Lee Da-hae

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Not to be confused with Lee Da-hye.
This is a Korean name; the family name is Byun. In the stage name or pen-name, the surname is Lee.
Lee Da-hae
Lee Da-Hae in IRIS2 Press.jpg
Born Byun Da-hae
(1984-04-19) April 19, 1984 (age 32)
Seoul, South Korea
Other names Lee Da-hey
Alma mater Konkuk University - Theater and Film[1]
Occupation Actress
Years active 2001–present
Agent FNC Entertainment
JS Pictures
Korean name
Hangul 이다해
Revised Romanization I Dahae
McCune–Reischauer Ri Tahae
Birth name
Hangul 변다혜
Revised Romanization Byeon Dahye
McCune–Reischauer Pyŏn Tahye

Lee Da-hae, or Lee Da-hey (born Byun Da-hae on April 19, 1984) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her roles in Korean dramas such as My Girl (2005), Green Rose (2005), The Slave Hunters (2010), Miss Ripley (2011), and Hotel King (2014), as well as the Chinese dramas Love Actually (2012) and Best Couple (2016).

Lee Da-hae is well known for being fluent in Korean, Japanese, English and Chinese, earning her huge popularity in China. She is the first Korean actress to speak her lines in Mandarin, displaying her linguistic skills in the Chinese version of Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace). She also spoke Chinese in the drama Love Actually, in which she co-starred with the popular Taiwanese actor Joe Cheng.[2]

Early life[edit]

Byun Da-hae was born in Seoul, South Korea. When she was in grade 5 at primary school, she and her family moved to Sydney, Australia. Throughout her adolescence, she performed traditional Korean dance many times in front of small audiences in Australia. After she graduated from Burwood Girls High School, she returned to Korea in 2001 to pursue an acting career. She now lives with her mother in Seoul while her father and brother still reside in Sydney.[3]


Byun made her entertainment debut when she won the 71st Miss Chunhyang Pageant in 2001. Using the stage name Lee Da-hae, she began to appear in minor and supporting roles in television dramas.

In 2004, Lee was cast in her first leading role in the Im Sung-han drama Lotus Flower Fairy (also known internationally as Heaven's Fate[4]), in which she played the pure-hearted daughter of a shaman who becomes alienated by her family and society after her identity is revealed.[5] She won Best New Actress at the 41st Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance.

But 2005 would become Lee's breakout year. She showcased her versatility in two successful, but very different series. In Green Rose, her character falls in love with a man who gets framed for the attempted murder of her father; years later, she becomes slowly convinced that a doppelgänger is in fact, her boyfriend whom everybody had assumed was dead. In My Girl, she played a lovable con artist who agrees to act as a hotelier's long-lost cousin in order to fulfill his grandfather's last wishes.[6] My Girl, in particular, shot Lee to domestic and Korean Wave stardom.

She returned to the romantic comedy genre in 2007 with Hello! Miss. Lee played the last living daughter of a once-respected clan in the countryside whose traditional feminine virtues is put to the test when the son of a rich investor demands that she sell her ancestral house to him.[7]

In 2008, she starred in Robber, in the role of a young widowed single mother who is targeted by a con man for her savings, but he falls in love with her for real. Later that year, Lee was originally cast as the heroine in the inter-generational epic East of Eden, set against the backdrop of a coal mining town in Taebaek through the 1960s until the present.[8] Though the drama was a hit, as it went on, Lee's screen time became drastically reduced in favor of other storylines, such that she decided to leave the show in episode 40.[9][10]

Lee joined Rain's agency J. Tune Entertainment in 2009, then appeared in the music video for "Pas de Deux" with Taiwanese singer/actor Wilber Pan. She was also admitted to Konkuk University, where she majored in Theater and Film.

In 2010, Lee starred in the hit Joseon period/fusion drama The Slave Hunters, in which she played Un-nyun, who is torn between her past love, a yangban-turned-slave hunter, and her present companion, a general-turned-slave.[9] Early in the series, some viewers criticized her for having pristine makeup and manicured nails despite portraying a slave on the run, for allegedly wearing a wrist watch onscreen, and her supposedly "inappropriate and gratuitous" cleavage exposure when her hanbok top was removed in an attempted rape scene. Lee opined that those issues weren't a big deal, and had only been magnified by the show's popularity.[11] Her character also received criticism for being an overly passive damsel in distress, and a "Public Menace Un-nyun" (민폐언년) meme circulated, to the extent that writer Chun Sung-il issued a public defense and apology towards Lee. Lee later made a cameo appearance on The Fugitive: Plan B, made by the same writer and director team as The Slave Hunters.

