Six Flying Dragons "Sambong" Jeong Do-jeon SBS
2018 Miracle That We Met Song Hyun-chul (A) KBS2

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
1999 Blue Lee Kyung-sub
2001 Landscape Lee Jung-bong


Year Title
2009 Kim Myung-min Classics Maestro

Publicity ambassador[edit]

  • 2010 Seoul National University Bundang Hospital Goodwill Ambassador
  • 2009 Korea Dental Association, "Ambassador for Oral Hygiene"
  • 2008 Kia Soul CUV
  • 2007 Oral Health Care Campaign, "OQ Publicity Ambassador"
  • 2007 National Election Commission, "Clean Election Publicity Ambassador"
  • 2007 Yeon-se Severance Health Publicity Ambassador
  • 2006 National Pension Service
  • 2005 Social Welfare Society
  • 2005 The Great Admiral Lee Soon-shin Festival

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2000 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Some Like It Hot Won
2001 2nd Busan Film Critics Awards Best New Actor Sorum Won
4th Director's Cut Awards Best New Actor Won
22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2002 The 38th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
2004 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor More Beautiful Than a Flower Nominated
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin Nominated
18th Grimae Awards Best Actor Won
KBS Drama Awards[40] Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
6th Korea Visual Arts Festival Photogenic Award Won
2006 33rd Korea Broadcasting Awards Best Talent Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Bad Family Nominated
PD Award Won
Fighting Adversity Award Won
2007 19th Korean Broadcasting Producers Award.[41] Best Performer Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin Won
MBC Drama Awards[42] Top Excellence Award, Actor White Tower Won
43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Won
20th Grimae Awards Best Actor Won
2008 20th Korean Broadcasting Producers Award[43] Best Performer Won
MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize[44] Beethoven Virus Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
9th Broadcaster Awards Best Performance Won
The 2nd Korea Drama Awards[45] Grand Prize Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
4th Seoul International Drama Awards Best Actor Nominated
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Won
21st Korean Broadcasting Producers Award Best Performer Won
36th Korea Broadcasting Association Awards Best Actor Won
46th Grand Bell Awards[46] Best Actor Closer to Heaven Won
Popularity Award Won
30th Blue Dragon Film Awards[20] Best Actor Won
2010 7th Max Movie Awards Best Actor Nominated
2011 20th Buil Film Awards Best Actor Detective K: Secret of the Virtuous Widow Nominated
2012 49th Grand Bell Awards Best Actor Pacemaker Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries The King of Dramas Nominated
2014 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor A New Leaf Nominated
2015 Korean Film Actors Guild Awards[47] Top Star Award Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama Six Flying Dragons Nominated
2016 5th APAN Star Awards Nominated
2018 32nd KBS Drama Awards Daesang (Grand Prize)[48] The Miracle We Met Won
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Best Couple (with Ra Mi-ran) Won
Netizen Award Won


