Uhm Jung-hwa

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Uhm Jung-hwa
131123 엄정화.jpg
Uhm at the 2013 Blue Dragon Awards
Background information
Born (1969-08-17) August 17, 1969 (age 50)
Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea
  • Actress
  • dancer
  • singer
  • lingerie designer
Years active1993–present
Korean name
Revised RomanizationEom Jeong-hwa
McCune–ReischauerŎm Chŏnghwa

Uhm Jung-hwa (Korean엄정화; born August 17, 1969) is a South Korean actress, singer, dancer and lingerie designer. Uhm began her career as a chorus member of MBC, one of the three major South Korean broadcasting companies, from 1987 until 1990. She made her film debut in the 1992 film Marriage Story, and released her first studio album, Sorrowful Secret, the same year.

Nicknamed the "evergreen", Uhm is considered to be one of the most influential women in the Korean entertainment industry, with many Korean female artists recognizing her as a role model.[1]


Early life[edit]

Uhm was born in Jecheon, North Chungcheong, South Korea. She is the second child of Yoo Gyeong-sook and Uhm Jin-ok, a music teacher who died in a motorcycle accident when she was six. Her younger and only brother Uhm Tae-woong is an actor. Following her father's death, her family struggled financially.[2]

Music career[edit]


Uhm Jung-hwa officially debuted as a singer in 1993 with her first studio album Sorrowful Secret. By the mid-90s she established herself as one of the top Korean female singers and entertainers, with a series of hit singles: "Sad Expectation" (Korean슬픈 기대; RRSeulpeun Gidae), "A Love Only Heaven Permits" (Korean하늘만 허락한 사랑; RRHaneulman Heorakan Sarang), "Rose of Betrayal" (Korean배반의 장미; RRBaeban-ui Jangmi), and "Tell Me" (Korean말해 줘; RRMalhae Jwo).

Uhm's fourth studio album, Invitation, introduced a new mature side of the singer. The music video for its title track caused a lot of controversy due to its suggestive nature. Invitation quickly became one of the highest selling albums of the year and received positive reviews from critics and fans.

She released two of her most recognizable singles of her career, "Poison" and "Invitation" (Korean초대; RRChodae). She remained successful the following year, in 1999, with her fifth studio album 005.1999.06


During the 2000s, Uhm began to focus more on her acting career and committed herself to taking a variety of acting roles. She also began to pursue and experiment with different musical genres, in particular electronica. In 2004, she released her double album Self Control, which featured songs composed by Jung Jae-hyung, Fractal and Roller Coaster. Music critics praised Uhm for her ability to reinvent her image and sound.

After a two-year break from the music scene, she released her ninth studio album Prestige. Throughout the year she released two singles, "Come 2 Me" and "Song of the Wind" (Korean바람의 노래; RRBaram-ui Norae), each enjoyed positive critical reception. In early 2007, she won a Korean Music Award for Best Electronic Dance Record.

In the summer of 2008, she released her first EP titled D.I.S.C.O with help from her longtime friend Yang Hyun-suk of YG Entertainment. The lead single "D.I.S.C.O" featured T.O.P, a member from the popular boy band Big Bang. The EP was one of the best-selling albums by a female artist in 2008, and was further promoted by the digital single "D.I.S.C.O Part 2" which was a remix version of "D.I.S.C.O" and featured G-Dragon, the leader of Big Bang.

After an eight-year-long hiatus Uhm announced that she would be releasing her first new album since D.I.S.C.O in 2008, the album title would be The Cloud Dream of the Nine. She revealed that she would be releasing the album in two parts, the first part would be released on December 27, 2017, and the second part at a later date. Uhm performed the title tracks "Watch Me Move" and "Dreamer" on Gayo Daejeon along with "D.I.S.C.O", she would also perform the two tracks on MCountdown on the January 5. One year after the release of Part 1, Uhm revealed through her Instagram account that she was in the preparation stage of her comeback with part 2 of The Cloud Dream of the Nine.

Acting career[edit]

Uhm has established herself as one of South Korea's top actresses. She is known for her roles in the films Marriage Is a Crazy Thing, Singles, Princess Aurora, Dancing Queen, Seducing Mr. Perfect and Haeundae, which became one of the highest-grossing movies in Korea. She has won two Baeksang Arts Awards for Best Actress, in 2002 for Marriage is a Crazy Thing and again in 2012 for Dancing Queen.

