Lee Jong-suk

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Lee Jong-suk
(이종석 x 엠비오) 웹드라마 Long Distance Love 고화질 현장사진 (1).jpg
In March 2015
Born (1989-09-14) September 14, 1989 (age 27)
Nationality South Korea
Education Konkuk University
Occupation Model, actor
Years active 2005–present
Agent YG Entertainment
Height 186cm (6 ft 1in)
Korean name
Hangul 이종석
Revised Romanization I Jong-seok
McCune–Reischauer Yi Chongsŏk

Lee Jong-suk (Hangul: 이종석, born 14 September 1989) is a South Korean model and actor. He debuted in 2005 as a runway model, becoming the youngest male model ever to participate in Seoul Fashion Week.[1] Lee made his acting breakthrough in School 2013 (2012) and has since starred in television series I Can Hear Your Voice (2013), Doctor Stranger (2014), Pinocchio (2014) and W (2016).


Lee majored in Professional Motion Pictures Art at Konkuk University and graduated from the university in 2016.[2]


2010–2012: Beginnings[edit]

At 16, Lee began his modelling career at the Seoul Collection walkway in 2005, making him the youngest male model to debut at Seoul Collection program for Seoul Fashion Week.[3] Since then he has walked in a number of fashion shows.[4]

Lee trained as an idol group member for three months, and had signed on with an agency for debut. However, he quit after the agency broke their promise of debuting him as an actor.[5] He then took part in a selection for actors at SBS TV station when he was in middle school.[6]

In 2010, Lee made his official acting debut in the South Korean TV series Prosecutor Princess. The same year he had a supporting role in the hit drama Secret Garden where he played a talented young composer with a surly attitude and a forbidden crush on the second male lead.[7] He also made his big-screen debut in the horror movie Ghost.

In 2011, he appeared in MBC's sitcom High Kick Season 3.[8] In 2012, Lee starred in the film R2B: Return to Base, a loose remake of the critically acclaimed 1986 film Top Gun.[9]

2012–2013: Breakthrough[edit]

At the 2013 Vogue Fashion's Night Out

Lee's breakout role came as a high school student in the teen drama School 2013.[10] He received his first acting award for the role at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards under the category Best New Actor.[11] He also ranked in fifth place according to a survey entitled 'Actors Who Lit Up 2013' by Gallup Korea.[12]

Following the success of School 2013, Lee starred in the critically acclaimed drama series I Can Hear Your Voice with Lee Bo-young. He played Park Soo-ha, an intelligent young man who could read minds.[13] Originally slated for 16 episodes, the drama was extended by 2 episodes due to its successful ratings.[14] He received the Excellence Award in the male category at the Korea Drama Awards for his acting performance.[15] Lee then starred in sports film No Breathing and had a supporting role in box office hit The Face Reader.[16][17]

2014–2015: Rising popularity in China[edit]

In 2014, he starred in teen romantic comedy Hot Young Bloods with Park Bo-young.[18] Lee then starred in hit medical drama Doctor Stranger, playing a North Korean defector who works as a doctor in South Korea.[19] The drama was a success in China, gaining 400 million views.[20]

Lee next starred in Pinocchio opposite actress Park Shin-hye. He played the protagonist Choi Dal-po, a first year reporter at a broadcasting company who struggles with the idea of justice and truth in a world where everyone wants to hide the facts.[21] Pinocchio was another hit, with a reported revenue of 6.2 billion won (US$5.62 million) for broadcasting rights in just one year.[22][23]

At W press conference, August 2016

Lee's performance in the dramas Doctor Stranger and Pinocchio earned him acting accolades, including the Top Excellence Award in the male category at the 8th Korea Drama Awards.[24] He also became the youngest actor to win the Best Actor award at the 27th Grimae Awards, chosen by television cinematographers.[25]

Due to Lee's success in China, a wax figure of the him went on display in Hong Kong's Madame Tussauds, which the actor unveiled himself in a ceremony.[26] Lee was also cast in his first Chinese drama titled Jade Lovers alongside actress Zheng Shuang. The drama is filmed in Shanghai and described as a fantasy romance series set in the 1930s.[27] Lee later released a photobook titled 2014-2015 Asia Tour Story ~With~, comprising photos taken of Lee's meetings with fans in seven Asian cities during a nine-month tour.[28]

2016–present: New agency and continued success[edit]

In December 2015, Lee left his previous agency Wellmade Yedang and signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment on May 10, 2016.[29]

In July 2016, Lee returned to the Korean small screen with MBC's fantasy thriller W alongside Han Hyo-joo.[30][31] The drama topped popularity charts in Korea, and Lee won the Daesang (Grand Prize) at the year-end MBC Drama Awards.[32][33]

In August 2016, Lee was confirmed to star in upcoming crime film VIP, marking his first lead role as a villain.[34] Lee then co-starred in the promotional web drama First Seven Kisses for Lotte Duty Free.[35]

