Ku Hye-sun

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Ku.
Ku Hye-sun
Ku Hye Sun Boys Over Flowers.jpg
In December 2008
Native name 구혜선
Born (1984-11-09) November 9, 1984 (age 32)
Incheon, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Other names Goo Hye-sun
Alma mater
Years active 2002–present
Agent YG Entertainment
Spouse(s) Ahn Jae-hyun (m. 2016)
Website http://www.kuhyesun.com
Korean name
Hangul 구혜선
Revised Romanization Gu Hye-seon
McCune–Reischauer Ku Hyesŏn

Ku Hye-sun (born November 9, 1984) is a South Korean actress, singer-songwriter, director and artist. She gained mainstream recognition in the television dramas Pure in Heart (2006), The King And I (2007), Boys Over Flowers (2009), Angel Eyes (2014) and Blood (2015).

Early life[edit]

Ku Hye-sun's family consists of her mother, father, and one older sister. While growing up, Ku initially dreamed of becoming a singer. She eventually formed a vocal band with college friends, but due to her gaining popularity through the internet as a model she put those goals on hold.


As actress[edit]

Ku Hye-sun entered the entertainment industry after gaining popularity on the Internet as an ulzzang. She used to be a trainee under SM Entertainment, before switching over to DSP Media and preparing to debut in a girl group called Ria.[1] But after it didn't work out she then signed under YG Entertainment, her management from debut until now. Originally set to debut as a singer (supposedly in a three-member girl group with 2NE1's Park Bom and Sandara Park),[2] YG Entertainment CEO Yang Hyun-suk advised Ku to pursue acting rather than music. She made her debut in a CF for Sambo computers and then made her television debut in the KBS horror series Anagram, and continued to appear in one-act dramas. Her performance as Hye-jin in the 2004 MBC sitcom Nonstop 5 attracted the audience's attention.

In December 2008

Ku soon rose to fame in the 2006 television drama Pure in Heart and surprised critics with her performance in the historical drama The King and I.[3] She is most well known for portraying Geum Jan-di in the mega hit KBS2 drama Boys Over Flowers opposite Lee Min Ho,[4] which was her breakthrough role and gained her pan-Asia popularity.

After a year in limbo with no broadcasting slot, her first pre-produced drama The Musical finally aired in September 2011.[5][6] Ku next starred as a female pilot in the SBS series Take Care of Us, Captain,[7][8][9] followed by Absolute Darling, the Taiwanese drama adaptation of the manga Absolute Boyfriend.[10][11]

After two years break from acting career, Ku appears in MBC channel’s two-part documentary drama Heo Nanseolheon. She took part in the program’s narration and production as well.[12]

Ku then made a small screen comeback acting in SBS's Angel Eyes in 2014. She portrayed the role of Yoon Soon-wan, a legally blind woman who gets her vision back in an operation and decides to embrace life with passion by becoming an emergency rescue worker. On September 2014, TVXQ's Changmin and Ku appeared in BeatBurger's music video "She So High".

In February 2015, Ku starred in KBS drama Blood. She plays the character Yoo Ri-ta, an arrogant genius physician who entered medical school at a young age of 17. Ku and the lead actor of the drama, Ahn Jae-hyun shot footage in Romania for this drama. Although Blood suffered low ratings in Korea where Ku was criticized for her bad acting, the drama was well-received internationally.

On November 6, 2015, Ku was confirmed to be starring in a Chinese drama, The Legendary Tycoon[13] alongside Hans Zhang and Joe Chen. The Legendary Tycoon tells the life story of Run Run Shaw, a self-made entertainment mogul from Hong Kong.[14]

Ku will be starring in the upcoming MBC weekend drama You’re Too Much alongside Uhm Jung-hwa.[15]

As singer-songwriter[edit]

In recent years, Ku has displayed her vocal talents through soundtrack releases as well as digital singles. In 2005, she released her first single "Happy Birthday to You" for Nonstop 5. In 2006, she released the track "Sarang Ga" ("Love Story"), which became the title song of Pure in Heart. In 2012, Ku released her first self-composed soundtrack, titled "Fly Again" for SBS's Take Care of Us, Captain, which she stars in.

In July 2009

Ku released her first album Breath in 2009, an album of new-age music which included her composed song for her friend and singer, Gummy, entitled "Around the Alley". She then released her self composed and written digital single "Brown Hair" in 2010, with the music rearranged by bossa nova pianist Choi In-young.[16] In 2012, Ku released "It's You" and its music video. She not only wrote the music and lyrics of "It’s You", but also filmed and edited the music video. In 2014, Ku released her 5th digital single "Happy",[17][18] which is also a remake to Seo In-guk's song "Were We Happy".[19] Throughout the years, Ku composed and released numerous singles.