In what would have been her big screen debut, she was cast in Song of Springs, a 3D film adaptation of the novel by Kim Hoon about the creator of the gayageum.[12] But funding fell through and the film was never made.

She was then cast in the leading role of Korea's first female royal barista who plots to assassinate King Gojong through poisoned coffee in Gabi, adapted from the historical fiction novel Russian Coffee by Kim Tak-hwan. Lee agreed to star in the film via verbal agreement,[13] but when she dropped out of the project ten days before filming began, production company Ocean Film sued her for breach of contract. In September 2012, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering Lee to pay ₩21 million (US$19,000) in damages, or 40% liability.[14] Lee was replaced by Kim So-yeon.

In February 2011, she hosted the Seoul Art and Culture Awards, where a wardrobe mishap on the red carpet caused Lee to post on her Twitter account that the incident made her feel that she was being cyberbullied.[15] Later that year, Lee played an antiheroine with a traumatic past who lies and manipulates her way up the hotel executive ladder and into the hearts of two powerful men in Miss Ripley. She called the role "a turning point in her acting career."[16] Lee's character was inspired by Shin Jeong-ah, a former curator convicted for fabricating her academic credentials and embezzling funds, and the title references the Hollywood film The Talented Mr. Ripley.[17]

Lee, who is fluent in English and Mandarin, and has a significant fan base in China with more than six million followers on her Weibo microblog, made her Chinese television drama debut in 2012.[18][19] Previous Korean actresses who had appeared in Chinese productions spoke their lines in Korean and were later dubbed, but Lee worked hard to master the language and fully memorized her lines, making her the first Korean actress to perform in Mandarin.[20] In Love Recipe (internationally known as Love Actually) opposite Taiwanese actor Joe Cheng, she played a part-timer raising her niece on her own who discovers her talent for cooking at a dim sum restaurant and dreams of becoming a chef.[21][22] It was shot in Shanghai and aired on Hunan TV.[23] Also that year, her contract with DBM Entertainment ended, and she signed with a new agency, Forestar Entertainment.[24][25]

Lee returned to Korean television in the 2013 espionage-action drama Iris II, the sequel to the 2009 hit series.[26][27] This was her third time to be paired onscreen with Jang Hyuk, after Robber (2008) and The Slave Hunters (2010).[28]

In December 2013, Lee filed defamation charges against Internet users who spread malicious rumors claiming she had been involved in an upscale celebrity prostitution ring.[29][30] Prosecutors cleared Lee of the allegations, stating that she was not one of the entertainers being investigated.[31][32]

Lee signed with a new agency, FNC Entertainment in 2014.[33][34] She reunited with previous My Girl costar Lee Dong-wook in Hotel King, in which she played an heiress trying to save the family-owned seven-star hotel.[35][36] After Hotel King ended, Lee landed seven endorsement deals with clothing and cosmetic brands across Asia.[37]

Lee was next cast as a top actress forced to marry an actor she hates in the Korean-Chinese drama Best Couple; it is the first TV series produced by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and will air in China in early 2016.[38]

In April 2016, Lee left FNC Entertainment and signed an exclusive contract with JS Pictures.[39]

Personal life[edit]

On September 6, 2016 a exclusive report from Sports Chosen reported that Lee Da Hae and Se7en have been dating for over a year and that most of their peers are aware of their relationship. [40]


Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2002 Park Jong-cheol, a Fine Young Man
(순수청년 박종철)
Lee Eun-joo MBC
Ling Ling (링링) Song Eun-ha MBC
2003 Good News (기쁜 소식) MBC
2004 Sweet 18 (낭랑18세) Moon Ga-young KBS2
Star's Echo (별의 소리) Ji-young MBC / Fuji TV
Lotus Flower Fairy / Heaven's Fate (왕꽃 선녀님) Yoon Cho-won MBC
2005 Green Rose (그린로즈) Oh Soo-ah SBS
My Girl (마이걸) Joo Yoo-rin SBS
2007 Hello! Miss (헬로 애기씨) Lee Su-ha KBS2
2008 Robber (불한당) Jin Dal-rae SBS
East of Eden (에덴의 동쪽) Min Hye-rin MBC
2010 The Slave Hunters (추노) Un-nyun / Kim Hye-won KBS2
The Fugitive: Plan B (도망자 Plan B) Hye-won (cameo) KBS2
Haru: An Unforgettable Day in Korea (하루) Screenwriter
2011 Miss Ripley (미스 리플리) Jang Mi-ri MBC
2012 Love Recipe / Love Actually (愛的蜜方) Wang Xiao Xia Hunan TV
2013 Iris II (아이리스 2) Ji Soo-yeon KBS2
2014 Hotel King (호텔킹) Ah Mo-ne MBC
2016 Best Couple (최고의커플) (最佳情侣) Choi Hwan-young Hunan TV

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2013 Running Man Guest (episode 82–83) SBS
2016 Guest (episode 289–290)
2017 Guesthouse Daughters Permanent cast (episode 1–present) KBS2

Music video[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2002 "Someday" J-Walk
2007 "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Korean version) Lee Da-hae
2008 "Memory" Kim Bum-soo
2009 "Pas de Deux" Wilber Pan
"Today's Horoscope" (오늘의 운세) Kim Hyung-joong
2010 "I Will Move Away" (비켜줄께) Browneyed Soul


Year Event Notes
2004.10.23 Humming Tree 2004 Music On Concert
2006.12.31 SBS Drama Awards
2007.11.17 Mnet KM Music Festival
2007.12.31 KBS Drama Awards
2008.10.02 50th Anniversary of the Korea-Thailand Festival Hosted in English
2009.09.19 6th Asia Song Festival Hosted in English
2009.12.31 KBS Drama Awards
2010.03.27 6th Mister World Pageant Hosted in English[11]
2010.12.31 KBS Drama Awards [41]
2011.02.28 2nd Seoul Art and Culture Awards [42][43]


Year Song title Notes
2006 "If You are Willing To" (당신이 원하신다면) track from My Girl OST, sung in episode 4
2007 "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" (Korean version) digital single to benefit Donors Camp
2008 "Can, Can, Can!" for Samsung Hauzen
Kimchi Refrigerator commercial

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 71st Miss Chunhyang Contest N/A N/A Won
2004 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actress Lotus Flower Fairy Won
2005 41st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress for TV Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Green Rose Won
2005 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special My Girl Won
2006 SBS Drama Awards Top 10 Stars My Girl Won
2007 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Hello! Miss Won
2008 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress East of Eden Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Robber Nominated
2009 4th Asia Model Festival Awards Popular Star Award N/A Won
2010 47th Savings Day Presidential Citation for Frugality N/A Won
China Fashion Awards Asian Fashion Leader[44] N/A Won
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Jang Hyuk The Slave Hunters Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
2011 6th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Star Award N/A Won
Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards Korea's Top Female Star N/A Won
19th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Daesang (Grand Prize) for Acting in a Drama Miss Ripley Won
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
2012 3rd LeTV Film and Drama Awards Best Actress in a TV Drama[45] Love Actually Won
2013 8th Asia Model Festival Awards Asia Star Award N/A Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Iris II Nominated
2014 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama Hotel King Nominated


