Yoo Ah-in

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Yoo Ah-in
Yoo Ah-In at BIFF Open Talk.jpg
In October 2015
Born Eom Hong-sik
(1986-10-06) October 6, 1986 (age 30)
Daegu, South Korea
Education Konkuk University
B.A in Film
Occupation Actor
Years active 2003–present
Agent United Artists Agency[1]
Korean name
Hangul 유아인
Revised Romanization Yu A-in
McCune–Reischauer Yu A-in
Birth name
Hangul 엄홍식
Revised Romanization Eom Hong-sik
McCune–Reischauer Om Hongsik

Yoo Ah-in (born Eom Hong-sik[2] on October 6, 1986) is a South Korean actor. He rose to fame in television series Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), and became best known for his leading roles in coming-of-age film Punch (2011), melodrama Secret Love Affair (2014), action blockbuster Veteran (2015), period drama The Throne (2015), and historical drama Six Flying Dragons (2015-2016). As of 2016, Yoo has three films, Punch, Veteran and The Throne, in the list of highest-grossing films in South Korea.

For his work in film and television, Yoo won Best Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Baeksang Arts Awards respectively. In 2016, he ranked 2nd in Korea Power Celebrity by Forbes.[3]


2003–2009: Beginnings[edit]

Eom Hong-sik was born in Daegu and dropped out of high school to pursue acting.[4] Using the stage name Yoo Ah-in, he made his acting debut in the teen series Sharp 1 in 2003. Various roles on film and television followed. Yoo portrayed a lost teenager in low-budget indie film Boys of Tomorrow, a lonely warrior in historical drama Chil-woo the Mighty, the energetic patisserie aspirant in comedy film Antique,[5] and a cheeky assistant in romantic comedy He Who Can't Marry.

2010–2013: Rising popularity[edit]

In October 2013

Yoo rise to fame eventually came in 2010 when he acted in fusion period drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Due to the drama's popularity, Yoo shot to stardom along with the rest of the young cast.[6][7][8]

This was followed by his first big-screen leading role in the coming-of-age film Punch, a critical and commercial hit in 2011.[9][10] His costar, veteran actor Kim Yoon-seok predicted that "In the next 10 years, he will be one of the biggest names in Korean cinema."[4]

However, Yoo's next project Fashion King was poorly received by audiences, particularly its controversial ending.[11][12]

Cast as King Sukjong in the 2013 period drama Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love, a revisionist take on infamous royal concubine Jang Hui-bin,[13] Yoo called the role one of the biggest challenges of his career and he garnered favorable press reviews for his mature, charismatic and versatile portrayal of the historical figure.[4]

He then played the titular character in the film Tough as Iron, about a Busan pier worker who takes care of his mother afflicted with dementia and kidney disease.[14] Yoo and Tough as Iron costar, Jung Yu-mi later collaborated again as voice actors in the animated film The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow.[15]

2014–present: Acclaim in film and television[edit]

In 2014, he appeared as a quirky supporting role in Lee Han's Thread of Lies (this was Lee's second film adaptation of a Kim Ryeo-ryeong novel after Punch). This was followed by a leading role in cable melodrama Secret Love Affair, in which Yoo played a piano prodigy who falls for a married, much older woman.[16]

In September 2015

In 2015, Yoo starred in two top-grossing films.[17] He played an amoral young millionaire who faces off with a detective in Ryoo Seung-wan's crime thriller/comedy Veteran,[18][19] and as the tragic Crown Prince Sado in Lee Joon-ik's period drama The Throne.[20] He received Best Actor awards at the 36th Blue Dragon Awards for The Throne[21] and at the 11th Max Movie Awards for Veteran.[22] The same year, he was named "Actor of the Year" in the 2015 Gallup Korea Survey[23] and ranked number two on Korea Power Celebrity by Forbes.[24]

Yoo was then cast in the historical drama Six Flying Dragons, reuniting with Fashion King co-star Shin Se-kyung.[25][26] Yoo's portrayal of an ambitious prince Yi Bang-won won him Best Actor in the TV Category at the Baeksang Arts Awards.[27] In 2016, he co-starred in romantic comedy Like for Likes.[28]

In 2017, Yoo starred in tvN's fantasy-romance drama Chicago Typewriter.[29]

In the media[edit]

Considered one of the most outspoken and politically minded Korean actors of his generation, Yoo drew media attention in late 2012 when he tweeted a strongly worded criticism against the withdrawal of Ahn Cheol-soo from the presidential race.[30][31] Yoo's unconventional image was strengthened by his willingness to make his social, artistic and philosophical interests public, and he is also the director of a "complex creative space" called Studio Concrete in Hannam-dong, Seoul, which he created with a group of seven artists of various media.[17]

Personal life[edit]

In 2017, it was revealed that Yoo is suffering from a bone tumor, which explains why he had been delaying his mandatory military service. United Artists Agency says that Yoo's symptoms were benign, which means that the non-cancerous tumor will have minimal effect on his everyday life and carries no risk of spreading.[32]


In July 2011


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Skeletons in the Closet Shim Yong-tae
Boys of Tomorrow Jeon Jong-dae
2008 Antique Yang Ki-beom
2009 Sky and Ocean Jin-goo
2011 Punch Do Wan-deuk
2013 Tough as Iron Gang Cheol
2014 The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow Ko Kyung-chun (voice) animated film
Thread of Lies Choo Sang-bak
2015 Veteran Jo Tae-oh
The Throne Crown Prince Sado
2016 Like for Likes Noh Jin-woo
CCRT Aerospace : Episode 1 Fragile : The Other Space[33] Man Short film
also Producer

