Lee Min-jung

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Lee Min-jung
Lee Min-jung at Incheon Airport on March 2, 2019.png
Lee Min-jung in 2019
Born (1982-02-16) February 16, 1982 (age 41)
EducationSungkyunkwan University (Theater)
Years active2004 – present
Agent(s)MS Team Entertainment
(2008 – present)
(m. 2013)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Min-jeong
McCune–ReischauerYi Minjŏng

Lee Min-jung (Korean이민정; born February 16, 1982) is a South Korean actress. She began her career in Jang Jin's stage plays, and for a few years appeared in supporting roles on film and television. She became known after her appearance in Boys Over Flowers (2009), and landed her first lead role in family drama Smile, You (2009). Lee achieved widespread recognition for her leading role in the romantic comedy Cyrano Agency (2010). She also starred in Wonderful Radio (2012), Big (2012), Cunning Single Lady (2014) and Come Back Mister (2016). She recently starred and gained recognition in the KBS weekend drama, Once Again.


Lee began her career in playwright/filmmaker Jang Jin's stage plays, then appeared in the Christian-themed indie Pruning the Grapevine,[1] while doing minor roles on film and television. She became a household name in 2009 through her supporting role in the popular high school series Boys Over Flowers, which then landed her first leading role in the weekend drama Smile, You.[2][3] The same year, she won the Best New Actress award at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards for her performance in the mystery thriller White Night.[4]

Lee's breakout role was in romantic comedy Cyrano Agency in 2010, where she swept Best New Actress awards at various local award-giving bodies.[5][6][7][8][9]

Commercials and endorsements flooded in, and Lee gained a "goddess" label in the press.[10] One of the challenges of her next film Wonderful Radio, was to strip her of that image.[11] She successfully carried the film, with one review praising her as "expertly swinging from girly ditz, through self-centered pop diva (with memorable temper tantrums), to serious singer-songwriter."[12][13] Co-star Lee Jung-jin said her actual personality is similar to the character's - "really upbeat and outgoing."[11]

After playing a disillusioned fiancée to an ambitious fund manager in Midas,[14] Lee returned to the romantic comedy genre in the body-swapping TV series Big written by the Hong sisters.[15] In 2013 she starred in another rom-com series All About My Romance, about a secret relationship between two politicians of rival parties.[16] This was followed by Cunning Single Lady in 2014, in which she played the titular character who schemes to win her ex-husband back now that he's rich and successful.[17]

Lee made her acting comeback after three years in the SBS drama Come Back Mister with Rain. The series began airing in February 2016, and Lee won positive reviews for her performance.[18][19]

In 2018, Lee returned with a SBS weekend drama Fates & Furies. She re-united with her former co-star Joo Sang-wook from Cunning Single Lady as main leads.[20][21] In 2020, Lee gained widespread recognition portraying the role of Song Na-hee alongside actor Lee Sang-yeob in the weekend drama, Once Again.

Personal life[edit]

Her maternal grandfather was renowned painter Park No-soo, who led the first generation of modern traditional Korean ink painters which emerged after the country's liberation from Japanese rule. Park died on February 25, 2013, at the age of 86.[22]

Lee married actor Lee Byung-hun on August 10, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Seoul.[23][24] The couple had briefly dated in 2006, then resumed their relationship in 2012.[25][26][27] She gave birth to their first child, Lee Joon-hoo, a boy, on March 31, 2015.[28][29][30]


Lee Min-jung at the LG Tromm Love Hands Talk Concert, on July 19, 2012


Year Title Role
1999 The Gate of Destiny Icarus member
2003 Wishing Stairs Jin-sung's ballet dance double
2004 Someone Special Yi-yeon's friend
2005 Wet Dreams 2 Second year student #3
2006 Moodori Yoon-hee
2007 Pruning the Grapevine Yoon Soo-ah / Helena
2009 Searching for the Elephant Soo-yeon
White Night Lee Si-yeong
2010 Cyrano Agency Kim Hee-joong
2012 Wonderful Radio Shin Jin-ah
2023 Switch Soo Hyun[31][32]

