Lee Yeon-hee

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Lee Yeon-hee
Lee Yeon-hee at "Burberry Art of the Trench Seoul" project launching, 3 March 2016 07.jpg
Lee in March 2016
Born (1988-01-09) January 9, 1988 (age 29)
Sil-li (신리), Samsan-myeon, Haenam County, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Nationality South Korean
Occupation Actress
Years active 2001-present
Agent S.M. Entertainment
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Korean name
Hangul 이연희
Hanja 李沇熹
Revised Romanization I Yeon-hui
McCune–Reischauer I Yŏn-hŭi

Lee Yeon-hee (Hangul이연희; born January 9, 1988) is a South Korean actress. She is most known for her work in the television series East of Eden (2008), Phantom (2012), Miss Korea (2013) and in the films A Millionaire's First Love (2006), M (2007) and Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island (2015).

Early life[edit]

Lee was born in the Haenam County, South Korea and grew up in Bundang.[1] In 2002, Lee successfully signed a contract with S.M. Entertainment after she won the category of "Best Feature" in the SM Entertainment Best Youth contest. For the contest, she acted out a monologue, singing to Dana The Grace's "Until the End of the World", and also did freestyle modeling poses. After she joined the company, she began intense training lessons on acting, singing, and dancing.


Soon after she joined SM Entertainment, Lee began her career by starring in music videos for SM artists, such as boy band TVXQ, Moon Heejun, KangTa, Shinhwa, and Fly to the Sky, overtaking SM artists Kim Bomi (of M.I.L.K.) and Lee Jiyeon (commonly known as LinA, of CSJH The Grace) as "The SM music video girl". In the span of two years, she starred in eight music videos.

Though Lee had relatively steady work between modelling in magazines, commercial ads and appearing in music videos, she did not officially debut until late 2004. In November 2004, she starred as the younger version of the main character in the hit historical drama Emperor of the Sea, and appeared in the latter episodes of the daily drama My Lovely Family.[2] Lee then had a minor role in Resurrection. Meanwhile, she kept busy throughout the rest of 2005 by filming many commercials and modelling for various magazines, and was in the first line-up of Girls' Generation during the creation process of the group. After being cut from the group, she decided to continue her career as an actress.

Lee starred came in the romance film A Millionaire's First Love, where she starred alongside Hyun Bin. She also made her singing debut for the film, singing "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound of Music and Insa for the film's original soundtrack. But the film had disappointing critical review and underwhelm at box office. Lee followed this with moderately successful film, M alongside Kang Dong-won.

In 2008, she starred as one of the main cast in 47th MBC Anniversary Project East of Eden. Despite high rating, her acting in the series received overwhelming negative criticism and considered by many critics and audiences as the weakest part of the drama's ensemble. Lee spent between 2009-2010 with pictorial and attending SM Town 2010-2011 Concert.

In 2011, Lee starred opposite Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, and Fan Bing-bing in Kang Je-gyu's big budget film My Way, and in Pre-produced drama series Paradise Ranch which produced by SM Entertainment alongside label-mate Shim Chang-min of boy band TVXQ. However, both works were critical and commercial failures. In 2012, Lee reunited with U-Turn co-star So Ji-sub in the crime thriller Phantom, however her acting received criticism for inadequate acting and lack understanding of character . Nonetheless, Phantom was rating success.

In 2013, Lee made special appearance in the historical drama Gu Family Book. She closed that year with the television series Miss Korea, to positive reviews, with many considering her role as her best performance to date. However, the drama suffered low rating due to competition from the mega-hit series My Love from the Star.

Lee followed her small-screen success with the commercial hit film Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island in 2015. She then starred in MBC's 54th anniversary drama, Splendid Politics which suffered low rating and her acting panned by critics and audiences alike.

In 2016, Lee was cast in the JYP Entertainment produced drama, The Package opposite Jung Yong-hwa and Choi Woo-shik.



Year Title Role Network
2006 A Millionaire's First Love Choi Eun-hwan Lotte Entertainment
2007 M Mi-mi N/A
My Love So-hyeon Showbox
2008 Hello, Schoolgirl Han Soo-young CJ Entertainment
2011 My Way Kim Eun-soo CJ Entertainment
2013 Marriage Blue So-mi N/A
2015 Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island Hisako Showbox /Mediaplex

Television drama[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2004 Emperor of the Sea young Jung-hwa KBS2
My Lovely Family Yeon-ji KBS1
2005 Resurrection Kang Shin-young KBS2
2006 One Fine Day Goo Hyo-joo MBC
2008 U-Turn Yeon-hee OCN
East of Eden Gook Young-ran/Grace MBC
2011 Paradise Ranch Lee Da-ji SBS
2012 Phantom Yoo Kang-mi SBS
2013 Gu Family Book Yoon Seo-hwa MBC
Miss Korea Oh Ji-young MBC
2015 Splendid Politics Princess Jeongmyeong MBC
2017 Reunited Worlds Eom Hyeon-soo SBS
The Package Yoon So-so jTBC

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2011 Strong Heart SBS guest, episode 61-62
Running Man SBS guest, episodes 61-62
2013 Running Man SBS guest, episode 139

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song title Artist
2001 "Alone" Moon Hee-joon
"Our Story" Moon Hee-joon feat. Oh Sang-eun
"Thanks God" Kangta
2002 "Condition of My Heart" Fly to the Sky
"Hero" Shinhwa
"Memories" Kangta
"Pine Tree" Kangta
"Propose" Kangta
2003 "Habit" Fly to the Sky
2004 "My Little Princess" TVXQ
"The Way U Are" TVXQ
2005 "Persona" Kangta
2006 "Timeless" Zhang Liyin feat. Xia
2008 "Star Wish (I Will)" Zhang Liyin
"The Left Shore of Happiness" Zhang Liyin
"M-net Love Song 2008"
2009 "Wizard Of Oz" Clazziquai
2010 "Miss You" S.M. The Ballad


Year Song title Notes
2009 "Club No.1" Track 9 from Super Junior's album Sorry, Sorry

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2001 2nd SM Best Youth Contest Grand Prize N/A Won
2006 5th Korean Film Awards Best New Actress A Millionaire's First Love Nominated
2007 6th Korean Film Awards Best New Actress M Nominated
2008 5th Max Movie Awards Best New Actress Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (Film) Nominated
31st Golden Cinematography Awards Best New Actress Won
MBC Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Song Seung-heon East of Eden Won
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Best New Actress Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Nominated
2012 7th Asia Model Festival Awards Fashionista Award N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Phantom Nominated
2013 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Gu Family Book Nominated
2014 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Miss Korea Nominated
2015 Korean Film Actors' Guild Awards Popularity Award Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island Won
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama Splendid Politics Nominated


  1. ^ 해신 '정화'가 해남 출신이라니
  2. ^ "Lee Yeon-hee Poised to Make 2005 'Her Year'". KBS Global. 2 February 2005. 

External links[edit]