Sung Yu-ri

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Sung Yu-ri
Sung Yu-ri on December 17, 2012 (cropped).jpg
Sung Yu-ri in 2012.
Born (1981-03-03) March 3, 1981 (age 37)
Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Nationality South Korean
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1998–present
Ahn Sung-hyun (m. 2017)
Korean name
Hangul 성유리
Revised Romanization Seong Yu-ri
McCune–Reischauer Sŏng Yuri
Sung Yu-ri in 2013.

Sung Yu-ri (born March 3, 1981) is a German-born South Korean actress and singer. She made her entertainment debut in 1998 as a member of the now-defunct K-pop group Fin.K.L. Sung turned to acting in 2002, starring in television dramas such as Thousand Years of Love (2003), The Snow Queen (2006), Hong Gil-dong (2008), and Feast of the Gods (2010).

Early life[edit]

Sung Yu-ri was born in 1981 in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg (in then-West Germany). Her father Sung Jong-hyun, a prominent professor of theology at the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary, was studying at the time in West Germany. Sung's family returned to South Korea when she was four years old and she grew up in Gangdong District, Seoul. She attended Myung Elementary and Middle School, Kwang Nam High School and graduated from Kyung Hee University with Post Modern Music Major in 2005.


When Sung was a high school student, she began her entertainment career in 1998 as the youngest member of the four-member K-pop girl group Fin.K.L (which stood for "Fine Killing Liberty"), one of the very first Korean idol groups.[1] Fin.K.L quickly rose in popularity, releasing four albums (Blue Rain (1998), White (1999), Now (2001), Eternity (2002)), and various singles, live concert albums and compilation albums. But after the release of their fourth album, Sung and fellow band members Ock Joo-hyun, Lee Hyori and Lee Jin began doing solo activities.[2]

Sung made her acting debut in 2002 with Bad Girls, and a year later was cast in her first leading role in Thousand Years of Love (2003). Sung learned horseback riding and martial arts in her role as a Baekje princess who time travels to modern-day Korea.[3] This was followed by the romantic comedy First Love of a Royal Prince (2004), partly shot in Japan and Bali, in which Sung's fun-loving sandwich shop delivery girl was a departure from her previous feminine characters.[4] During this time, she was harshly criticized for her acting.[5][6][7]

Sung graduated from Kyung Hee University in February 2005 with a degree in Theater and Film; she also received an Achievement Award for promoting her alma mater.[8] After a brief return to music via Fin.K.L's digital single Corealism in late 2005, she decided to focus solely on her acting career. In line with this, all the Fin.K.L members left their agency DSP Entertainment, and Sung joined SidusHQ in June 2005. In 2006, she starred in One Fine Day and The Snow Queen, playing, respectively, an orphan adopted by a wealthy but suffocating family, and a cold-hearted heiress with an incurable disease.

But it was fusion-period dramedy Hong Gil-dong in 2008 that changed how the industry perceived Sung as an actress. The series' screenwriters, the Hong sisters were initially criticized for casting her, but they defended Sung, and her portrayal of a tomboyish, vanity-free outlaw drew a positive reception from audiences.[9]

Sung then played an aspiring show director who joins the Cirque du Soleil in Swallow the Sun, a 2009 big-budget action-romance series with overseas location shoots in Las Vegas and South Africa.[10] That same year, she also appeared in her first big-screen starring role as a Korean-American adoptee who returns to her native country to search for her biological mother in Maybe (titled Rabbit and Lizard in Korean).[6][11][12][13][14]

In 2011, Sung left SidusHQ and transferred to King Kong Entertainment.[15][16] She then starred in Romance Town, in the role of a maid who wins ₩14 billion in the lottery and keeps it a secret from her boss and fellow household help.[17][18][19] A more traditional melodrama followed with Feast of the Gods (2012), about two rival female chefs of Korean royal court cuisine.[7][20][21][22][23] Afterwards, Sung reunited onscreen with previous Hong Gil-dong co-star Kang Ji-hwan in the action-comedy film Runway Cop, which revolves around a detective who goes undercover as a fashion model for a drug case.[24][25][26][27]

In 2013, she played a genius with psychogenic amnesia in The Secret of Birth.[28][29] The low-budget indie A Boy's Sister was then released, in which Sung played the titular character who's grieving after her brother's death.[30][31] Later that year, she replaced Han Hye-jin as one of the hosts of talk show Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy.[32][33]

When Sung's contract with King Kong Entertainment expired in January 2014, she signed with Fantagio.[34] She then appeared for free in the short film Chorogi and the Stalker Guy which screened at 6th Seoul International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival (SESIFF).[35] Sung next played a diva actress who unexpectedly falls for her loyal manager in the 2015 omnibus Summer Snow.[36][37]

