Lee Hanee

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Lee Hanee
Lee Ha-nui in Feb 2019.png
Lee Ha-nee in February 2019
Born (1983-03-02) March 2, 1983 (age 38)
Seoul, South Korea
Other namesHoney Lee
Alma materSeoul National University
  • Actress
  • model
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
TitleMiss Korea 2006
Miss Universe 2007
(3rd Runner-Up)
PredecessorKim Joo-hee (2005)
SuccessorLee Ji-sun (2007)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Ha-nui
McCune–ReischauerI Hanŭi

Lee Hanee[2] (Korean이하늬; born March 2, 1983), also known as Honey Lee, is a South Korean actress, model, classical musician and beauty pageant titleholder. She represented her country at the global Miss Universe 2007, and won 3rd runner-up. She has acted in several films and television series.

Early life[edit]

Lee Hanee is the middle child of three, and has an older sister and a younger brother. Her father Lee Sang-eob was a high-ranking official with the National Intelligence Service. Her mother Moon Jae-suk has a PhD in Korean music history and is a professor at Ewha Womans University as well as music director of Gimhae City Gayageum Orchestra. Her sister is Lee Seul-gi, a member of the KBS Orchestra of Traditional Korean Music. Lee's maternal uncle is politician Moon Hee-sang (currently Speaker of the National Assembly).

Lee graduated from Seoul National University with high honors in traditional Korean music.[3] She received her master's degree from the same university.[4]


Beauty pageant[edit]

Lee won the 2006 Miss Korea pageant and represented South Korea in the Miss Universe 2007. She managed to went in to the Top 5 and was placed 3rd runner-up; Riyo Mori from Japan was crowned Miss Universe that year.[5] Lee was also named Miss Grand Slam 2007.[6]


Lee is a professional gayageum player,[7] a Korean music instrument. She was named a gayageum prodigy by the Kumho Art Center, the most prestigious musical foundation in Korea.[8] She has released four CDs and played in more than 25 countries, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 2017, she participated in the largest-ever mass performance of the gayageum as part of the two-day Uijeongbu International Gayageum Festival.[9]

Lee performed at the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, where she reinterpreted '춘앵무(Chunaengmu)', one of the royal dances of the Joseon dynasty.[10]

Lee appeared in the music video For Dynamic Duo (South Korean duo)'s song "Jam".[11][circular reference] Presumably Lee plays a Honeybee in the video which is a pun on the honeybee themed video.

Film and television[edit]

Lee Hanee co-hosted Real Time TV Entertainment, on the national TV network SBS, a 12-year-old show focusing on show business, beginning July 18.[12]

In 2008, she made her acting debut in the musical Polaroid which opened at PMC Daehangno Jayu Theater in Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu.[13] She has since starred in musicals Legally Blonde, playing Elle Woods and Chicago, playing Roxie Hart.[14][15]

In 2009, Lee starred in her first television series The Partner, playing a femme fatale attorney.[16] She next starred in the romantic comedy series Pasta (2010), playing a celebrity chef.[17]

Lee won her first acting accolade at the MBC Drama Awards, the Best Newcomer award for her performance in the family drama Iron Daughters-in-law (2011).[18][19]

In 2011, Lee was cast in her first big screen role in action film, Hit.[20] She also featured in the disaster film Deranged[21] and period comedy I Am a King (2012).[22]

After appearing in E J-yong's ensemble mockumentary Behind the Camera (2013), Lee starred in the gambling film Tazza: The Hidden Card (2014), playing a rich widow.[23]

Lee then played Queen Daemok in the 2015 historical drama Shine or Go Crazy, which depicts a fictional romance between a cursed Goryeo prince and the last princess of Balhae.[24] The same year, she starred in the science fiction film Sori: Voice From The Heart.[25]

In 2016, Lee starred in the comedy drama Please Come Back, Mister.[26] Lee was praised for her chemistry with co-star Oh Yeon-seo, whom she has acted with in her previous project Shine or Go Crazy.[27]

In 2017, Lee played famous gisaeng Jang Nok-su in the historical drama The Rebel. She won critical praise for her portrayal, and won several acting awards.[28] The same year, she featured in crime thriller Heart Blackened[29] and action comedy film The Bros.[30]

In 2019, Lee starred in the comedy film Extreme Job as a narcotics detective. The film became the second-most successful Korean film ever with 16 million tickets sold.[31] The same year, she starred in comedy crime drama The Fiery Priest as a prosector. The drama was a commercial success with over 20% in ratings.[32] Both projects proved Lee's versatility and contributed to her rise in popularity.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Lee has been actively involved in voluntary work for several organizations such as UNICEF, Compassion and World Vision. She serves as the Goodwill Ambassador for Beauty Mind Charity and Korea Green Foundation.[34]

