Won Bin

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Won Bin
Won Bin from acrofan.jpg
Won Bin at Olimpus Korea PEN E-PL2 launching press conference in Seoul, January 2011
Kim Do-jin

(1977-11-10) November 10, 1977 (age 43)
NationalitySouth Korean
Alma materYong-In UniversityDepartment of Film
Years active1997–2010
AgentEden 9
(m. 2015)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationWon Bin
McCune–ReischauerWŏn Pin
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGim Do-jin
McCune–ReischauerKim To-jin

Won Bin (born Kim Do-jin on November 10, 1977) is a South Korean actor. He first gained wide popularity in 2000 after starring in the KBS's television series Autumn in My Heart. One of the most selective actors in the Korean entertainment industry, he has starred in only five films to date, Guns & Talks, Taegukgi, My Brother, Mother and The Man from Nowhere. [6][7][8][9]

Early life[edit]

Won Bin was born and raised in Jeongseon County in Gangwon Province, South Korea. He is the fifth and youngest child, with one brother and three sisters. His father was formerly employed in a mine and his mother worked on a farm; both of his parents are now retired. As was common for other children living in mountainous regions, Won Bin spent most of his time playing around with friends in the mountains and rivers, and later explained: "I came back home most nights at sunset with a black and dusty face." He was frequently shy, introspective, and quiet, character traits that would continue to follow him throughout adulthood.[10] While not talkative or outgoing, he excelled at athletics. Won Bin started taekwondo lessons and now holds a black belt. As a young boy, he initially planned to become a car mechanic due to his interest in car racing and motorcycling. Won Bin graduated from a mechanical high school, where he studied car repair and mechanics.

In November 1995, a cable television station was looking to recruit and hire new actors; Won Bin applied and was accepted in his last semester of high school. He started to take acting classes at the station's headquarters and appeared in several dramas. The following month, Won Bin signed an acting contract with a talent agency.


Won Bin made his screen debut with a supporting role in the 1997 drama film Propose. His role in Ready Go! (1998) helped hone his acting chops. After Ready Go!, he took a break and entered a college called Paekche Institute of the Arts in 1998 to take acting classes. In 1999, Won Bin came back to the screen with a lead role in drama Kwangki from which he was recognized as a promising young actor and a teen heartthrob.

He made his big breakthrough in 2000 with drama Tough Guy's Love (Kkokji) and Autumn in My Heart. His role as a rebellious youngest son in Kkokji proved his acting potential and his role in the widely successful drama landed him on the A-list for Korean performers. Autumn in My Heart gained wide popularity in Asia and he became one of the most popular Korean actors in Korea and Asia as well. In 2002, Won Bin was involved in the first South Korea and Japan joint production drama Friends.

Won Bin also had roles in a number of popular films, including Guns & Talks and My Brother, but it is his portrayal of the sensitive younger brother in the blockbuster war film Taegukgi (2004) that cemented his international fame. With the success of the critically acclaimed Taegukgi, recognition of his acting skills has reached an ever-wider international audience. Taegukgi was the best selling film in South Korea in 2004 with 11.75 million admissions.

His career was interrupted by his mandatory service to the South Korean Army. After graduating from the Graduate School of Arts in Yong-In University in 2005, Won Bin started his military duty in November 2005 and stationed at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, a position for which he volunteered.[11][12] On June 2, 2006, the military officially confirmed that Won Bin would be no longer active.[13] The decision was made by the military when Won Bin sustained injury to his ACL. He had undergone surgery and was officially discharged on June 7, 2006.[14] After the surgery, he had gone through rehabilitation program for more than one year to recover from the injury.

Won Bin was appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador of the Korean Committee[15] on September 6, 2007. He has participated in various programs and charity events in Korea for UNICEF from that time on, and has appeared in several promotional videos.

In April 2008, Won Bin confirmed that his next film would be Mother directed by Bong Joon-ho. Filming started in September 2008 and finished in February 2009. The film was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. This was followed by the 2010 film The Man from Nowhere, his final film appearance to date.[16][17]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2013, news broke that Won Bin and actress Lee Na-young were in a relationship. The two came to know each other when Lee joined the same agency as Won Bin in August 2011. The pair started dating a year later in August 2012.[18] Won Bin married Lee on May 30, 2015 in a small, private ceremony in Won's hometown Jeongseon, Gangwon Province.[19][20][21][22] A press release from their agency Eden 9 in August 2015 announced that the couple were expecting their first child.[23][24]



Year English title Korean title Role
1998 Saturday, 2:00 Pm 토요일 오후 2시 Bae Dal-won
2001 Guns & Talks 킬러들의 수다 Ha-yun
2004 Taegukgi 태극기 휘날리며 Lee Jin-seok
My Brother 우리형 Jong-hyun
2009 Mother 마더 Do-joon
2010 The Man from Nowhere 아저씨 Cha Tae-sik