On 20 April 2015, Sung signed an exclusive contract with SL Entertainment.[38] She next starred in the revenge melodrama Monster.[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

Sung married golfer Ahn Sung-hyun in May 2017 in a low-key private ceremony. They had been dating for four years and did not publicly announce their marriage until after the ceremony.[41][42]


Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
2002 Bad Girls Han Yeol-mae SBS
My Platoon Leader Lee Kang-hyun MBC
2003 Thousand Years of Love Princess Buyeo Ju SBS
Naebang Naebang Lee Yoo-jung SayClub
2004 First Love of a Royal Prince Kim Yu-bin MBC
2006 One Fine Day Seo Ha-neul/Park Hae-won MBC
The Snow Queen Kim Bo-ra KBS2
2008 Hong Gil-dong Heo Yi-nok KBS2
2009 Swallow the Sun Lee Soo-hyun SBS
2011 Romance Town Noh Soon-geum KBS2
2012 Feast of the Gods Go Joon-young MBC
2013 The Secret of Birth Jung Yi-hyun SBS
2016 Monster Oh Soo-yeon/Cha Jeong-eun MBC
2018 Empress' Dignity Min Yu-ra SBS


Year Title Role
2002 Emergency Act 19 Fin.K.L (bit part)
2004 How to Keep My Love TV host (cameo)
2009 Maybe (Rabbit and Lizard) May Smith/Won-sun
2012 Runway Cop Ko Young-jae
2013 A Boy's Sister Yoon-hee
2014 Chorogi and the Stalker Guy (short film) Soo-bin's mother
The Disciple John Oak Documentary narrator
2015 Summer Snow Seo-jung

Variety/radio show[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2002-2003 Section TV Entertainment MBC Host
2010 Wanderers of Kalahari,
Meerkat and Bushmen
Documentary narrator
2011 Launch My Life:
Sung Yu-ri's Bucket List
Sweet Night with Yang Jung-a[45] SBS Love FM Guest DJ
2013-2015 Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy SBS Host

Video game appearances[edit]

Sung Yu-ri is a playable character in the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (only in the South Korean PC version).



Solo artist[edit]

Album information Track listing
연인선언 (Lover's Declaration)
Track listing
  1. 연인선언 (Lover's Declaration)
  2. 연인선언 (Lover's Declaration) (Inst.)
한 사람 (One Person)[46]
  • Artist: Sung Yu-ri
  • Single
  • Released: 20 November 2011
  • Label: CJ E&M
Track listing
  1. Forever
  2. 한 사람 (One Person)
  3. 한 사람 (One Person) (Inst.)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2002 MBC Entertainment Awards Best New MC Section TV Entertainment Won
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Bad Girls Won
2003 SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Thousand Years of Love Won
Netizen Popularity Award Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2004 2nd Andre Kim Best Star Awards Acting Award N/A Won
2006 MBC Drama Awards Special Award, Actress in a Miniseries One Fine Day Won
KBS Drama Awards Popularity Award, Actress[47] The Snow Queen Won
Best Couple Award with Hyun Bin[47] Won
2007 3rd Andre Kim Best Star Awards Female Star Award[48] N/A Won
1st Mnet 20's Choice Awards Natural Beauty Award N/A Won
2008 44th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV)[49] Hong Gil-dong Won
2nd Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
Popularity Award, Actress Won
Best Couple Award with Kang Ji-hwan Won
2011 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama Romance Town Nominated
2012 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama Feast of the Gods Won
2013 SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Award, MC category Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries[50] The Secret of Birth Won
2014 SBS Entertainment Awards Producer's Award Healing Camp, Aren't You Happy Won