In 2017, Lee will star in the fantasy-procedural drama While You Were Sleeping alongside Bae Suzy.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Lee is best friends with fellow model-actor and School 2013 co-star Kim Woo-bin, whom he has known since their modeling days.[37][38]


Television series[edit]

In March 2015
Year Title Role Network Notes
2010 Prosecutor Princess Lee Woo-hyun SBS
Secret Garden Han Tae-sun
2011 High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Ahn Jong-suk MBC
2012 When I Was The Prettiest Yoon Jung-hyuk KBS
School 2013 Go Nam-soon
2013 I Hear Your Voice Park Soo-ha SBS
Potato Star 2013QR3 Jong-suk tvN Cameo
2014 Doctor Stranger Park Hoon SBS
Pinocchio Choi Dal-po / Ki Ha-myung
2016 W Kang Chul MBC
Gogh, The Starry Night Song Dae-ki Sohu & SBS Cameo[39]
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo Lee Jong-suk MBC Cameo[40]
2017 Jade Lover Bai Luohan Anhui TV
While You Were Sleeping Jeong Jae-chan SBS

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2016 7 First Kisses Lee Jong-suk Naver TV Cast Ep. 6-7


In September 2016
Year Title Role Producer
2005 Sympathy Lee Han-sol CJ Capital Investment
2010 Ghost Baek Hyun-wook CJ Entertainment
2012 As One Choi Kyung-sub
R2B: Return to Base First Lieutenant Ji Seok-hyun
2013 The Face Reader Kim Jin-hyeong, Nae-gyeong's son Showbox
No Breathing Jeong Woo-sang 9ers Entertainment
2014 Hot Young Bloods Kang Joong-gil Lotte Entertainment
2017 VIP Kim Gwang-il Warner Bros.

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network TV Notes
2011 Strong Heart SBS Guest (Ep. 63-64)
2012 Happy Together KBS2 Guest (Episode 245, 260)
Strong Heart SBS Guest (Ep. 131-132)
2013 Running Man SBS Guest (Ep. 138)
Hwasin SBS Guest (Ep. 16)
2014 Rain Effect Mnet Guest (Ep.5)
Running Man SBS Guest (Ep. 181)

Music video[edit]

Year Title With Notes
2009 "I Don't Care" 2NE1
2011 "Don't Play Around" CHI CHI
2012 "Lost" Nicole Jung [41]
2015 "My Valentine" Jung Yup [42]
2016 "Love is" Davichi [43]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2005 South Korean Superstar Selection Competition Star of New Advertising Models N/A Won
2006 SMART Model Contest Most Photogenic Award N/A Won
2011 4th Style Icon Awards SIA's Choice Award N/A Won
2012 48th Paeksang Arts Awards Best Variety Performer - Male High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actor School 2013 Won [11]
2013 7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star – Male N/A Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Won [15]
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Won
6th Style Icon Awards The 21st Century Gentleman Won
21st Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
Hallyu Grand Award Won
2nd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor Won [44]
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won [45]
Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Nominated
2014 9th Asia Model Festival Awards Model Star Award N/A Won
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Hot Young Bloods Nominated
9th Seoul International Drama Awards People's Choice Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Doctor Stranger Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
27th Grimae Awards Top Excellence Award Doctor Stranger, Pinocchio Won [25]
SBS Drama Awards SBS Special Award Won [46]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Pinocchio Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won [46]
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Best Couple Award with Park Shin-hye Won [46]
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV) Won [47]
2015 Korea Brand Stars Grand Prize N/A Won [48]
8th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Pinocchio Won [24]
6th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Award Prime Minister Award N/A Won [49]
2016 5th APAN Star Awards Best Actor in a Miniseries, Top Excellence Award
Best Couple Award with Han Hyo-joo Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Won [50]
Top Excellence, Best Actor in a Miniseries Won
Best Couple Award with Han Hyo-joo Won