  1. ^ 이다해. Naver Profiles (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Lee Da-hae Displays Language Skills in Chinese Soap". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 2015-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Goodwill Ambassadors". Australia-Korea Year of Friendship 2011. Archived from the original on May 13, 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  4. ^ "Heaven's Fate". MBC Global Media. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  5. ^ Lee, Jin-yeong (4 May 2004). "Kim Sung-tak to Play Lead In MBC's Fairy of the Flower King". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  6. ^ Shin, Hae-in (12 December 2005). "An 'irresistible trickster' to meet viewers in My Girl". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  7. ^ Lee, Min-a (20 March 2007). "Lee returns to romantic comedies". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  8. ^ Han, Sang-hee (19 August 2008). "TV Dramas Gear Up for Post-Olympics Race". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  9. ^ a b Han, Sang-hee (5 January 2010). "Heroines Line Up for Dramas in 2010". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  10. ^ "Lee Da Hae opens up on leaving East of Eden". Allkpop. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2015-09-11. 
  11. ^ a b "Lee Da-hae Has Big Plans After Slave Hunters Success". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  12. ^ Hong, Lucia (June 2010). "Lee Da-hae make big screen debut with Song of Springs". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  13. ^ Kim, Heidi (30 December 2010). "Joo Jin-mo and Lee Da-hae cast in new historical film". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  14. ^ "Lee Da Hae's lawsuit has came to a final decision and she is responsible to pay Ocean Film for their partial loss". Korea Star Daily via Yahoo!. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  15. ^ "Lee Da Hae vents about her wardrobe mishap at the Seoul Arts and Culture Awards". Allkpop. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  16. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (24 May 2011). "Love, ambitions & lies in Miss Ripley". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  17. ^ Oh, Jean (17 May 2011). "Miss Ripley taking cue from Shin Jeong-ah?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  18. ^ Park, Eun-jee (10 August 2012). "Lee Da-hae to debut on Hunan TV". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  19. ^ "Actress Lee Da-hae Meets Fans in China". The Chosun Ilbo. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  20. ^ "Lee Da-hae Displays Language Skills in Chinese Soap". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  21. ^ Hong, Lucia (2 March 2012). "Lee Da-hae to play female lead in Chinese TV series". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  22. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (8 August 2013). "Lee Da-hey's Chinese Drama to Premiere in Korea". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  23. ^ Hong, Lucia (6 April 2012). "Lee Da-hae's Chinese TV series to begin air in August". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  24. ^ "이다해(Lee Da Hey)". Forestar Entertainment. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  25. ^ Hong, Lucia (29 February 2012). "Lee Da-hae signs with Jung Suk-won's agency". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  26. ^ "Lee Da Hae's Interview With Marie Claire (Part 1)". Hallyu Interview. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  27. ^ "Lee Da Hae's Interview With Marie Claire (Part 2)". Hallyu Interview. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  28. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (21 September 2012). "Jang Hyuk and Lee Da-hae to star in Iris 2". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  29. ^ Lee, Sun-min (18 December 2013). "Stars sue to stop rumors". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  30. ^ Bae, Ji-sook (23 December 2013). "Celebrities want rumormongers rooted out". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  31. ^ "Actresses cleared of prostitution allegations". The Korea Times. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  32. ^ Park, Si-soo (20 December 2013). "Stars declare war on rumor-mongers". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  33. ^ Lee, Cory (6 January 2014). "Actress Lee Da-hey Joins FNC Entertainment". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  34. ^ Lee, Sun-min (7 January 2014). "New Year brings new agencies". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  35. ^ Kim, Jessica (13 February 2014). "Lee Dong-wook, Lee Da-hae to Star in New Series". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  36. ^ Lee, Min-ji (27 March 2014). "Hotel King Lee Dong Wook and Lee Dae Hae Praise Each Other". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  37. ^ "Lee Da-hae lands seven commercials". Hancinema. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-04. 
  38. ^ Jin, Min-ji (15 August 2015). "Lee Da-hey mulling new role". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  39. ^ Be, So-dam (6 April 2016). "이다해, 결국 JS픽쳐스와 전속계약 확정[공식입장]". OSEN. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  40. ^ "http://www.soompi.com/2016/09/06/se7en-lee-da-hae-reportedly-dating/]". "Soompi.", 6 September 2016. Retrieved on 6 September 2016.
  41. ^ "Song Joong Ki and Lee Dae Hae will host 2010 KBS drama awards". Korean Vibe. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  42. ^ "Multilingual Lee Da-hae Picked to Host Seoul Art and Culture Awards". The Chosun Ilbo. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  43. ^ Kim, Yoon-mi (28 February 2011). "Rain, SNSD among winners of 2011 Seoul Art & Culture Award". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  44. ^ Kim, Heidi (30 November 2010). "Actress Lee Da-hae wins China Fashion Awards". TenAsia. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  45. ^ Ho, Stewart (12 October 2012). "Lee Da Hae Wins Best Actress Award at China's 3rd LETV Movie and Drama Awards". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 

External links[edit]