Lee holds a third degree black belt in Taekwondo, and is a scuba diver and a competitive skier.[citation needed]

In February 2013, it was confirmed that Lee was in a relationship with South Korean actor and singer Yoon Kye-sang.[35] On June 11, 2020, it was confirmed that both have broken up.[36]

She is of Christian faith[37] and follows a vegetarian diet.[38][39]



Year Title Role
2011 Hit Seon-nyeo
2012 Deranged Yeon-joo
I Am the King Soo-yeon
2013 Behind the Camera herself
2014 Tazza: The Hidden Card President Woo
2015 Sori: Voice From The Heart Ji-yeon
2016 Lost in the Moonlight Lady Maehwa (voice role)
2017 Fabricated City Min Cheon-sang's secretary
Heart Blackened Yoo-na
The Bros Aurora
2019 Extreme Job detective Jang Yeon-soo
Black Money Kim Na-ri
TBA Alien
Dream Byeong-sam
Ghost [40]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Ref.
2009 The Partner Kim Jung-won KBS2
2010 Pasta Oh Se-young MBC
2011 Indomitable Daughters-in-Law Kim Yeon-jung
2012 Immortal Classic Seo Young-joo Channel A [41]
2013 Shark Jang Young-hee KBS2 [42][43]
2014 Modern Farmer Kang Yoon-hee SBS [44]
2015 Shine or Go Crazy Hwangbo Yeo-won MBC
2016 Come Back Mister Song Yi-yeon SBS
2017 The Rebel Jang Nok-su MBC
2019 The Fiery Priest Park Gyung-sun SBS
Be Melodramatic Actress (cameo, ep. 1) JTBC
2021 One the Woman Kang Mi-na / Cho Yeon-joo SBS [45][46]

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2007–2008 TV Entertainment Tonight SBS Host
2010 Honey Lee's My Sweet Canada O'live TV
2011 Opera Star 2011[47] tvN Host
2014 Four Sons and One Daughter - Season 1[48] MBC Cast member
2015–2017 Get it Beauty[49] OnStyle Host
2016 Saturday Night Live Korea[50] tvN
LOVE Challenge 2 MBC Cast member
2017 Shall We Walk tvN Cast member
2018 The Secret and Great Private Lives of Animals[51] KBS2 Cast member


Year Title Role
2008 Polaroid Lee Se-yeon
2009-2010 Legally Blonde Elle Woods
2013 Chicago Roxie Hart
2013-2014 Guys and Dolls[52] Sarah Brown

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2006 Miss Korea Pageant Miss Korea - Jin N/A Won
2007 Miss Universe Pageant Third runner-up N/A Won
2010 2nd Korea Jewelry Awards Sapphire Award N/A Won [53]
2011 5th Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot Body Female N/A Won [54]
MBC Drama Awards Best New Actress Indomitable Daughters-in-Law Won [55]
2013 7th Daegu Musical Festival Best Newcomer Chicago Won [56]
2014 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Modern Farmer Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress Tazza: The Hidden Card Nominated
Popularity Award Won [57]
35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Nominated
4th APAN Star Awards Best Supporting Actress Shine or Go Crazy Nominated
2016 8th Style Icon Asia Top 10 Style Icons N/A Won [58]
SBS Drama Awards Special Acting Award, Actress in a Fantasy Drama Please Come Back, Mister Nominated
2017 10th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress The Rebel Won [59]
1st The Seoul Awards Best Supporting Actress Won [60]
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Monday-Tuesday Drama Won [61]
6th Korea Film Actors Association Awards Best Supporting Actress The Bros, Heart Blackened Won [62]
2018 54th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Supporting Actress (Film) Heart Blackened Nominated [63]
KBS Entertainment Awards Rookie Award, Variety The Secret and Great Private Lives of Animals Won [64]
2019 2019 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism commendation N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-Length Drama The Fiery Priest Won [65][66]
Producer's Award Nominated
7th BIFF Marie Claire Asian Star Awards Marie Claire Award Extreme Job Won
55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Supporting Actress (Film) Nominated [67]
40th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Popular Star Award Won
2020 56th Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2021 40th Golden Cinema Film Festival Best Actress Black Money Won [68]


Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Forbes 2018 Korea Power Celebrity 26th [69]


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External links[edit]