Ma Dong-seok

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Ma Dong-seok
Ma Dong-seok.png
Lee Dong-seok

(1971-03-01) March 1, 1971 (age 48)
Other namesDon Lee
EducationColumbus State University - Health and Physical Education
Years active2005–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationMa Dong-seok
McCune–ReischauerMa Tongsŏk
Birth name
Revised RomanizationI Dong-seok
McCune–ReischauerI Tongsŏk

Ma Dong-seok (born Lee Dong-seok on March 1, 1971), also known as Don Lee, is a Korean American actor. With his break out performance in Train to Busan and subsequent leading roles, Ma has become one of the most popular and bankable actors in South Korea.

Early life[edit]

Ma was born in 1971.[1]


Ma rose to fame for his supporting roles in the films The Neighbor, Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time, and The Unjust.[2] He then played leading roles in Norigae, Murderer, and One on One.[3][4]

Ma's role in the zombie film Train to Busan propelled him to international popularity.[5] His subsequent leading roles in films Derailed, The Bros, and The Outlaws have been critical and commercial successes.[6][7][8] However later, Ma received criticism for always playing the same roles.[9] In 2019, he joined the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Eternals.[10]

Meanwhile on the small screen, Ma is known for his roles in the hit OCN TV series Bad Guys and Squad 38.[11][12]

Other activities[edit]

Under his Westernized real name Don Lee and before he turned to acting, he was once the personal trainer of mixed martial artists Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman.[13]

Ma is currently involved in planning and writing screenplays together with a team. He has worked on the screenplay for the film Deep Trap in which he starred in.[14]

Personal life[edit]

In 2016, Ma was reportedly dating a woman 17 years younger than him.[1]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2012 33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actor The Neighbor Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Won [15]
22nd Buil Film Awards Nominated
17th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival It Award N/A Won
2016 5th APAN Star Awards Best Supporting Actor Squad 38 Nominated
25th Buil Film Awards Familyhood Nominated
37th Blue Dragon Film Awards Train to Busan Nominated
2017 8th KOFRA Film Awards Won [16]
11th Asian Film Awards Nominated
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Nominated
22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated
2018 Golden Egg Awards Best Actor The Outlaws Won [17]
54th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (Film) Nominated [18]
23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor Nominated [19]
2nd Korea China International Film Festival Best Actor Won [20]


  1. ^ a b "마동석-예정화, 3개월째 교제중이다". 허프포스트코리아 (in Korean). Huffington Post. 18 November 2016.
  2. ^ Hwang, Hee-yeon; Kim, Hyung-seok (October 17, 2014). "10 Scene Stealers⑤ - MA Dong-seok: Wild but Tender". Korean Cinema Today.
  3. ^ Park, Si-soo (April 1, 2014). "Watch out! They 'steal' scenes, your heart". The Korea Times.
  4. ^ "An interview with Ma Dong-seok: "One On One"". Hancinema. MBN Star. June 2, 2014.
  5. ^ "'Train to Busan' takes Don Lee to Hollywood". The Korea Times. September 28, 2016.
  6. ^ "Tough guy film star finds success being sweet : Known for aggressive roles, Ma Dong-seok is not afraid to be cute". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "[INTERVIEW] Ma Dong-seok to rise as new hero in crime action genre". The Korea Times. October 1, 2017.
  8. ^ "The many personalities of Ma Dong-seok: Actor's ability to play a wide range of characters has led to his success". Korea JoongAng Daily. 10 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Ma Dong-seok's heroism grows stale: Some are calling out the star's most recent films for their depiction of women". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto (April 17, 2019). "Marvel Studios Taps Ma Dong-seok for 'The Eternals' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Park Hae-jin, Ma Dong-suk go 'manly adorable'". The Korea Herald. October 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "Sooyoung, others to star in new OCN drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "마동석, 30kg 감량 전후 비교해보니..'헉' 소리 날 정도". Osen (in Korean). November 6, 2012.
  14. ^ "(News Focus) 4 movie stars whose talents go beyond acting". Yonhap News Agency. August 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Ji, Yong-jin (May 13, 2013). "RYU Seung-ryong Wins Grand Prize at Baeksang Arts Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone.
  16. ^ "THE WAILING Triumphs at Korean Film Reporters Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. January 24, 2017.
  17. ^ "Don LEE Takes Best Actor Performance at Golden Egg Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. February 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "제54회 백상예술대상, TV·영화 각 부문별 수상 후보자 공개". JTBC (in Korean). April 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "제23회 춘사영화제 5월18일 개최..홍상수·김민희 참석하나". Newsen (in Korean). May 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "Kim Hee-ae, Ma Dong-seok honored". Korea JoongAng Daily. 14 November 2018.

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