Song Ji-hyo

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Song Ji-hyo
2017年1月18日宋智孝的Beauty View發佈會.jpg
Song at Song Ji Hyo's Beauty View press conference in January 2016
Born Cheon Seong-im
(1981-08-15) August 15, 1981 (age 35)
Pohang, North Gyeongsang, South Korea
Other names Cheon Soo-yeon
  • actress
  • model
Years active 2001-present
Agent Make You Company
Website Instagram
Korean name
Revised Romanization Song Ji-hyo
McCune–Reischauer Song Chihyo
Birth name
Revised Romanization Cheon Seong-im
McCune–Reischauer Ch'ŏn Sŏngim

Cheon Soo-yeon (born Cheon Seong-im on August 15, 1981), better known by her stage name Song Ji-hyo, is a South Korean actress and model. She made her acting debut in Wishing Stairs (2003), one of Whispering Corridors film series. She then received further recognition for her roles in Princess Hours (2006), Jumong (2007), A Frozen Flower (2008), New World (2013), Emergency Couple (2014), and My Wife's Having an Affair this Week (2016).

Besides acting, Song is also known for being one of the members of the South Korean variety show Running Man.

Early life[edit]

Song was born as Cheon Seong-im on August 15, 1981, in Pohang, North Gyeongsang. She has a younger brother, Cheon Seong-moon, who also an actor and a younger sister. Song dreamed of being an actress during her high school years after watching Park Shin-yang in the 1998 South Korean film, Promise.[1] She graduated with a tax accounting degree from Kyungmoon University (now Kookje College), located in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi. Before entering the acting industry, Song was cast while working on a part-time job at a cafe.[2]


2001–2009: Early work[edit]

Before Song's debut as an actress, she was a model for Kiki Magazine. She chose "Song Ji-hyo" as her stage name as she was inspired by the two famous actors Song Seung-heon and Song Hye-kyo. Song then appeared in the music videos for Lee Soo-young's "And I Love You" and JTL's "Just Say Goodbye". She also made a cameo appearance in the television drama Age of Innocence.

Song made her feature film acting debut in the 2003 Korean horror film Wishing Stairs, playing a young student who studied ballet. She was nominated for "Best New Actress" in the film at the 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards. She then starred in the 2004 crime thriller Some, opposite Go Soo.

Song rose to fame for her second female lead in 2006 romantic comedy television drama, Princess Hours, where she played a ballet dancer who dreams to be a ballerina. In the same year, she played the role of Lady Ye So-ya, the first wife of Jumong and the mother of King Yuri in the historical drama Jumong. The series was a commercial hit, receiving the highest viewership ratings of all the Korean dramas that aired in 2006. Song was nominated for "Best New Actress" in the TV category at the 43th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance.

In 2007, Song appeared in the comedy film Sex Is Zero 2 the sequel to the 2002 comedy film Sex Is Zero, where she played a good swimmer and she was nominated for "Most popular actress " in the film at the 44th Baeksang Arts Awards. Song was also a host of SBS's weekly live music show Inkigayo, alongside Super Junior's Heechul from November 11, 2007, to May 4, 2008.

Song played the Queen in Yoo Ha's film A Frozen Flower which was one of the highest-grossing films of 2008,[3] and she was nominated for "Most popular actress" in the film at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. She later commented, "When I decided to do this film, nudity was not the central issue. How much I expose is not important to me; I thought without that scene, it would be difficult to portray the subtle changes in emotion. What mattered to me at the time was working on my facial expressions apart from the posture that the director wanted me to convey."[4]

2010–2014: Running Man and overseas popularity[edit]

Song was requested to join the variety show Running Man by PD Kim Joo-hyung (aka Myeok PD) whom she worked with and was close to while hosting Inkigayo. She was originally a guest in episode 2 to episode 5. She officially joined and became a member of the program since 2010 in episode 6 but was unable to attend until episode 7.[5]

Song signed with C-JeS Entertainment in Early 2011. She then appeared in Choo Chang-min's film Late Blossom. In March 2011, she played a reporter in Crime Squad, opposite Song Il-gook and Lee Jong-hyuk. In July 2011, she starred as Eun-go, the Queen of King Uija in the historical drama Gyebaek, for which she won the Producer's Award at the MBC Drama Awards. She has also appeared in two music videos: "In Heaven" by JYJ and "It’s Nothing Serious" by Young Jee.

