Steven Yeun

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Steven Yeun
Steven Yeun 2016.jpg
Born Yeun Sang-yeop[1]
(1983-12-21) December 21, 1983 (age 32)
Seoul, South Korea
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality Korean - American
Alma mater Kalamazoo College
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2005–present
Korean name
Hangul 연상엽
Revised Romanization Yeon Sang-yeop
McCune–Reischauer Yǒn Sangyǒp

Steven Yeun /ˈjʌn/ (Korean: 연상엽; born December 21, 1983) is a Korean-born American actor. He is best known for playing Glenn Rhee on AMC's horror drama television series The Walking Dead. Yeun has also appeared in short and feature films, and has done video game and cartoon voiceovers.

Early life[edit]

Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea to South Korean parents Je and June Yeun.[2] His father was an architect in South Korea[3] before moving his family to Regina, Saskatchewan and later to Michigan.[4] Yeun was raised in Troy, Michigan in a Christian household.[5][6][7] His parents owned two beauty supply stores in Detroit.[6] Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience[2] from Kalamazoo College in 2005.[6] He wanted to be an actor rather than a doctor or lawyer as his parents had wanted. His parents decided to give him two years to show his talent. At Kalamazoo, he met Jordan Klepper through Klepper's sister and later followed him to Chicago to join Second City.[2]


Yeun's interest in acting and improv came during his freshman year at Kalamazoo, when he watched the college's improv group, Monkapult. He auditioned for Monkapult, but was initially rejected before successfully joining the group during his sophomore year.[6]

Yeun revealed to his parents that he planned to pursue an improv career in Chicago instead of enrolling in law school or medical school. His parents, while unhappy with the decision, were supportive, according to Yeun, and gave him two years to pursue acting.[6] He moved to Chicago in 2005, living in the city's Lincoln Square with his brother.[5] Shortly after graduation, he joined Stir Friday Night, a sketch comedy group composed of Asian-American members.[6]

Yeun joined The Second City in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in October 2009.[6]

The Walking Dead[edit]

Yeun's biggest role to date is Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, an AMC television horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. Glenn is a main character who, along with his friends, is forced to relentlessly fight evil just to survive in a violent, apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating zombies and the few surviving humans, some of whom are even more diabolical and dangerous than the zombies themselves. The drama is the highest rated series in cable television history, with its third through (current) sixth season garnering the most 18– to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series.[8][9][10] The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Yeun is an investor of The Bun Shop, a Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles owned by his younger brother Brian Yeun and business partner James Seok.[13][14][15] Yeun speaks some Korean but is not fully fluent.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Kari Files Chip Short film
2009 My Name Is Jerry Chaz
2010 Carpe Millennium Kevin Short film
2010 Blowout Sale Customer Short film
2014 I Origins Kenny
2015 Like a French Film Steve
2016 Chew Tony Chu Voice
2017 Okja Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Big Bang Theory Sebastian Episode: "The Staircase Implementation"
2010–2016 The Walking Dead Glenn Rhee 66 episodes
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series (2012)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television (2011)
2011 Law & Order: LA Ken Hasui Episode: "Hayden Tract"
2011 Warehouse 13 Gibson Rice Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Ricky Meeker Episode: "16 Hop Street"
2012 Harder Than it Looks Steven Episode: "Lockdown"
2013 The Legend of Korra Avatar Wan (voice) 3 episodes
2013 Filthy Sexy Teen$ Martin Pilot
2014 Drunk History Daniel Inouye Episode: "Hawaii"
2014 American Dad! Charles (voice) Episode: "Blagsnarst, a Love Story"
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Steven Yeun Wears Rolled Up Black Jeans & No Socks"
2016 Conan Himself Episode: "Conan Does Korea"
2016–present Voltron: Legendary Defender Keith (voice) 11 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist
2016 "Fire" Park Jin-young (feat. Conan O'Brien & Jimin Park)


  1. ^ Steven Yeun: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About the Walking Dead Star Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "ON THE ROAD WITH STEVEN YEUN". Interview Magazine. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ "'Walking Dead': Steven Yeun's Glenn is beating heart of AMC series". Los Angeles Times. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ Yeun, Steven (October 6, 2014). Steven Yeun on his Parents. Interview with Ellen DeGeneres. YouTube. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Arroyve, Luis (November 21, 2010). "Steven Yeun makes jump from Second City to AMC's 'Walking Dead'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Liberty, John (October 30, 2010). "College grad vs. zombies: Michigan native stars in new AMC series 'The Walking Dead'". Kalamazoo Gazette. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ Murphy, Kate (October 27, 2012). "Steven Yeun". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Walking Dead Is First Cable Series to Beat Every Show of Fall Broadcast Season In Adult 18-49 Rating". AMC. December 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ Kissell, Rick (February 17, 2016). "Ratings: 'The Walking Dead' Down, Still Huge in Return; Small Tune-In for HBO's 'Vinyl'". Variety. Retrieved February 21, 2016. 
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 30, 2015). "'The Walking Dead' Season 5 Finale is Highest Rated Finale in Series History, Garnering 15.8 Million Viewers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Walking Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  12. ^ "The Walking Dead : Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Steven Yeun". The New Potato. February 7, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Photos: Steven Yeun Of 'The Walking Dead' Brings Flavor Of Detroit To K-Town". laist. February 26, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ "BUSTING OUT THE BIG BUNS: HANGING WITH BRIAN YEUN AND JAMES SEOK OF THE BUN SHOP". iamkoream. May 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ Steven Yeun Interview: His South Korean roots and getting into acting. Asians On Film. 2010-11-14. Event occurs at 50s. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 

External links[edit]