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Network
1997 Propose Hyun-woo KBS
1997-1998 Ready, Go! Han Seung-joo MBC
1999 Jump Won Bin (Cameo) MBC
1999-2000 Kwangki Kang Min KBS
2000 Drama City -Small Station Min-ho KBS
Tough Guy's Love (aka: Kkokji) Song Myung-tae KBS
Autumn in My Heart Han Tae-suk KBS
2002 Friends Kim Ji-hoon TBS & MBC


  • 2000: dream in HEAVEN photobook - 100 pages photo essays with photos taken in Bali, Indonesia and South Korea.
  • 2002: WWW-Wonbin Wide pinup Web photobook - 40 pages photo essays.
  • 2005: 28 Day 'n Year Won Bin Premium Box Set - DVD & photobook - 60-minute DVD and 144 pages of photos with sincere essays written by Won Bin revolving around his private life and his photo session trip to South Korea, Czech Republic, and Japan as well as collector's gifts.
  • 2006: BINUS DVD - To show his gratitude to his fans for their years of support, Won Bin has recorded this candid, personal DVD (60 minutes) to be shared just between him and us, the fans - hence the title BINUS (BINUS is the name of his official fanclub), before fulfilling his mandatory military service. It includes revealing footage and private life, with Won Bin re-visiting many places in his hometown to share with his fans his background and childhood memories.
  • 2006: Dear Wonbin photobook - Designed like a diary book, with drawings by Won Bin.
  • 2010: I Love You Private DVD & Photobook - 105-minute DVD and photobook, filmed in Ireland

Charity works[edit]

As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Won Bin has participated in various programs and charity events.

  • 2007.09.06 - Appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
  • 2007.10.03 - Attended the International Peace Marathon Festival in Seoul to raise fund for UNICEF.
  • 2007.11.26 - Attended a charity fashion show to raise fund for UNICEF.
  • 2008.02.28 - Attended the "Clean meals, Happy sharing" campaign sponsored by UNICEF and Hanwha Resort.[25]
  • 2008.06.24 - Promoting the Awoo Doll campaign.
  • 2008.08.20 - Raised fund through photo project with Louis Vuitton and GQ Korea.[26]
  • 2008.11.27 - Promoting UNICEF Jumper to raise fund.
  • 2008.12.22 - Visited an orphanage in Seoul and presented the children there with Christmas gifts.
  • 2009.04.04-13 - Visited Gambia for UNICEF, visited relief center, hospital and schools.
  • 2010.09.12-17 - Visited East Timor for UNICEF. watched over the vaccinations and educational work being done on site by UNICEF.

In popular culture[edit]

Many entertainers in South Korea see Won Bin as one of the best examples of a good looking man.

He was mentioned in the lyrics of Ladies' Code's single Kiss Kiss, composed by Super Changddai. The lyrics said, "난 오늘밤 꿈에서 난 원빈 오빠가 나타나 줄 텐데" (Tonight, in my dreams, Won Bin oppa will appear).[27] Members of the South Korean boy group iKON had also mentioned him on several of their songs. Bobby said in the lyrics of his rap verse on Masta Wu's single Come Here, "실력이 외모면 난 방탄 유리 앞에 원빈." (If skill equals to looks, I'm Won Bin in front of a bulletproof glass.)[28] Won Bin's character in The Man from Nowhere was referenced by Krystal Jung in the 2013 drama The Heirs, as well as by iKON's B.I in the lyrics of his song with co-member Bobby, Anthem wherein he said, "날고 기어도 다 씹어 먹어줄게 Call me 아저씨." (We'll chew you up like raw meat, call me ahjusshi.)[29] In the 2015 Korean drama Kill Me, Heal Me, the character of Park Seo-joon, Oh Ri-on, told Secretary Ahn that the elusive Writer Omega's looks were rumored to be "on the Won Bin level."

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1999 13th KBS Drama Awards Best New Actor
Ad Madness
2000 14th KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor
Tough Guy's Love
Autumn in My Heart
2001 37th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Autumn in My Heart Won
22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actor Guns & Talks Nominated
2002 1st Korean Film Awards Best New Actor Nominated
2004 12th Chunsa Film Art Awards[30] Best New Actor Taegukgi Won
27th Golden Cinematography Awards Best New Actor Won
3rd Korean Film Awards Best Actor My Brother Nominated
46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (Film) Mother Nominated
4th Asian Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
47th Grand Bell Awards [31] Best Actor The Man from Nowhere Won
Popularity Award Won
8th Korean Film Awards [32] Best Actor Won
31st Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Nominated
Popularity Award Won
6th University Film Festival of Korea Best Actor Won
19th Buil Film Awards Best Actor Nominated
Cine 21 Awards Best Actor Won
2011 47th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (Film) Nominated
2nd Film Journalists Association Annual Film Awards Best Actor Won
8th Max Movie Awards Best Actor Won
11th Korea World Youth Film Festival Favorite Actor Won
48th Grand Bell Awards [33] Popularity Award Won