In 2015, she released a second album titled Breath 2, which serves as a follow up to her 2009 album Breath. The title track "After 10 Years 100 Years" is a remake of the OST from the film The Peach Tree.

On 29 April 2015, Ku’s piano piece "Rain" topped the QQ music chart, China’s largest search engine. Released six years previously, the song gained attention due to the attention given to Ku's drama Blood.

In 2016, Ku released the song "Written and Erased", which is a collaboration song of Ku with The Blind. On April 28, she released her first regular album And Spring that consist of 11 tracks including her singles "Stupid", "Brown Hair", and "It’s You."[20]

As director[edit]

Ku made her official debut as a director through her short film The Madonna. The film which was centered around the topic of assisted suicide, debuted at the 2009 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.[21] The film was featured in several film events, including the Asiana International Short Film Festival and the Pusan Asian Short Film Festival where it won "Audience Award" category.[22] The Madonna also won the "Spotlight Award" at the 12th Short Shorts Film Festival which was held in Tokyo from June 10 through 20, 2010.[22] She shared that the reason of herself making film was "It’s not like I dreamed of becoming a filmmaker since I was young. I’m interested in many things, including music, art and literature, and I thought I could incorporate all those things by making a film."[21]

The following year, Ku directed her first feature-length film Magic. The film was invited and screened at the 6th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival (JIMFF) from August 12 to 17, 2010[23] and the 23rd Annual Tokyo International Film Festival.[24] She continued directing short films such as You (2010) Fragments of Sweet Memories (2012),[25] as well as trailers for film festivals. The 3D short film Fragment of Sweet Memories, which features actor Yoo Seung-ho, is a story about reminiscing over life's treasured moments from the past. It was selected as one of Korea's outstanding 3D films, and was shown at the Cinemountain in Busan Cinema Center during the International 3D Festival (I3DF), which Ku serves as the goodwill ambassador of. The film was also selected as a finalist for the Seoul Senior Film Festival, and received citation from the Mayor Park Won-soon.

In 2011, Ku established her own company, Ku Hye-sun Film, under which she would produce and film her projects.[26] Her second directorial feature The Peach Tree was the first film made under her newly established production company.[27][28][29][30][31] She also wrote the theme song and novel version of the film.[32] On October 25, 2012, she was awarded the Minister Commendation at the 14th Annual Republic of Korea Design Award for the The Peach Tree.

In 2014, Ku announced and released her fifth directed film, Daughter. Not only did she took part in producing, script-writing and directing of the movie, she also plays the main character as a mother who gives her daughter an oppressive corporal punishment.[33] The film aims to address and make known to society the problems of child abuse. Daughter was invited to Busan International Film Festival.[34]

As artist and ambassador[edit]

Aside from her acting and directional works, Ku participates in a wide range of projects, including writing and drawing as well as ambassador activities. In recognition of her versatility and talents, Ku was voted as the Best Female Artist in the Entertainment Industry in 2012.[35] She also received the Korea Fulfillment Award, and the Ministry Award for "sharing happiness" for her charitable acts.

In May 2013

In 2009, Ku published her first illustrated novel Tango (탱고), centered around a 20-something young girl who goes through two separate relationships to finally mature into a woman. The book was a bestseller, selling 30,000 copies within a week.[36] Its release coincided with her first solo art exhibition, also titled "Tango" which was held in July 2009 at La Mer Gallery and attracted a total of 10,000 visitors. The exhibition featured around 40 of Ku's illustrations, some from her novel.[37] She has also done artwork for Gummy's fourth album Comfort. On 18–24 September 2012, she held her second solo art exhibition titled "Afterimage" at the Hangaram Design Arts Center in the Seoul Arts Center, showcasing 120 of her art pieces,[38] then donating all proceeds from the sale of her artwork toward purchasing "clean cars" (germ-free automobiles) for the Korea Leukemia Patient Group.[39][40][41] In 2013, she was more focused on her art works. On 17–31 August 2013, she held exhibition entitled "Anything That Leaves Yearning Is All Beautiful" where she presents around 20 pieces of art.[42][43] In the same year, Ku attended the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Fair, where she once again showcased her artworks.[44] The "Afterimage" exhibition also held on 9–27 October 2013 in Harbor City Gallery in Hong Kong, as an invitation of Moon Gallery. The illustration poster of her cat 'Mango' will be sold at this exhibition, where the profit will be donated to charity organization ‘Community Chest Hong Kong’.[45][46] Ku then appointed as the 2013 Cheongju International Craft Biennale (CICB) ambassador for her artistic talents recognition,[47] as well as the ambassador for ArtisTree, an organization to encourage arts. On September 9 to October 11, 2016, she was participated on DMC Festival 2016 where she showed-off her paintings entitled "Dark Yellow".[48]