  1. ^ Park, Jin-hai (March 31, 2012). "Models rushing to small screen". Korea Times. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ Kim, Ji-young (February 21, 2016). "Lee Jong-suk graduates Konkuk Univ.". Kpop Herald. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Lee Jong-suk emerging as new Asian star". Korea Times. May 28, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Models rushing to small screen". Korea Times. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Lee Jong Seok Says He Can’t Call Himself an Actor Yet". enewsWorld. September 2, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "이종석-손동운 건국대 정시모집 합격...네티즌 "얼굴만 잘 생긴게 아니었네"". Nate (in Korean). February 1, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "이보영 이종석 윤상현,SBS 수목극 '너의 목소리가 들려' 출연". Naver (in Korean). April 29, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "MBC 일일시트콤 하이킥! 짧은 다리의 역습 메인 페이지". Imbc.com (in Korean). Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Director Kim Dong-Won’s Soar Into the Sun Launches a New Teaser Poster". BeyondHollywood.com. June 16, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  10. ^ Ho, Stewart (October 29, 2012). "Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin, Park Se Young, 5dolls' Hyoyoung Cast as Main Students for School 5". enewsWorld. 
  11. ^ a b "Big Winners of 2012 Announced at Drama Awards Ceremonies of Major Broadcasters". 10Asia. January 1, 2013. Archived from the original on April 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Newlyweds Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung rank #1 and #2 in survey for ‘Actors Who Lit Up 2013’". star.mt.co.kr. December 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Drama gives ‘Voice’ to unique storylines". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (July 17, 2013). "Lee Jong-suk's I Can Hear Your Voice Extended by 2 Episodes". TenAsia. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "이종석·김동완·서현진 '코리아드라마어워즈' 남녀우수상 수상 Lee Jong-suk, Kim Dong-wan and Seo Hyeon-jin receive awards". TV Daily (in Korean). October 2, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (October 25, 2013). "Actors take plunge into swimming roles". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  17. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (August 14, 2013). "Director and Stars Gather for THE FACE READER Press Conference". Korean Film Council. 
  18. ^ "Lee, Park to star in 'Boiling Youth'". The Korea Times. August 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Male actors take to prime time". The Korea Times. May 7, 2014. 
  20. ^ "'Doctor Stranger' gets nearly 400 million views in China". Yonhap. July 7, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lee Jong-suk Finds Acting Harder as He Gets More Famous". The Chosun Ilbo. February 21, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Cultural Exports to Surpass 1 Trillion Won This Year". Business Korea. December 26, 2014. 
  23. ^ "‘Pinocchio’ sells distribution rights to China for record price". Kpop Herald. November 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "[2015 KDA]김수현 눈물의 대상 '2년 연속 수상'". E Daily. October 9, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Lee Jong Suk to be the youngest male actor to win Grimae’s "The Best Male Actor Awards"". Sports Kyunghyang (in Korean). December 9, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk's wax figure to be unveiled in Hong Kong". Yonhap. January 21, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk cast for S. Korean-Chinese drama". Yonhap. December 23, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk's photo book to go on sale overseas". Yonhap. July 29, 2015. 
  29. ^ "이종석, YG와 전속계약 체결..강동원 차승원 한솥밥". Newsen (in Korean). May 10, 2016. 
  30. ^ Kim, Soo-hyang. "Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo in new drama 'W'". Kpop Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  31. ^ Jang, Jin-ri. "‘더블유’ 이종석-한효주, 7월 안방 특급 커플이 뜬다". TenAsia (in Korean). Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "Sci-fi drama 'W' takes top spot on CPI chart". Yonhap. August 2, 2016. 
  33. ^ "[MBC 연기대상] 맥락 있는 시청자 선택=이종석…안방점령 'W' 7관왕(종합)". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). December 31, 2016. 
  34. ^ Jin Min-ji (August 20, 2016). "Actor Lee Jong-suk confirmed for ‘VIP’". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  35. ^ "[단독]이종석·이준기·지창욱·박해진 뭉쳤다…'첫키스만 여섯번째' 출연". Naver (in Korean). Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  36. ^ "‘당신이 잠든 사이에’ 측 "이종석 캐스팅 확정…박혜련 작가와 세 번째 호흡"". The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  37. ^ Choi, EunHwa (October 22, 2013). "Lee Jong Suk says Kim Woo Bin is the Only Friend He Can Lean On". enewsWorld. 
  38. ^ Kim, Soo-hyang (June 23, 2016). "Strong friendships among male celebrities". Kpop Herald. 
  39. ^ "Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin-hye cameo in web-drama". Kpop Herald. October 23, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Lee Jong-suk appears as cameo on ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo’". Kpop Herald. November 2, 2016. 
  41. ^ "[Video] Kara’s Nicole is ‘Lost’ in Love with Lee Jong Seok in MV". enewsWorld. November 28, 2012. 
  42. ^ "정엽, 뮤비 출연 이종석에 고마움 "정말 멋있었다"" (in Korean). 10Asia. May 19, 2015. 
  43. ^ "이종석, 다비치 '받는 사랑이 주는 사랑에게' MV 출연" [Lee Jong Suk To Appear In Davichi’s Comeback Music Video]. Naver (in Korean). October 11, 2016. 
  44. ^ "2013 APAN Star Awards – Winners List". Beatus Corner. 
  45. ^ "SBS Drama Awards 2013 Winners". HanCinema. 
  46. ^ a b c "SBS Drama Awards 2014 Winners". HanCinema. 
  47. ^ Yoon, Sarah (May 27, 2015). "Lee Min-ho, Park Shin-hye, Lee Jong-suk win Most Popular awards". K-pop Herald. 
  48. ^ "이민호·이종석, 중국인이 뽑은 한류★ '올해의 브랜드'". My Daily. October 7, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Park Shin-hye, Lee Jong-suk awarded at 2015 KPCAA". Kpop Herald. October 30, 2015. 
  50. ^ Park Pan-seok (December 30, 2016). "[2016 MBC 연기대상] 이종석, 시청자 뽑은 대상..올해의 드라마 'W'[종합]". OSEN (in Korean). The Chosun Ilbo. 

External links[edit]