Fashion line[edit]

Uhm launched her new clothing and lingerie line, "Corner Suite" and "ZHUM in New York", which made $10M USD within three months of its release. "Corner Suite" became an instant hit when the line debuted on online markets. The line immediately sold out. Future plans include putting her line of clothes on more home shopping channels, as the demand for it is great.[3]


Uhm was diagnosed with thyroid cancer but fully recovered after surgery in May 2010.[4] Uhm said she felt a little afraid leading up to the surgery, but rather than being discouraged by the pain she was experiencing, she made up her mind to dedicate herself to helping others by inspiring them. "I want to use my talent and influence in a meaningful way," she said.[5]




Year Title Role
1992 Marriage Story Disc Jockey
1993 On a Windy Day We Must Go to Apgujeong
1994 Blue Seagull Joshua (voice)
How to Top My Wife Manula jugigi
2002 Marriage Is a Crazy Thing Yeon-hee
2003 Singles Dong-mi
2004 Mr. Hong Yoon Hye-Jin
2005 All for Love Hur Yu-jung
Princess Aurora Jung Soon-jung
2006 For Horowitz Kim Ji-soo
Seducing Mr. Perfect Min-june
2007 Love Now Seo Yu-na
2009 Insadong Scandal Bae Tae-jin
Haeundae Yoo-jin
Five Senses of Eros Lee Jung-ha
2010 Bestseller Baek Hee-soo
2011 Mama Dong-sook
2012 Dancing Queen Herself
2013 In My End Is My Beginning Lee Jung-ha
Montage Ha-kyung
2014 Venus Talk Jung Shin-hye
2015 Wonderful Nightmare Lee Yeon-woo
2019 Okay Madam! (literal title) Mi Yong

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role
1990 Sarang
1992 The Wild
1993 Good Morning Youngdong
1994 The rich people also cry
Close One Eye
Mystery Melodrama
1995 Human Theater
Angel Inside the Mask
Remember to Love
1996 Intimacy Between Father and Son
1997 Park Bit-na
Beautiful Sin Areumdawoon Joe
2003 Wife Ahnae
2004 Tropical Nights in December
2007 Get Karl! Oh Soo-jung' Oh Soo-jung
2009 He Who Can't Marry Jang Moon-jung
2014 A Witch's Love Ban Ji-yeon
2017 You Are Too Much Yoo Ji-na / Kim Hye-jung

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
1993 17th Golden Scene Award Best Supporting Actress On a Windy Day We Must Go to Apgujeong Won
1995 16th Blue Dragon Film Awards How to Top My Wife Nominated
2000 SBS Gayo Daejeon Main Prize N/A Won
2001 MBC Gayo Daejejeon 30 years Old and Above Award N/A Won
KBS Song Festival Main Prize N/A Won
SBS Gayo Daejeon N/A Won
2003 39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Marriage Is a Crazy Thing Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Wife Won
2004 27th Golden Cinematography Award Special Award Mr. Handy Won
2006 27th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress For Horowitz Nominated
44th Grand Bell Awards Nominated
5th Korean Film Awards Nominated
7th Busan Film Critics Awards Princess Aurora Won
42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Nominated
Donga TV Fashion Beauty Award Fashion Icon N/A Won
2007 Gala Dinner Party sponsored by FKCCI Friendship Award N/A Won
2009 46th Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actress Tidal Wave Nominated
2010 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress Bestseller Won
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Dancing Queen Won
49th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated
33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
2013 50th Grand Bell Awards Montage Won
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
21st Korean Culture Entertainment Awards Won
Korean Film Actors Association Popular Film Star Award Won
2014 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress Montage Nominated
2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards Wonderful Nightmare Nominated
2017 MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) You Are Too Much Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Weekend Drama Nominated

Mnet Asian Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Work Result
1999 Best Female Solo "I Don't Know"
Best Dance Performance Nominated
2000 Best Female Artist "Cross"[8] Nominated
2001 "Crack" (틈)[9] Nominated
2008 Best House & Electronic "Disco" ft. T.O.P[10] Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Best Music Video Nominated

Golden Disk Awards[edit]

Year Category Work Result
1998 Bonsang Award (Song Division) "Poison" Won
1999 "I Don't Know" Won
2000 "Escape" Won

Korean Music Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated Work Result
2007 Best Electronic Dance Album Prestige Won


  1. ^ "[섈위토크]엄정화, "후배들의 롤모델? 나는 여전히 현재진행형"". 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. ^ "엄정화, "엄마는 포차끌고 난 밀고" 시청자 감동". 2006-05-11.
  3. ^ "Uhm Jung Hwa - singer/actress - kpop". Jpopasia.com. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
  4. ^ "Uhm Jung Hwa Talks Battle Against Thyroid Cancer and Surgery". Soompi.com. 12 January 2012.
  5. ^ "'Dancing Queen' Uhm Returns to Screen After Thyroid Surgery". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 January 2012.
  6. ^ "1999 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 2014-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  7. ^ "1999 Video Music Award part 1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-23.
  8. ^ "2000 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 2014-06-13 at Archive.today. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  9. ^ "2001 MMF part 1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  10. ^ "2008 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1" Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-17.

External links[edit]