Ku also participates in some campaign projects. In 2012, she participated in the "Big Smile Project", a campaign to spread hope through smiles.[49] She has also directed a trailer for 14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival (PDFF) in which she used "sign language" to show that people born with disabilities do not differ from normal people in needing love. In 2013, Ku participated and supported The Gray Ribbon campaign, which was organized by Milral Welfare Foundation to promote disability awareness. In 2015, Ku alongside with her dog, Gamja, supported Yellow Lead Campaign which aims to reduce the number of abandoned dogs.[50]

Another Ku's activity was starring and narrating documentary films. In 2012, she lent her voice as the narrator for SBS Documentary 'The Hospice for the Children Who Live for Today'.[51] Then in 2013, she participated as guest star in MBC Documentary 'Prime' on the episode "I Love Wood", where the film talked about the benefit of woods in South Korea and how Ku loves to use wood in her art projects.[52] In 2014, she also became the narrator of KBS1 Documentary 'Miracles in December' in the episode "Angel Bread".[53] Then she was acted for the first time in documentary film as Heo Nanseolheon and became the narrator of the film, in the same year. The film received the "Platinum Remi in Biographical category" on WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and "Gender Equality Grand Prize" from the Ministry of Family and Gender Equality.[54] In September 2016, she also became the narrator of KBS2 Documentary 'Rookie' season 2, where the first season narrated by Yoon Shi-yoon.[55]

Personal life[edit]

On March 11, 2016, Ku was confirmed to be dating her Blood co-star Ahn Jae-hyun since April 2015.[56] The couple officially registered their marriage at the Gangnam district office on May 20, 2016.[57] They announced that instead of holding a wedding party, they would donate the money to the pediatric ward of Severance Hospital.[58][59] The pair is confirmed to be appearing in the upcoming reality show Newlywed Diary produced by Na Young-seok, which will showcase their married life.[60]


As Actress[edit]

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2004 Nonstop 5 Hye-sun MBC
Drama City – Anagram Nurse KBS2
2005 Drama City – Everybody Cha Cha Cha
Ballad of Seodong Eun-jin SBS
2006 Pure in Heart Yang Guk-hwa KBS1
2007 The King and I Queen Je-heon/Yoon So-hwa SBS
2008 Strongest Chil Woo Yoon So-yoon KBS2
2009 Boys Over Flowers Geum Jan-di
2010 Ku Cine Herself Mnet
2011 The Musical Go Eun-bi SBS
2012 Take Care of Us, Captain Han Da-jin
Absolute Darling Guan Xiao Fei GTV
2014 Heo Nanseolheon Heo Nanseolheon/
Documentary narrator/
Angel Eyes Yoon Soo-wan SBS
2015 Blood Yoo Ri-ta/Yoo Chae-yoon KBS2
2017 You're Too Much Jung Hae-dang MBC


Year Title Role Notes
2007 August Rush Girl on couch (cameo) American production
2014 Daughter San Also director and screenwriter

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2004 Rival Guest MBC
Brain Survivor
2005 X-Man SBS #46 Ep.102-103
Happy Shares Company MBC Happiness in ₩10,000 Ep.57 versus Jeong Hyeong-don
2006 Ya Shim Man Man SBS Ep.174
Happy Together Friends
2008 Change Ep.13 with Tablo & Kangin
2009 Happy Together KBS2 Season 3 Ep.93 with Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Joon, & Park Jung-min
2014 Running Man SBS Ep.190 with Angel Eyes cast
The Return of Superman KBS2 Ep.27 with Jang Hyun-sung's family
2015 Happy Together Season 3 Ep.385 with Ahn Jae-hyun, Ji Jin-hee, Kwanghee, & Seolhyun
2017 Newlywed Diary Cast tvN with Ahn Jae-hyun

Music video[edit]

Year Song Title Artist
2002 "We Make a Good Pair)" Sung Si-kyung
2004 "The Reason I Close My Eyes" Taebin
2006 "Forget You" Soul Star
2007 "Yesterday Is Different from Today" Kim Ji-eun
2010 "Touch Your Heart" Fahrenheit
"Brown Hair" Ku Hye-sun
2012 "Marry Me"
2013 "With Laughter or with Tears"[19] Seo In-guk
"It's You" Ku Hye-sun
2014 "She's So High" Beatburger
"Floral Rain" Ku Hye-sun
2015 "After 10 Years 100 Years"
" A Day Without Sound"

As director[edit]

Feature film[edit]

Year Title Credited as Cast Ref.
2010 Magic Director,
Im Ji-kyu
Seo Hyun-jin
Kim Jung-wook
2012 The Peach Tree Director,
music director
Jo Seung-woo
Ryu Deok-hwan
Nam Sang-mi
2014 Daughter Director,
Ku Hye-sun
Shim Hye-jin

Short film[edit]

