Kim Woo-bin

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Kim Woo-bin
Kim Woo-bin at "Uncontrollably Fond" press conference, 4 July 2016 02.jpg
At Uncontrollably Fond press conference, July 2016
Born Kim Hyun-joong
(1989-07-16) July 16, 1989 (age 27)
Seoul, South Korea
Education Jeonju University
Occupation Actor, model
Years active 2009–present
Agent SidusHQ
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Korean name
Revised Romanization Gim U-bin
McCune–Reischauer Kim U-bin
Birth name
Revised Romanization Gim Hyeon-jung
McCune–Reischauer Kim Hyŏn-chung

Kim Woo-bin (born Kim Hyun-joong[1] on July 16, 1989) is a South Korean model and actor.[2] He began his career as a runway model and made his acting debut in the television drama White Christmas. He subsequently gained attention in A Gentleman's Dignity (2012), and made his breakthrough with School 2013 (2013-2013) and The Heirs (2013). Kim later starred in box office hits Friend: The Great Legacy (2013), The Con Artists (2014) and Twenty (2015). In 2016, he took on his first leading role on television in Uncontrollably Fond.


2009–2012: Beginnings[edit]

Kim wanted to pursue a modeling career since he was a high school student. He debuted as a runway model in 2009 at the age of 20 and began appearing in prêt-à-porter and Seoul Fashion Week collections.[3]

As his modeling career progressed, he started doing commercial films and began studying acting, under the guidance of acting coach Moon Won-joo. Kim fell in love with acting, saying, "In the course of doing so, I found myself feeling the same thrill and enthusiasm that I felt the first time I came to walk on the runway."[2]

Under the stage name Kim Woo-bin, he made his acting debut in 2011, starring in mystery drama White Christmas and the low-rated cable sitcom Vampire Idol.[1][4][5]

In 2012, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy drama A Gentleman's Dignity, written by famed screenwriter Kim Eun-sook.[6] Next came a two-episode guest appearance in drama adaptation of the popular manga To the Beautiful You.[7]

2013: Rising popularity[edit]

In January 2013

Kim's breakout year came in 2013 when he featured in the teen drama School 2013. He received his first acting award for the role at the 2nd APAN Star Awards under the category Best New Actor.[8]

The same year, he was cast in Kim Eun-sook's teen drama The Heirs, which became popular domestically and internationally with a peak audience rating of 28.6% and 1 million hits on the Chinese streaming website iQiyi.[9][10][11] Kim experienced a surge in popularity overseas.[12][13] This led to increased advertising contracts and acting offers for the actor.[14]

Kim then appeared in his first major film role in Friend: The Great Legacy, the blockbuster sequel to Kwak Kyung-taek's 2001 box office hit.[15] He received positive reviews for his portrayal as a young gang member.[16] The same year he became the host of cable music program M! Countdown from August 15, 2013, to February 13, 2014.[17]

2014–present: Success in film[edit]

After his rise in popularity in 2013, Kim continued appearing in big screen projects. In January 2014, he was cast in the heist movie The Con Artists, in which he played a top safe-cracker alongside rising star Lee Hyun-woo.[18] He then took on a comedic character in indie director Lee Byung-heon's sophomore effort Twenty in 2015.[19]

Kim then appeared in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein Watches + Jewelry, making him the first East Asian model for the brand.[20]

In 2015, Kim was cast in his first leading role in Uncontrollably Fond written by screenwriter Lee Kyung-hee. The drama premiered on July 6, 2016.[21]

He then starred in the film Master alongside Lee Byung-hun and Kang Dong-won.[22] The movie premiered in December 2016 and became the 11th bestselling film for 2016 in South Korea.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Kim is best friends with fellow model-actor and School 2013 co-star Lee Jong-suk, whom he has known since their modeling days.[24][25][26][27]

In July 2015, Kim and South Korean actress Shin Min-a were confirmed to be in a relationship.[28]

On May 24, 2017, Kim was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal cancer. Kim's agency, Sidus HQ stated that Kim had begun drug and radiation treatment and would halt all activities.[29]