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role
2005 Love and Sympathy Kim Young-joo
2006 Love Me When You Can Ha Jung-hwa
2007 Kimcheed Radish Cubes Lee Min-do
2008 Who Are You? Yang Ji-sook
2009 Boys Over Flowers Ha Jae-kyung
Smile, You Seo Jung-in
2010 Sunday Drama Theater "Lunch Box" Hee-young
2011 Midas Lee Jung-yeon
2012 Big Gil Da-ran
2013 All About My Romance Noh Min-young
2014 Cunning Single Lady Na Ae-ra
2016 Come Back Mister Shin Da-hye / Han Hong-nan
2018–2019 Fates & Furies Goo Hae-ra
2020 Once Again Song Na-hee

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Ref.
2023 Villains Han Soo-hyun [33]

Television shows[edit]

Year Title Role Ref.
2019 The Barber of Seville Cast member [34]
2021 Up Grademyself MC [35]
2021 Peace Concert - Heart, Connect Host [36]
2023 Oh Eun-young Game [37]

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2005 "널 지켜줄게" Player
2006 "Like a Man" Fly to the Sky
2008 "Violin + Miss You" Zia
"Doll + A Man's Love"
2009 "Girls Like Bad Boys" December
"I Don't Care" 2NE1


Year Title Role
2004 Taxi Driver Hwa-yi
Clumsy People Yoo Hwa-yi
2007 The Game of Love and Chance Silvia


Title Year Album
"It Was You"
(with Park Shin-hye)
2010 Cyrano Agency OST
"Again" 2012 Wonderful Radio OST
"Write the Truth"
"You're My Angel"
(with Seo Young and Ahn Mi-na)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Lee Min-jung at the 2010 Director's Cut Awards
Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
APAN Star Awards 2021 Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Once Again Won [38]
Popular Star Award, Actress Nominated [39]
Baeksang Arts Awards 2010 Best New Actress – Television Smile, You Nominated
2011 Best New Actress – Film Cyrano Agency Nominated
InStyle Fashionista Award Lee Min-jung Won [40]
Blue Dragon Film Awards 2010 Best New Actress Cyrano Agency Won [41]
Cine21 Awards 2010 Best New Actress Won
Director's Cut Awards Won [42]
Grand Bell Awards 2010 Won [43]
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Herald Donga TV Lifestyle Awards 2012 Style Icon Award Lee Min-jung Won [44]
KBS Drama Awards 2012 Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Big Nominated
2020 Top Excellence Award, Actress Once Again Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Nominated
Netizen Award, Actress Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Lee Sang-yeob) Won [45]
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 2010 Best New Actress White Night Won [4]
Korea Jewelry Awards Ruby Award Lee Min-jung Won
MBC Drama Awards 2014 Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Cunning Single Lady Nominated
SBS Drama Awards 2009 New Star Award Smile, You Won [46]
2011 Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Midas Nominated
2019 Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Fates & Furies Nominated
Style Icon Awards 2010 Style Icon - Movie Actress Cyrano Agency Won
University Film Festival of Korea Best New Actress Won

State honors[edit]

Name of country, year given, and name of honor
Country Or Organization Year Honor Or Award Ref.
Sungkyunkwan University 2021 Sungkyun Artist Award [47]


Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Forbes 2011 Korea Power Celebrity 29th [48]
2012 29th [49]
2013 37th [50]


