Kim Woo-bin

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Kim Woo-bin
Kim Woo-bin at "Uncontrollably Fond" press conference, 4 July 2016 02.jpg
At a press conference for Uncontrollably Fond in July 2016
Kim Hyun-joong

(1989-07-16) July 16, 1989 (age 31)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationJeonju University
  • Actor
  • model
Years active2009–present
AgentAM Entertainment
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim U-bin
McCune–ReischauerKim Ubin
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGim Hyeon-jung
McCune–ReischauerKim Hyŏnchung

Kim Woo-bin (born Kim Hyun-joong[2] on July 16, 1989) is a South Korean model and actor. 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 (2012-2013) 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.[3] 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.[4][5]

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".[6]

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.[2][7][8]

In 2012, he had a supporting role in the romantic comedy drama A Gentleman's Dignity, written by famed screenwriter Kim Eun-sook.[9] Next came a two-episode guest appearance in drama adaptation of the popular manga To the Beautiful You.[10]

2013: Rising popularity[edit]

In January 2013

Kim's breakout year came in 2013 with two hit dramas and one film.[11] From late December to early 2013, he starred in the teen drama School 2013.[12] He received his first acting award for the role at the 2nd APAN Star Awards under the category Best New Actor.

The same year, he was cast in Kim Eun-sook's teen drama The Heirs,[13] which became popular domestically and internationally with a peak audience rating of 28.6% and 1 million hits on the Chinese streaming website iQiyi.[14] Kim experienced a surge in popularity overseas.[15][16][17] This led to increased advertising contracts and acting offers for the actor.[18]

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.[19] He received positive reviews for his portrayal as a young gang member.[20] The same year he became the host of cable music program M! Countdown from August 15, 2013, to February 13, 2014.[21]

2014–present: Success in film, and Alien[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.[22] He then took on a comedic character in indie director Lee Byung-heon's sophomore effort Twenty in 2015.[23][24]

Kim then appeared in an ad campaign for Calvin Klein Watches + Jewelry, making him the first East Asian model for the brand.[25]

In 2015, Kim was cast in his first television leading role in the melodrama Uncontrollably Fond, written by screenwriter Lee Kyung-hee. The drama premiered on July 6, 2016.[26][27]

He then starred in crime action film Master alongside Lee Byung-hun and Kang Dong-won.[28][29] The movie premiered in December 2016 and became the 11th bestselling film for 2016 in South Korea.[30]

In 2017, Kim was cast in crime caper film Wiretap by Choi Dong-hoon. The project has since been suspended to allow Kim to seek treatment from cancer.[31]

On March 11, 2020, AM Entertainment announced that Kim would be returning to the big screen as he stars in the upcoming sci-fi film Alien.[32][33]

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.[34][35][36][37]

Since May 2015, Kim has been in a relationship with model-actress Shin Min-a.[38][39]

On May 24, 2017, Kim was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. Kim's agency, Sidus HQ, said Kim had begun drug and radiation treatment and would halt all activities.[40] On December 29, Kim announced, in a letter, that he had completed his treatment plan for the cancer.[41] However, he was still exempted from military service.[42]

Ambassador activities[edit]

In 2013, Kim was named honorary ambassador for his alma mater, Jeonju University.[43] The same year, he was appointed the public relations ambassador of the 2013 Suwon Information Science Festival;[44] and ambassador of the "Good Downloader Campaign" organized by the Korean Film Council and Film Federation Against Piracy.[45]

In 2015, Kim was chosen as the promotional ambassador of CJ CGV’s arthouse exhibition chain CGV ARTHOUSE.[46]

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 was set to take part in various activities to promote the event.[47][48] In October, however, he was pulled from the role due to his ongoing cancer treatments.



Year Title Role Ref.
2012 Runway Cop (cameo, last part) [49]
2013 Friend: The Great Legacy Han Sung-hoon [50]
2014 The Con Artists Ji-hyuk [51]
2015 Twenty Chi-ho [23]
2016 Master Park Jang-goon [52]
TBA Wiretap Park Sang-dae [53]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes Ref.
2011 White Christmas Kang Mi-reu KBS2 [7]
Cupid Factory Roy Drama Special [54]
Vampire Idol Woo-bin MBN [8]
2012 A Gentleman's Dignity Kim Dong-hyub SBS [55]
To the Beautiful You John Kim
guest, episodes 9-11 [10]
School 2013 Park Heung-soo KBS2 [12]
2013 The Heirs Choi Young-do SBS [56]
2016 Uncontrollably Fond Shin Joon-young KBS2 [27]

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Ref.
2014 Love Cells Love cell hunter [57]

Hosting and documentary[edit]

Year Title Network Ref.
2013–2014 M! Countdown Mnet [21][58]
2020 Humanimal MBC [59]

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist Ref.
2009 Kiss Dara [60]
2013 Don't Mess With Me 2EYES [61]



Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Sales Album


2016 "Picture In My Head"
N/A Uncontrollably Fond OST[62]
"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 Ref.
2013 8th Asia Model Festival Awards New Star Award N/A Won [63]
49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) School 2013 Nominated [64]
7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Booming Star – Male Nominated [65]
6th Korea Drama Awards Best New Actor Nominated [66]
2nd APAN Star Awards Won [67]
China TV Drama Awards Popular Foreign Actor The Heirs Won [68]
21st SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars Won [69]
2014 9th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Star Award N/A Won [70]
9th Max Movie Awards Best New Actor Friend: The Great Legacy Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Film) Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Best Supporting Actor The Heirs Nominated
18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival Fantasia Award N/A Won [71]
9th Seoul International Drama Awards People's Choice Actor The Heirs Nominated
7th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Nominated [72]
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries The Heirs Nominated [73]
51st Grand Bell Awards Hana Financial Group Star Award
(Popularity Award)
Friend: The Great Legacy Won [74]
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated [75]
Popular Star Award Won [76]
2015 10th Max Movie Awards Best Actor The Con Artists Nominated
Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards Popularity Award Twenty Won [77]
24th Buil Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
30th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards Best Dresser Award N/A Won
1st Fashionista Awards Best Fashionista – Male Category N/A Nominated
2016 InStyle Star Icon Best Actor (Film) The Con Artists, Twenty Nominated
Most Stylish Male Actor N/A Nominated
5th APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Uncontrollably Fond Nominated
Korean Advertisers Association Awards Best Model N/A Won [78]
30th KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Uncontrollably Fond Nominated
Best Couple Award with Bae Suzy Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
2nd Fashionista Awards Best Dresser – Male N/A Nominated


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  27. ^ a b "Kim Woo-bin, Su-zy in Another Magnet for Soap Lovers". The Chosun Ilbo. May 21, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
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  30. ^ Hicap, Jonathan (February 3, 2017). "'Master' continues to rake it in". Manila Bulletin.
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External links[edit]