In 2012, Song starred opposite Kim Jae-joong of JYJ in the action comedy Code Name: Jackal where she played a clumsy female assassin who kidnapped a Hallyu star (played by Kim).[6] She received extensive training before the start of filming in May, and her first scenes involved a flip off from a 2-meter-high stack. Her other scenes also include scaling walls and hand-to-hand combat.[7][8]

In 2013, Song participated in dubbing for the animated movie Maritime Police Marco as the voice of Lulu, opposite fellow Running Man member Lee Kwang-soo as Marco. She then played a female detective in Park Hoon-jung's crime drama New World. In April 2013, she starred opposite Lee Dong-wook in KBS's historical drama The Fugitive of Joseon.

Song was then cast in the romantic comedy Emergency Couple alongside Choi Jin-hyuk. The series was a commercial hit and broadcasting rights have since been sold to nine countries. She won several awards for her performance in the drama.[9]

In Spring 2014, Song collaborated with NBA in a collaboration titled "NBA X Song Ji Hyo", where she released her own cap series called "CHO.2". Song also became a model for Korean cosmetic brand, Banila Co. from 2014 to 2016.

2015–present: Activities in Korea and China[edit]

In 2015, Song took on the lead role in the romantic-comedy drama Ex-Girlfriend Club, starring opposite Byun Yo-han. In April, She collaborated with Taiwanese singer/actor Kenji Wu, featuring in his track "You Are So Cute" and appearing in its music video. The music video received a hot response, topping the MV chart in Hong Kong and Taiwan on popular video and won the best cooperation in Hong Kong and Taiwan sharing site YinYueTai.[10] On 10 July 2015, it was reported that Song and C-JeS Entertainment have mutually decided to part ways after 4 years.[11] In December, She featured on Gary's music video for his single "Lonely Night".[12]

In 2016, Song joined Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin on the Chinese version of We Got Married called We Are In Love.[13] In April, Song and actor/model Hong Jong-hyun were named as the main models of Very Korean.[14] They walked the Hallyu fashion show together on 30 April at Bift Park in Beijing, China.[15] This was Song's very first runway modeling.

Song then starred in two Chinese films, romantic drama 708090 alongside Kenji Wu and Super Express, a collaborative action-comedy film between Korea, China, and France. Song represents Korea, while Michael Chen and action star David Belle would be representing China and France respectively.[16]

Song also made her small screen comeback in Korea, starring in the cable series My Wife's Having an Affair this Week alongside actor Lee Sun-kyun. The drama is a remake of a Japanese daily drama that aired on Fuji TV, centers on a man who communicates with people through SNS after finding out about his wife's affair.[17][18]

In December 2016, Song signed with a new management agency, Make You Company.[19]

In 2017, Song became the main host of JTBC's beauty program Song Ji Hyo's Beauty View.[20] In February, Song became the endorser and shot CFs for the mobile game Lords Mobile: The Return of King. In March, Song confirmed to make her comeback after a 4 years hiatus in the Korean movie industry with a movie titled Wind Wind Wind alongside actors Lee Sung-min, Shin Ha-kyun and Lee El.[21] In May, Song became the endorser for Korean cosmetic brand VIDI VICI and mask specialized brand CELDERMA, in which she also participated in products development and brand events as a partner of the brand.

Personal life[edit]

She enjoys wake-boarding, cycling and it was revealed in an interview that she once cycled from her home to her filming site. In an interview, Song mentioned that she stays at home most of the time when there is no schedule on that day. Some of Song's closest friends include Running Man members, actor Lee Dong Wook, actress Choi Yeo-jin, actress Kim Ji-soo, Super Junior's Kim Heechul and singer Young Jee whom she attended high school with.