  1. ^ "Fin.K.L reunites on stage with support of ecstatic fans". The Korea Times. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  2. ^ "Fin.K.L. Reunites After Two Years". The Chosun Ilbo. 19 March 2004. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  3. ^ Lee, Seung-jae (18 March 2003). "Romantic Fantasy Transcending Time". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  4. ^ Cho, Katherine (29 April 2004). "Seong Yuri Stars in MBC's First Love of the Prince Royal". The Dong-a Ilbo. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  5. ^ "Singers-Turned-Actors: the Best and the Worst". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  6. ^ a b Lee, Hyo-won (5 October 2009). "Sung Yu-ri Makes Movie Debut Opposite Jang Hyuk". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  7. ^ a b Choi, Eun-hwa (2 March 2012). "How Sung Yuri Became a True Actress". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  8. ^ Kim, Hyeon-rok (15 February 2005). 성유리·옥주현·공유.. "우리는 경희대 졸업동기" [Sung Yu-ri, Ock Joo-hyun, Gong Yoo graduate together from Kyung Hee University]. Star News (in Korean). Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  9. ^ Kwon, Mee-yoo (1 January 2008). "Epic Dramas Continues to Boom This Year". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  10. ^ Han, Sang-hee (7 July 2009). "Swallow the Sun to Capture Love, Revenge". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  11. ^ "Sung Yu-ri Makes Big-Screen Debut". The Chosun Ilbo. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  12. ^ "Jang Hyuk praises big screen newcomer Sung Yu-ri". 10Asia. 5 October 2009. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  13. ^ "Maybe set out to mend hearts". 10Asia. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  14. ^ "Screening held for Sung Yu-ri's debut movie". Korea JoongAng Daily. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  15. ^ "Sung Yu-ri". King Kong Entertainment (in Korean). Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  16. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (4 January 2013). "Sung Yuri Renews Contract with King Kong Entertainment". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  17. ^ "Sung Yu-ri to make comeback to small screen". 10Asia. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  18. ^ "Sung Yoo Ri: 'I Have Won 10,000 won Lottery'". KBS Global. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  19. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (12 May 2012). "Romance Town actors help launch drama DVD in Japan". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  20. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (12 December 2011). "Yuri announces return to small screen". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  21. ^ "Sung Yu-ri decides on new TV series". 10Asia. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  22. ^ "Preview: MBC TV series Supper of the Gods (tentative title)". 10Asia. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  23. ^ Park, Hyun-min (1 February 2012). "Sung Yuri Reveals Her Attachment to Acting". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  24. ^ "Kang Ji-hwan, Sung Yu-ri cast as leads in new movie". 10asia. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  25. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (31 May 2012). "Sung Yuri Wants Detective Cha to be No. 1". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  26. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (9 June 2012). "Interview: Sung Yuri Says Her Kiss with Kang Ji Hwan was Passionate". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  27. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (11 June 2012). "Interview: Sung Yuri's Stance on Nude Scenes". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  28. ^ Jeon, Su-mi (14 March 2013). "Sung Yuri to Star in Upcoming SBS Drama The Secret of Birth". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  29. ^ Lee, Sun-min (25 April 2013). "Sung Yu-ri isn't worried about her Fin.K.L past in upcoming SBS drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  30. ^ Lee, Claire (21 December 2012). "Sung returns as grieving sister". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  31. ^ Lee, Sun-min (24 June 2013). "A Boy's Sister earns festival invite". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  32. ^ Lee, Sun-min (31 July 2013). "Sung Yu-ri to host future Healing Camp episodes". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2014-11-11.
  33. ^ Lee, Sun-min (16 August 2013). "Sung happy about TV debut". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  34. ^ "Sung Yuri to Join Ha Jung Woo and Yeom Jung Ah's Agency". Soompi. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  35. ^ Kim, Erika (30 July 2014). "Sung Yuri and Jung Gyu Woon to Participate in Amateur Short Film Project". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  36. ^ Won, Ho-jung (3 November 2015). "Herald Interview: Sung Yu-ri finds comfort on camera". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  37. ^ Jung, Hyun-mok (3 November 2015). "Actress Sung shows her sexy side in new film". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  38. ^ "Sung Yu-ri signs new agency". Kpop Herald. 20 April 2015.
  39. ^ "Kang Ji-hwan, Sung Yu-ri to star in drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 5 February 2016.
  40. ^ "Sung Yu-ri to play job seeker". Kpop Herald. 1 March 2016.
  41. ^ "Fin.K.L member reveals marriage". Korea JoongAng Daily. 17 May 2017.
  42. ^ "Actress Sung Yu-ri Ties the Knot with Pro Golfer". The Chosun Ilbo. 17 May 2017.
  43. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (7 November 2011). "Sung Yuri is a Fashion Editor for a Day". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  44. ^ Lee, In-kyung (12 November 2011). "Will Sung Yuri Find Romance?". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  45. ^ Choe, Min-ji. "Fin.K.L.'s Sung Yuri and Lee Jin Reunite As DJs". enewsWorld. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  46. ^ Lee, Kyung-nam (18 November 2011). "Sung Yuri to Release Solo Single". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  47. ^ a b "2006 KBS Drama Awards". KBS (in Korean).
  48. ^ "Top Stars Win Andre Kim Award". The Korea Times. 1 May 2007.
  49. ^ "The 44th PaekSang Arts Awards Sparkles with Stars". KBS World. 24 April 2008.
  50. ^ Cory Lee (2 January 2014). "Lee Bo-young Grabs 1st Top Prize at the 2013 SBS Drama Awards". TenAsia. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-20.

External links[edit]