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  2. ^ Oh, Jean (September 25, 2009). "New SBS series enters ratings race". The Korea Herald. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Choi, Ji-eun (February 25, 2010). "Smile, You shoots outdoor wedding scene in the cold". 10Asia. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  4. ^ a b '충무로 신성' 이민정, 생애 첫 신인여우상 '수상'. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean).
  5. ^ "Lee Min Jung: 'I Want to Become Actress whom People Can Trust'". KBS Global. September 10, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
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  11. ^ a b Lee, Hyo-won (August 12, 2011). "Director aims to 'de-deify' Lee Min-jung". The Korea Times. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  12. ^ "Lee Min-jung Expands Her Acting Repertoire with 'Wonderful Radio'". The Chosun Ilbo. December 31, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  13. ^ Elley, Derek (March 5, 2012). "Love On-Air". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  14. ^ Oh, Jean (February 21, 2011). "Will Jang score another success with Midas?". The Korea Herald. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  15. ^ Oh, Jean (May 29, 2012). "Lee Min-jung says Gong Yoo is a riot in new drama". The Korea Herald. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
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  17. ^ Lee, Cory (January 7, 2014). "Joo Sang-wook, Rhee Min-jung to Pair Up in New TV Romcom". 10Asia. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "Lee Min-jung, Rain to star in new TV series". The Korea Herald. December 28, 2015.
  19. ^ "Actor couple makes 'double headlines'". The Korea Times. March 18, 2016.
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  22. ^ Moon, So-young (February 27, 2013). "Lee Min-jung's grandfather dies at 86". Korea JoongAng Daily. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  23. ^ Park, Si-soo (August 11, 2013). "Movie star Lee Byung-hun is now taken!". The Korea Times. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  24. ^ Moon, Gwang-lip (August 12, 2013). "Lee Byung-hun, Lee Min-jung wed". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  25. ^ Cho Chung-un, Lee Woo-young (August 19, 2012). "Top actors say they are dating". The Korea Herald. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  26. ^ Hong, Lucia (August 20, 2012). "Lee Byung-hun, Lee Min-jung admit romantic relationship". 10Asia. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  27. ^ "Lee Byung-hun and Lee Min-jung Admit They're Going Steady". The Chosun Ilbo. August 20, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  28. ^ "Actor Lee Byung-hun and wife welcome new son". The Korea Times. March 31, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  29. ^ "Lee Byung-hyun's Wife Announces Pregnancy". The Chosun Ilbo. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  30. ^ Sung, So-young (January 20, 2015). "Lee Min-jeong reveals she is pregnant". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  31. ^ Park Jung-sun (January 20, 2021). "권상우·오정세·이민정, 영화 '크리스마스 선물' 출연 확정[공식]". isplus.live.joins (in Korean). Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  32. ^ Kang Hyo-jin (November 16, 2022). "권상우·오정세·이민정 주연 영화 '스위치', 2023년 1월 개봉[공식]" [The movie 'Switch' starring Kwon Sang-woo, Oh Jeong-se, and Lee Min-jung will be released in January 2023 [Official]] (in Korean). Sports TV News. Retrieved November 16, 2022 – via Naver.
  33. ^ Kim Seung-hyun (June 10, 2022). "유지태·곽도원·이범수·이민정, 티빙 오리지널 '빌런즈' 출연 확정" [Yoo Ji-tae, Kwak Do-won, Lee Beom-su, and Lee Min-jung confirmed to appear in Teabing's original 'Villains'] (in Korean). YTN. Retrieved June 10, 2022 – via Naver.
  34. ^ "세빌리아의 이발사' 이민정부터 정채연까지..첫 단체 스틸컷 공개". Naver. July 4, 2019. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
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  37. ^ Jang Woo-young (December 19, 2022). "오은영 게임' MC 신동엽·이민정→안재욱·정준호·문희준·이대호·소이현 총출동 [공식]" ['Oh Eun-Young Game' MC Shin Dong-yeop · Lee Min-jeong → Ahn Jae-wook · Jung Jun-ho · Moon Hee-joon · Lee Dae-ho · So Yi-hyun all out [Official]] (in Korean). Osen. Retrieved December 19, 2022 – via Naver.
  38. ^ Lee Ho-yeon (January 23, 2021). "2020 APAN 어워즈' 강하늘·이민정·이상엽·김희선, 흥행작 이끈 최우수상 영예" [2020 APAN Awards' Kang Ha-neul, Lee Min-jung, Lee Sang-yeop, and Kim Hee-sun, the grand prize for leading the box office]. hankookilbo (in Korean). Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  39. ^ Kim, Yang-soo (October 26, 2020). "APAN어워즈', 방탄X임영웅X현빈X주원…인기상 후보 공개 '뜨거운 경합". joynews24 (in Korean). Daum. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
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  50. ^ "Forbes Korea's Top 'Power Celebrity 40' List 2013". Manila Bulletin. February 28, 2013. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2021 – via Yahoo! News.

External links[edit]