On the 351st episode of Running Man, it was revealed that Song had changed her birth name from "Cheon Seong-im" to "Cheon Soo-yeon" (Hangul천수연; RRCheon Su-yeon; MRCh'ŏn Suyŏn), stating that she changed it because a lot of people recognize it.[22][23]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Whispering Corridors: Wishing Stairs Yoon Jin-sung
2004 Some Seo Yoo-jin
2007 Sex Is Zero 2 Lee Kyeong-ah
2008 A Frozen Flower The Queen
2011 Late Blossom Kim Yeon-ah
2012 Code Name: Jackal Bong Min-jung
2013 Maritime Police Marco Lulu Korean dubbing
New World Lee Shin-woo
2016 708090 Duan Yu Rong Chinese film
Super Express Maggie / Meixi Chinese film
2017 Wind Wind Wind Mi-young

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2002 Age of Innocence Min-jung (cameo, ep. 16) SBS
2006 Princess Hours Min Hyo-rin MBC
Jumong Lady Ye So-ya MBC
2011 Detectives in Trouble Jo Min-joo KBS2
Gyebaek Eun-go MBC
2013 Heaven's Order: The Fugitive of Joseon Hong Da-in KBS2
2014 Emergency Couple Oh Jin-hee tvN
2015 The Girl Who Sees Smells Herself (cameo, ep. 1; with Running Man cast) SBS
Ex-Girlfriend Club Kim Soo-jin tvN
2016 My Wife's Having an Affair this Week Jung Soo-yeon JTBC
Entourage Herself (cameo, ep. 3) tvN

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Role Network Notes
2004–2007 Yasimmanman Herself SBS Guest (Episode 80 and 208)
2004 Yoo Jae-suk & Kim Won-hee's Come to Play Herself MBC Guest (Episode 20)
2007–2008 Inkigayo Host SBS Hosted along with Kim Heechul
2007 Three Women’s Talk Herself MBC Guest (Episode 55)
2009 World Special LOVE Herself tvN In the Philippines
Family Outing Herself SBS Guest (Episodes 58-59) Horror Special
Yasimmanman 2 Herself Guest (Episode 51)
2010 Danbi Herself MBC Guest along with Nichkhun (Episode 14 and 15)
2010–2011 TV Entertainment Tonight Host SBS Hosted along with Seo Kyung-suk
2010–present Running Man Herself Guest (Episodes 2 - 5)
Cast member (Episode 7 – present)
2011 Happy Together Herself KBS2 Guest along with Song Il-gook, Lee Jong-hyuk, Kim Joon, Kim Junho and Kim Dae Hee (Season 3, Episode 186)
2012 Strong Heart Herself SBS Guest (Episode 156)
Gag Concert A Killer KBS2 Guest along with Han Sang-jin (Episode 672)
2013 Happy Together Herself Guest along with Lee Dong-wook and Lim Seulong (Season 3, Episode 295)
Entertainment Weekly Herself KBS2 Guest along with 2PM, f(x), Sung Yuri, Ahn Jae-wook
2014 Reply with Music - Emergency Couple Herself tvN Guest along with Choi Jin-hyuk, Lee Pil-mo and Choi Yeo-jin (Special - music talk show)
Entertainment Weekly Herself KBS2 Guest along with Ha Ji-won, Taecyeon, Jung Woo
Get It Beauty Herself OnStyle Guest (Episode 34)
One Night of TV Entertainment Herself SBS Guest along with Kang Gary
Hurry Up, Brother Herself Zhejiang TV Guest (with Running Man) - Season 1
SBS Gayo Daejeon Host SBS Hosted along with CNBLUE's Jung Yong-hwa, 2PM's Nichkhun, Winner's Song Min-ho, B1A4's Baro and Infinite's L.
2015 Inkigayo Host Hosted along with Kim Heechul, Jung Yong-hwa, Minah, Hwang Kwang-hee, Kim Yoo-jung and Hong Jong-hyun (800th episode special)
Day Day Up Herself Hunan TV Chinese variety show, guest along with Kang Gary
2016 Hurry Up, Brother Herself Zhejiang TV Guest (with Running Man) - Season 4
We Are in Love Herself Jiangsu TV Chinese version of We Got Married with Chen Bolin - Season 2
Go Fridge Herself Tencent Chinese variety show, guest along with Kang Gary (Season 2 - Ep 9 & 10)
Fly Over Kitchen Herself Youku Chinese variety show
Abnormal Summit Herself JTBC Guest ( Episode 121 )
2017 Song Ji Hyo's Beauty View Host JTBC2 Main host along with Gong Myung