Honorary ambassador[edit]

In April 2017, Kim was appointed as an Honorary Ambassador for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Kim is the second actor to take on this role and will take part in various activities to promote the event.[30][31]



Year Title Role
2012 Runway Cop (cameo, last part)
2013 Friend: The Great Legacy Han Sung-hoon
2014 The Con Artists Ji-hyuk
2015 Twenty Chi-ho
2016 Master Park Jang-goon
2018 Wiretap Park Sang-dae

Television series[edit]

In July 2014
Year Title Role Network
2011 Drama Special White Christmas Kang Mi-reu KBS2
Drama Special "Cupid Factory" Roy
Vampire Idol Woo-bin MBN
2012 A Gentleman's Dignity Kim Dong-hyub SBS
To the Beautiful You John Kim
(guest, episodes 9-11)
School 2013 Park Heung-soo KBS2
2013 The Heirs Choi Young-do SBS
2016 Uncontrollably Fond Shin Joon-young KBS2

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role
2014 Love Cells Dating god

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist
2013 Don't Mess With Me[32][33] 2EYES

Variety shows[edit]

In August 2014
Year Title Network Notes
2011 Korea's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 OnStyle Guest
2012 Lord of the Ring MBC Guest, episode 1
Battle Between Women Who Cook
and Men Who Never Die
QTV Guest with Hong Jong-hyun
2013 Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 138, 166
Hello Counselor KBS2 Guest, episode 118 with Lee Soo-hyuk and Hyun Woo
Hwasin – Controller of the Heart SBS Guest, episode 7
Style Log: PLAY BOYZ OnStyle Guest with Kim Young-kwang and Sung Joon
Mnet Wide Starcam Mnet
2013-2014 M! Countdown Host
2014 Four Sons and One Daughter MBC Guest, episode 12[34]
Running Man SBS Guest, episodes 188, 189, 191, 225
2015 Guest, episode 240



Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Sales Album


2016 "Picture In My Head"
N/A Uncontrollably Fond OST
"Do You Know"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
8th Asia Model Festival Awards
New Star Award N/A Won
49th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Actor (TV) School 2013 Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Nominated
7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards
20's Booming Star – Male Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards
Best New Actor Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards
Anhui TV Drama Awards[35]
Popular Foreign Actor The Heirs Won
SBS Drama Awards
Top 10 Stars Won
Popularity Award Nominated
9th Asia Model Festival Awards
Asia Star Award N/A Won
9th Max Movie Awards
Best New Actor Friend: The Great Legacy Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
Most Popular Actor (Film) Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) The Heirs Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards
Best Supporting Actor Nominated
18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival[36]
Fantasia Award N/A Won
6th Singapore Entertainment Awards
Most Popular Korean TV Artiste N/A Nominated
9th Seoul International Drama Awards
People's Choice Actor The Heirs Nominated
7th Korea Drama Awards
Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards
Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries The Heirs Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards
Hana Financial Group Star Award
(Popularity Award)
Friend: The Great Legacy Won
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best New Actor Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
10th Max Movie Awards
Best Actor The Con Artists Nominated
51st Baeksang Arts Awards
Most Popular Actor (Film) Nominated
Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards
Popularity Award Twenty Won
24th Buil Film Awards
Best New Actor Nominated
52nd Grand Bell Awards
Popularity Award Nominated
30th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards
Best Dresser Award N/A Won
5th APAN Star Awards
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Uncontrollably Fond Nominated
Korean Advertisers Association Awards
Best Model N/A Won
KBS Drama Awards
Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama
Uncontrollably Fond
Best Couple Award with Bae Suzy Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated


  1. ^ a b Lee, Ga-on (22 March 2011). "My Name Is: Kim Hyun-joong". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b Park, Jin-hai (12 August 2013). "Crisscrossing runways and screens: Rising actor Kim Woo-bin has looks, style and sincerity". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Profile". SidusHQ. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  4. ^ "‘뱀파이어 아이돌’ 시청률 종편 1위 ‘개성만점 콘텐츠 기대주 우뚝’". Newsen. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  5. ^ 홍종현-이수혁-김우빈, 망가져도 이렇게 멋있으면 반칙이지 (인터뷰). (in Korean). 29 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  6. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (29 June 2012). "Kim Woo Bin Gets Beat Up on A Gentleman's Dignity". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  7. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (13 September 2012). "Kim Woo Bin Shines as f(x) Sulli's First Love in To the Beautiful You". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  8. ^ Ho, Stewart (29 October 2012). "Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin, Park Se Young, 5dolls' Hyoyoung Cast as Main Students for School 5". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  9. ^ An, So-hyoun (16 July 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Confirmed in Role for The Heirs". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  10. ^ "2013 Kdramas That Got The Best Ratings". KDramaStars. 28 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Shin, Kyun-jin; Yang, Sung-hee (14 March 2013). "Hallyu booming again in China, bigger than ever". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  12. ^ "Hallyu trio captivate Chinese hearts". The Korea Herald. 13 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Kim, Yeon-ji (24 December 2013). "Model inherits rebellious role". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  14. ^ Lee, Sun-min (12 December 2013). "Kim Woo-bin's star shines ever bright". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  15. ^ "Kim Woo-bin Unfazed by Great Expectations for Sequel to Friend". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  16. ^ "Kim Woo-bin Shapes Up as Hot New Heartthrob". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  17. ^ Cha, Yo-rim (13 August 2013). "Kim Woo-bin to become new face of M Countdown". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  18. ^ Hwang, Sun-un (28 January 2014). "Kim Woo-bin, Lee Hyun-woo to Star in New Film". TenAsia. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  19. ^ Conran, Pierce (17 April 2014). "KIM Woo-bin Joins TWENTY". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 2014-04-19. 
  20. ^ Yoon, Sarah (2 February 2015). "Kim Woo-bin first East Asian model for Calvin Klein Watches". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  21. ^ Jang, Seo-jeong (17 November 2015). "'함부로 애틋하게' 측 "12일 촬영종료..7월 6일 첫방"[공식입장]". Daum (in Korean). OSEN. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "이병헌 강동원 김우빈 '마스터', 첫 만남 보니 '눈 호강'". Nate (in Korean). 22 April 2016. 
  23. ^ Hicap, Jonathan (3 February 2017). "‘Master’ continues to rake it in". Manila Bulletin. 
  24. ^ Choi, EunHwa (22 October 2013). "Lee Jong Suk says Kim Woo Bin is the Only Friend He Can Lean On". enewsWorld. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  25. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (15 December 2013). "[Star of the Week] Kim Woo Bin's Past, Present and Future Best Friends". enewsWorld. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  26. ^ Kim, Soo-hyang (23 June 2016). "Strong friendships among male celebrities". Kpop Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  27. ^ Kwon, Soo Bin (21 December 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Says Lee Jong Suk is Not a Rival, But a Beloved Friend". enewsWorld. Newsen. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Actor Kim woo-bin in love with Shin Min-ah: agency". The Korea Times. March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Actor Kim Woo-bin diagnosed with rare cancer, starts treatment". Yonhap. 24 May 2017. 
  30. ^ "Kim Woo-bin to Promote Pyeongchang Olympics". The Chosin Ilbo. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  31. ^ Hong, Dam-young (13 April 2017). "Kim Woo-bin named ambassador for 2018 Winter Olympics". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  32. ^ Hong, Grace Danbi (25 June 2013). "Kim Woo Bin to Appear in 2EYES' Drama MV of Don't Mess With Me". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  33. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (1 July 2013). "Kim Woo Bin Appears in New Teasers for 2EYES' Don't Mess With Me MV". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  34. ^ Kim, Hee-eun (6 March 2014). "Kim Woo-bin joins Four Sons and A Daughter". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-03-06. 
  35. ^ "Heirs stars receive awards in China". The Korea Times. 19 December 2013. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  36. ^ Jeon, Han; Yoon, So-jung (18 July 2014). "Film festival kicks off in Bucheon". Retrieved 2014-07-23. 

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