  1. ^ Lee, Ji-young (23 February 2015). "KIM Myung-min of DETECTIVE K: SECRET OF THE LOST ISLAND: "I hope this film series will be remembered by the film industry"". Korean Cinema Today. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  2. ^ "Bankable Actor KIM Myung-min". Koreanfilm. 18 September 2018.
  3. ^ Cineline: Cineline profile of Kim Myung Min last retrieved: 16 April 2000
  4. ^ Cine21: 그가 그린 마음의 지옥도, <소름>의 김명민 last retrieved: 16 April 2000
  5. ^ Mydaily: 김명민 대상의 원동력과 값진 의미? last retrieved: 16 April 2000
  6. ^ Cine21: 그가 그린 마음의 지옥도, <소름>의 김명민 last retrieved: 16 April 2000
  7. ^ "Intensity and sense of purpose create the materials for a star". Korea JoongAng Daily. 22 August 2007.
  8. ^ "Admiral Yi Sun-shin moves nation". Hancinema. The Korea Herald. 15 August 2005.
  9. ^ Hancinema: "Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin" Gains Popularity in China last retrieved: 7 December 2008
  10. ^ "Kim Myung-min Casted In Movie, "Open City"". Hancinema. Broasia. 27 June 2007.
  11. ^ "SON Ye-jin and KIM Myeong-min tangle in "Open City"". Hancinema. Korean Film Biz Zone. 9 January 2008.
  12. ^ "Kim Myung-min Still Haunted by 'White Tower' Role". The Chosun Ilbo. 16 March 2007.
  13. ^ "Kim Myung-min, "You can expect a different image from 'White Tower'"". Hancinema. Broasia. 9 July 2007.
  14. ^ "TV Review: In the White Tower, all you need is power". Korea JoongAng Daily. February 13, 2007. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Korea in the Grip of U.S. Soap Fever". The Chosun Ilbo. May 22, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  16. ^ Hancinema: Kang "Mae Syndrome" Sweeps Marketing last retrieved: 7 December 2008
  17. ^ "Beethoven Virus Interview with Kim Myung-min". MBC Global Media. 26 September 2008.
  18. ^ "PARK Jin-pyo casts KIM Myung-min". Korean Film Biz Zone. 19 December 2008.
  19. ^ "Kim Myung-min Goes to the Edge for New Film". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 September 2009.
  20. ^ a b Park, Sun-young. "‘Closer to Heaven’ actors win Blue Dragon awards". Korea JoongAng Daily. 4 December 2009. Retrieved on 11 November 2009.
  21. ^ "Actor faces a new test: Faith". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 June 2010.
  22. ^ "Actors enliven uncanny period adventure". The Korea Times. 20 January 2011.
  23. ^ "'Pacemaker' fetes unsung sports heroes". The Korea Times. 4 January 2012.
  24. ^ "Kim Myung-min cast in distaster film". 10 Asia. 24 August 2011.
  25. ^ <Deranged> fastest to 2 million admissions in 2012". Korean Film Biz Zone. 18 July 2012. Retrieved on 23 September 2012.
  26. ^ Lucia Hong. ""Deranged" continues to perch atop the box office". 10Asia, 16 July 2012. Retrieved on 23 September 2012.
  27. ^ "'The Spy,' 'Covertness' offer different takes on espionage". Korea JoongAng Daily. 21 September 2012.
  28. ^ Lee Hye. "Kim Myung-min to turn into TV series producer in new comedy. 10Asia, 25 July 2012. Retrieved on 23 September 2012.
  29. ^ "Managing expectations". The Korea Herald. 30 April 2014.
  30. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (16 June 2014). "DETECTIVE K: LABORER'S DAUGHTER to Crankin in June". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
  31. ^ "Kim Myung-min to once again immerse in character". Kpop Herald. 27 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Who are the 'Six Flying Dragons'?". Kpop Herald. 22 September 2015.
  33. ^ "Disaster movie 'Pandora' rings true more than ever". The Korea Times. 4 December 2016.
  34. ^ "[In-depth] "Proof of Innocence" Kim Myung-min, "I want to try to be a psychopath one day"". Hancinema. Asiae. 2 June 2016.
  35. ^ "Star-studded cast comes together to stop killer". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 August 2017.
  36. ^ "'Mulgoe' wraps up three months of filming". Korea JoongAng Daily. 28 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Hit period comedy 'Detective K' returns for round 3". Korea JoongAng Daily. 2 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Actor Kim Myung-min to return to small screen with new KBS 2TV drama". Kpop Herald. 5 February 2018.
  39. ^ "'Battle of Jangsari' stars honor forgotten heroes". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 22, 2019.
  40. ^ "TV Networks Hand Out Awards". Hancinema. The Korea Times. 1 January 2006.
  41. ^ "Song Il-gook Voted TV Performer of the Year". Hancinema. KBS World. 16 February 2007.
  42. ^ "2007 Year-end Korean drama awards round-up". Hancinema. 7 January 2008.
  43. ^ "TV Producers Pick the Year's Favorites". Hancinema. KBS World. 29 February 2008.
  44. ^ "MBC Should Be Ashamed of Farcical Awards". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 January 2009.
  45. ^ "Actor Kim Wins Top Prize at Korea Drama Festival Awards". Hancinema. The Korea Times. 2 November 2008.
  46. ^ Han, Sang-hee (8 November 2009). "Grand Bell Film Fest Puzzles Movie Fans". The Korea Times. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  47. ^ "Kim Myung-min and Son Hyun-joo, TOP actors". Hancinema. Nate. 18 June 2015.
  48. ^ "[2018 KBS 연기대상] 유동근 대상 "장미희 덕분인데 내가 왜..대하드라마 부활 기원"". 10Asia (in Korean). January 1, 2019.

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