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Artist
2001 "Just Say Goodbye" JTL
"And I Love You" Lee Soo-young
2006 "Words That I Can’t Believe" STAY
2010 "Don't Listen To This Song" Young Jee
2011 "It’s Nothing Serious"
"In Heaven" JYJ
"Gift For You" Choi Kang-hee, Lee Sun-kyun, Kim Byung-man, Song Ji-Hyo
2012 "Be Happy" (Teaser) Young Jee & Kyu-Hoon
2013 "Winter Song" Freestyle feat. Navi
2015 "You Are So Cute" Kenji Wu feat. Song Ji Hyo
2016 "Lonely Night" Gary feat. Gaeko



  • 2015 - Kenji Wu - "You are So Cute" feat. Song Ji Hyo

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2003 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress in a film Wishing Stairs Nominated
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress in a Television Series Jumong Nominated
2008 44th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress in a Film Sex Is Zero 2 Nominated
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards A Frozen Flower Nominated
2010 4th SBS Entertainment Awards Special Award in Variety Running Man Won
2011 5th SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Award in Variety Won
Netizen's Popularity Award Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Miniseries Gyebaek Nominated
Producer's Award Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Miniseries Detectives in Trouble Nominated
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress in a Television Series Gyebaek Nominated
Best Female Entertainer Running Man Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Female Entertainer Nominated
Most Popular Actress in a Film New World Nominated
7th SBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Female Award Running Man Won
Viewer's Most Popular Award (with Running Man members) Won
Best Couple with Gary Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Mid-length Drama Heaven's Order: The Fugitive of Joseon Nominated
Netizen's Award Nominated
2014 2nd Annual DramaFever Awards Best Kiss with Gary Running Man Won
Best Couple Not Meant To Be with Gary Nominated
6th Macao International Film Festival Best Supporting Actress 708090 Nominated
2015 3rd Annual DramaFever Awards Best Actress of the Year Emergency Couple Won
Boldest Moment Won
Hallyu Win Female Star of 2014 Won
Daehan Drama Awards Best Chemistry with Choi Jin-hyuk Nominated
9th SBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in Variety Running Man Won
2016 Sina Weibo Night Awards Best Trans-boundary Female Artist N/A Won
2017 Mapo Tax Office Model Tax Payer Award N/A Won


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  5. ^ 송지효 ‘런닝맨’ 예능감 작렬 "고정출연 해달라" 시청자 요구 봇물 en:people want to Song ji-hyo fixed salary in 'Running man' (in Korean). Newsen. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  6. ^ Ho, Stewart (20 April 2012). "Kim Jae Joong Cast in His First Movie Opposite Song Ji Hyo". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Ho, Stewart (18 May 2012). "Song Ji Hyo Begins Filming For Her Movie With Kim Jae Joong". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Ho, Stewart (1 November 2012). "Song Ji Hyo is Charismatic Ace for The Jackal is Coming". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
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  11. ^ 박소현 (July 10, 2015). 송지효, FA 됐다…씨제스 엔터와 매니지먼트 업무 종료. Xports News (in Korean). Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "[Video] Song Ji Hyo Appears in Gary′s Upcoming ′Lonely Night′ MV". Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
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  19. ^ 강서정 (December 1, 2016). 송지효, 신생기획사 마이컴퍼니와 전속계약 ‘새출발’. OSEN (in Korean). Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
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  22. ^ "[스브스타] '런닝맨' 송지효 본명 '천성임' 개명한 이유…유재석 때문?". SBS News (in Korean). May 22, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  23. ^ "송지효, 본명 천성임서 천수연으로…개명효과는?". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). May 22, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 

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