Year Title Credited as Cast Ref.
2009 The Madonna
(aka The Cheerful Caretaker)
Seo Hyun-jin
Kim Myung-soo
Jun Tae-soo
2010 You Director,
Nam Sang-mi
Choi Il-hwa
2012 Fragments of Sweet Memories
music director
Yoo Seung-ho
Choi Il-hwa
Ryu Young-jae
Yang Hyun-mo
Yang Kyung-mo
Seo Hyun-jin
2013 White Dog
(Samsung Galaxy S4)
singer of theme song
Cristina Fernandez Lee
Moon Mason
Ku Hye-sun


Year Event Cast Ref.
2009 7th Asiana International Short Film Festival Seo Hyun-jin
2011 13th International Women's Film Festival in Seoul Ku Hye-sun
2013 14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival [67]
2014 10th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival Ku Hye-sun, Seong Seung-han , Choi In-young [68]



Year Album Label Notes Ref.
2009 Breath YG Entertainment Singer, composer [69]
2015 Breath 2 [69]
2016 And Spring [20]


Year Title Album Label Notes Ref.
2005 "Happy Birthday To You" Nonstop 5 OST EMI Singer [70]
2006 "Sarang Ga (Love Story)" Pure in Heart OST YG Entertainment [71]
2010 "Brown Hair" Singer, composer [72]
2012 "Fly Again" Take Care of Us, Captain OST Pony Canyon Composer
"Marry Me" YG Entertainment Singer, composer [73][74]
2013 "Flying Galaxy" [75]
"It's You" [76][77]
"Happy" [78]
2014 "Floral Rain" [79]
"Must" [80]
2015 "A Day Without Sound" Cinger [81]
2016 "Written and Erased" In collaboration with The Blind


Year Concert Artist
2009 With You Ku Hye Sun participated in Isao Sasaki's concert
Over the Rainbow Ku Hye Sun, Isao Sasaki
2015 Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring Ku Hye Sun, Choi In-young


Year Title Notes Ref.
2009 Tango Novel [36][37][82]
2010 Ku Hye-sun's The Story Behind the Making of "Magic" Non-fiction [82]
2012 The Peach Tree Novelization

Art exhibitions[edit]

Year Title Location Notes Ref.
2009 Tango La Mer Gallery, South Korea Solo exhibition [37]
2012 Afterimage Hangaram Design Arts Center, Seoul Arts Center [38]
2013 Harbor City Gallery, Hong Kong [44]
Anything That Leaves Yearning Is All Beautiful Korean Cultural Center in Shanghai [42][83]
2016 Dark Yellow MBC Sangam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul Participated in "We, 颜(Face)" the DMC Festival 2016 [48]
2017 Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul Solo Exhibition [84]



  • 2012 International 3D Festival[85]
  • 2013 Cheongju International Craft Biennale[86]
  • 2013 Artistree[87]
  • 2013 the 14th Persons with Disabilities Film Festival[88]
  • 2015 Honorary ambassador for Seoul 2015 International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games[89][90]
  • 2015 Honorary ambassador Korean Leukemia Association [91][92]
  • 2016 Honorary ambassador Social Contribution Donation Bank[93][94]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2006 KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress Pure in Heart Won
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Nominated
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award The King and I Won
2009 26th Pusan Asian Short Film Festival Audience Award The Madonna Won
4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards Best Female Star Boys Over Flowers Won
6th Yahoo! Taiwan Asia Buzz Awards Best Asian Actress[95] Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Won
Netizen Award, Actress Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Min-ho Won
14th Asian Television Awards Best Drama Actress Nominated
3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards HOT Drama Star (Female) Nominated
2010 12th Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia Spotlight Award[22] The Madonna Won
23rd Tokyo International Film Festival Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Magic Nominated
2011 5th Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot 20's Voice N/A Nominated
2012 31st Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival Orbit Competition The Peach Tree Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Take Care of Us, Captain Nominated
2012 Korea Fulfillment Awards Grand Prize (Daesang)[96] Herself Won
14th Annual Republic of Korea Design Award by Ministry of Knowledge Economy Design Merits Division-Minister Commendation Award[97][98] Herself Won
2013 Ministry of Health and Welfare 2nd Happiness Sharing Talent Award[99] Herself Won
2014 Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Grand Prize in Gender Equality Herself Won
2014 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Angel Eyes Nominated
Best Couple Award with Lee Sang-yoon Nominated
2014 Asian Drama Awards Pilipinas Best Actress of the Year 2014 Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Sang-yoon Nominated
The 6th Seoul Senior Film Festival Best Young Director N/A Won
2015 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Blood Nominated
Best Couple with Ahn Jae-hyun Nominated
2015 Asian Drama Award Pilipinas Best Actress 2015 Angel Eyes Won


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