Television series[edit]

In October 2015
Year Title Role Network Notes
2003 Honest Living Man #2 SBS bit part, episode 164
2004-2005 Sharp 1 Yoo Ah-in KBS2 57 episodes
2004 April Kiss 16-year-old Kang Jae-sup KBS2 1 episode
2005 Shi-eun & Soo-ha Lee Min-suk KBS2 Drama City episode
2008 Chil-woo the Mighty Heuksan / Kim Hyuk KBS2
2009 He Who Can't Marry Park Hyun-kyu KBS2
2010 Sungkyunkwan Scandal Moon Jae-shin KBS2
2012 Fashion King Kang Young-gul SBS
2013 Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love King Sukjong SBS
2014 Secret Love Affair Lee Sun-jae jTBC
Discovery of Love Woodworking class student KBS2 cameo, episode 16
2015-2016 Six Flying Dragons Yi Bang-won SBS
2016 Descendants of the Sun Bank teller Uhm Hong-sik KBS2 cameo, episode 13
2017 Chicago Typewriter Han Se-joo / Seo Hwi-young tvN

Variety shows[edit]

Year Title Network Notes
2005 Sponge KBS2 guest, episode 68
2007 Cinema Paradiso EBS1 guest, episode 659
2008 Trend Report FIL Mnet guest, Season 2 episode 52
Come to play MBC guest, episode 219
2009 Ya Shim Man Man Season 2 SBS guest, episode 25
2011 Yoo Ah-in's Launch My Life Mnet Fashion/business reality show
2013 Running Man SBS Guest, episode 164
2014 Wan-deuk who wants to Fly KBS1 Narrator, Documentary
2017 June Story KBS1 Narrator, Documentary
30th Anniversary of June Struggle

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Song Title Artist
2004 "Footprints" T.O
2012 "Only One"[34] BoA
2016 "ㅎㅎㅎ (Heung-bu)" Peggy Gould

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
Gonews Netizen Entertainment Awards
Best New Actor in Drama series Sharp 1 Nominated
College Student Choice Newcomer Awards
Best Newcomer, month of May Boys of Tomorrow Won
8th Busan Film Critics Awards
Best New Actor Won
3rd Pierson Youth Film Festival
28th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Skeletons in the Closet Nominated
11th Director's Cut Awards
Antique Won [35]
5th A-Awards
(Arena Homme + and Audi Korea)
Style Award N/A Won
24th KBS Drama Awards
Best New Actor Sungkyunkwan Scandal Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple with Song Joong-ki Won
5th Mnet 20's Choice Awards
Hot 20's Voice N/A Won
Hot Style Icon N/A Nominated
4th Style Icon Awards
Bonsang ("Main Award") N/A Won
3rd Korean Film Reporters Association Awards (KOFRA)
Discovery Award Punch Won
6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards
20's Male Movie Star Nominated [36]
20’s Style Star N/A Nominated
21st Buil Film Awards
Best Actor Punch Nominated
20th SBS Drama Awards
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Fashion King Nominated
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Best Couple with Shin Se-kyung Nominated
Korean Environmental & Community Awards
People Who Made the World Brighter
(Broadcasting/Entertainment category)
N/A Won
21st SBS Drama Awards
Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love Nominated [37]
Best Couple with Kim Tae-hee Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Actor (TV) Secret Love Affair Nominated [38]
7th Korea Drama Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Nominated
3rd Marie Claire Asia Star Awards
(20th Busan International Film Festival)
Asia Star of the Year Veteran Won [39]
15th Korea World Youth Film Festival
Favorite Actor Won
35th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
Best Actor Nominated
The Throne Nominated
52nd Grand Bell Awards
Veteran Nominated
The Throne Nominated
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Won [21]
Fashionista Awards
Best Male Fashionista in a Movie
(First Prize)
Veteran Won
10th A-Awards
(Arena Homme + and Mont Blanc Korea)
Style Award N/A Won
5th SACF Artists of the Year Awards
Artistic Impression in Motion Pictures Award Veteran, The Throne Won
21th Cine 21 Movie Awards
Best Actor Won
4th CFDK Awards
Fashion Icon Award N/A Won
The Korea Film Actors Association Awards
Top Star Award Veteran, The Throne Won [40]
23rd SBS Drama Awards
Grand Prize (Daesang) Six Flying Dragons Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Best Couple Award with Shin Se-kyung Won
Producer's Award Nominated
7th Korean Film Reporters Association Awards (KOFRA)
Best Actor The Throne Won [41]
11th Max Movie Awards
Veteran Won [22]
8th Style Icon Awards
Bonsang ("Main Award") N/A Won
10th Asian Film Awards
Next Generation Award Veteran, The Throne Won [42]
21st Chunsa Film Art Awards
Best Actor The Throne Won [43]
36th Golden Cinematography Awards
Veteran Won [44]
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards
Best Actor (Film) The Throne Nominated [45]
Best Actor (TV) Six Flying Dragons Won
11th Seoul International Drama Awards
Best Actor Nominated
7th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards
Prime Minister Award N/A Won [46]
1st Asia Artist Awards
Grand Prize (Daesang), TV Drama Six Flying Dragons Nominated
16th Korea World Youth Film Festival
Favorite Actor The Throne Won [47]


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External links[edit]