Steven Yeun

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Steven Yeun
Steven Yeun 2016.jpg
Yeun at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2016
Born Yeun Sang-yeop[1]
(1983-12-21) December 21, 1983 (age 34)
Seoul, South Korea
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
South Korean
Alma mater Kalamazoo College
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 2005–present
Spouse(s) Joana Pak (m. 2016)
Children 1
Korean name
Revised Romanization Yeon Sang-yeop
McCune–Reischauer Yǒn Sangyǒp

Steven Yeun /jʌn/ (Korean: 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop, December 21, 1983) is a Korean-American actor. He is known for his role as Glenn Rhee on AMC's horror drama television series The Walking Dead. Yeun has also appeared in many 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 Jun 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] Yeun's parents began calling him "Steven" after meeting a doctor in America by that name.[8] His parents owned beauty-supply stores in Detroit.[2]

Yeun received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience[2] from Kalamazoo College in 2005.[6] 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]

Yeun 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] He 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 was Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead, an AMC television horror drama based on the comic book series of the same name. The series began in 2010 with Glenn as one of the original and main characters who, along with his friends, is forced to relentlessly fight evil just to survive in a violent, apocalyptic world infested with flesh-eating walkers and the few surviving humans, some of whom are even more diabolical and dangerous than the walkers themselves. The drama is the highest rated series in cable television history, with its third through sixth season garnering the most 18 to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series.[9][10][11] The series has received mostly positive reviews from professional television critics.[12][13] Yeun left the show in 2016 after his character Glenn was killed off in the season 7 premiere.

Voice work[edit]

Yeun has also voice acted in both animated series and films. Some of these roles include Avatar Wan in season 2 of The Legend of Korra, Keith in Voltron: Legendary Defender, Steve Palchuk in Trollhunters, and Nathan Park / Wingspan in Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, the latter three of which are still active roles. Yeun also provided the voice of Bo in The Star.

It was later revealed that Yeun's role as Steve Palchuk will be extended into the second series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, 3 Below, to be released in 2018.[14]

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.[15][16][17]

He married photographer Joana Pak on December 3, 2016;[18] they have a son together,[19][20][21]named Jude Malcolm Yeun.



Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Kari Files Chip Short film
My Name Is Jerry Chaz
2010 Carpe Millennium Kevin Short film
Blowout Sale Customer Short film
2014 I Origins Kenny
2015 Like a French Film Steve
2017 Mayhem Derek Cho
Okja K
The Star Bo (voice)
Chew Tony Chu (voice) Post-production
2018 Sorry to Bother You
Burning Ben 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"
Warehouse 13 Gibson Rice Episode: "Don't Hate the Player"
2012 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Ricky Meeker Episode: "16 Hop Street"
Harder Than it Looks Steven Episode: "Lockdown"
2013 The Legend of Korra Avatar Wan (voice) 3 episodes
Filthy Preppy Teen$ Martin Pilot
2014 Drunk History Daniel Inouye Episode: "Hawaii"
American Dad! Charles (voice) Episode: "Blagsnarst, a Love Story"
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) 34 episodes
Trollhunters Steve Palchuk (voice) 25 episodes; first series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy
2017–present Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Nathan Park / Wingspan (voice) 13 episodes
2017 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Eric Episode: "Disaster Drills"
Robot Chicken Glenn Rhee, Glenn and Maggie's baby (voice) Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking"
2018 Final Space
3 Below Steve Palchuk (voice) Second series of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy

Music videos[edit]

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

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Crysis North Korean soldier 2 (voice)
2008 Crysis Warhead North Korean soldier 2 (voice)
2017 DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles Keith (voice)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2011 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television The Walking Dead Nominated [22]
2012 Satellite Awards Best Ensemble, Television Won [23]
2017 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Best Actor Mayhem Won [24]


  1. ^ Steven Yeun: 6 Things You Didn’t Know About the Walking Dead Star Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Yuen, Steven (May 13, 2011). "On the Road With Steven Yeun". Interview Magazine (Interview). Interview with Oliver Singer. 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). Interview with Ellen DeGeneres. 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 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. ^ Peters, Megan (October 28, 2016). "Steven Yeun Says Conan Has Been Mispronouncing His Name For Years". Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "The Walking Dead". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  13. ^ "The Walking Dead : Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  14. ^ "'Trollhunters': Marc Guggenheim on Season 2 Surprises & the Future of 'Tales of Arcadia'". December 15, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Steven Yeun". The New Potato. February 7, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Photos: Steven Yeun Of 'The Walking Dead' Brings Flavor Of Detroit To K-Town". laist. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ "BUSTING OUT THE BIG BUNS: HANGING WITH BRIAN YEUN AND JAMES SEOK OF THE BUN SHOP". iamkoream. May 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun Marries Girlfriend Joana Pak". December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  19. ^ Bacardi, F.; Passalaqua, H. (2017). "Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child". E! Online. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  20. ^ Quinn, D. "Walking Dead Alum Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Welcome First Child — a Boy!". Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  21. ^ Ailllo, M.; Passalaqua, H. "The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun and Wife Joana Pak Named Their Baby Boy.." E! News. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  22. ^ "'Inception,' 'Walking Dead' Top Saturn Awards Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "Satellite Awards Nominates 10 Films for Best Motion Picture". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  24. ^ "Steven Yeun Wins Best Actor at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2017 for Best Actor in Mayhem". Joe Lynch Instagram. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 

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