Other awards/honors[edit]

Magazine/media recognition[edit]

  • 2000: Best Dresser of the year
  • 2002: Voted as the "April 2002 Most Beautiful Man" by MostBeautifulMan.com. The first Asian celebrity to win in this monthly poll. [34]
  • 2005: Voted #1 "Favorite Asian Star" (2005) in the readers' survey by Japanese magazine "CanCam".
  • 2005: Voted #1 "Favorite Asian Star" (2005) in the readers' survey by Japanese magazine "an.an".[35]
  • 2006: Voted #1 "Favorite Asian Star" (2006) in the readers' survey by Japanese magazine "an.an".
  • 2007: Voted #1 "Favorite Asian Star" (2007) in the readers' survey by Japanese magazine "an.an".


  1. ^ (in Korean) Won Bin's official website - Profile page
  2. ^ (in Korean) Naver - Person Profile "Won Bin"
  3. ^ (in Korean) Nate - Person Profile "Won Bin"
  4. ^ (in Korean) Cine21 - Person Profile "Won Bin"
  5. ^ (in Korean) Maxmovie - Person Profile "Won Bin"
  6. ^ Kang, Myoung-Seok (30 September 2009). "10LINE: Won Bin". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  7. ^ Kang, Myoung-Seok (4 August 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Won Bin - Part 1". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  8. ^ Kang, Myoung-Seok (4 August 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Won Bin - Part 2". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  9. ^ Kang, Myoung-Seok (4 August 2010). "INTERVIEW: Actor Won Bin - Part 3". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Won Bin - A story behind the success". Sports Seoul, Sep, 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  11. ^ "Won Bin heads for frontline army post". Xinhua News Agency, Jan 10, 2006. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  12. ^ "Actor Won Bin Reports for DMZ Duty". Dong-a Ilbo, Feb 11, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  13. ^ "Star Discharged After Brief Stint With Frontline Unit". The Chosun Ilbo, Jun 2, 2006. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  14. ^ "Injured Star Discharged from Military Service". The Chosun Ilbo, Jun 7, 2006. Archived from the original on October 22, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  15. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (31 August 2012). "Korean Unicef chooses Kim Hye-soo". Joongang Daily. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  16. ^ Kim, Lyn (6 October 2009). "Won Bin hops onto summer action film". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  17. ^ Kim, Lynn (8 July 2010). "Won Bin speaks with action in new film The Man From Nowhere". 10 Asia. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  18. ^ "[Breaking] Won Bin and Lee Na Young Reportedly Dating". Scoompi. 2 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Won Bin, Lee Na-young Tie Knot in Wheat Fields". The Chosun Ilbo. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Won Bin's Quiet Countryside Wedding Strikes Chord". The Chosun Ilbo. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Top stars Won Bin and Lee Na-young tie knot". The Korea Times. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Actor Won Bin ties knot with actress Lee Na-young". The Korea Herald. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Star couple Won Bin and Lee Na-young to become parents". The Korea Times. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Lee Na-young Pregnant 2 Months After Wedding". The Chosun Ilbo. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Won Bin participated in UNICEF campaign (Chinese news)". Tom.com report, Feb 29, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  26. ^ "Won Bin Joins Vuitton, GQ in Charity Project". Hancinema, Aug 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  27. ^ "KISS KISS". MelOn. LOEN Entertainment. Retrieved September 7, 2014.
  28. ^ "이리와봐 (Feat. Dok2, BOBBY)". m.app.melon.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  29. ^ "이리오너라 (B.I&BOBBY)". m.app.melon.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  30. ^ "When I Turned Nine unexpected winner of Chunsa Film Art Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. 25 November 2004.
  31. ^ Soo-Mi, Park (2010-10-31). "'Poetry' rings Korea's Grand Bell with Multiple Wins". The Hollywood Reporter, Oct 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  32. ^ "The Man From Nowhere sweeps Korea Film Awards". 10Asia, Nov 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  33. ^ "48th Grand Bell Awards Highlight Year's Best". Chosun Ilbo. 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  34. ^ "April 2002 Most Beautiful Man - Won Bin". MostBeautifulMan.com, April 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  35. ^ "Won Bin voted favorite Asian star". Xinhua News Agency, Apr 18, 2005. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2009-08-01.

External links[edit]