|Other names||Yoon Yeo-jeong|
(m. 1974; div. 1987)
|Revised Romanization||Yun Yeo-jeong|
Youn Yuh-jung (Korean: 윤여정, Korean pronunciation: [jun jʌdʑʌŋ]; born June 19, 1947) is a South Korean actress, whose career in film and television spans over five decades. Her accolades include an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award and a nomination for a Critics' Choice Movie Award. She has starred in many South Korean television series and films.
She gained international recognition for her role in Minari (2020). Her critically acclaimed portrayal of Soon-ja in the film made her the first Korean actress to win a Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as the first to be nominated for a Critics' Choice Movie Award.
By the late 1960s, Youn was a rising star in South Korea and won several awards for her role in Woman of Fire (1971). She retired from the spotlight for several years before returning to acting in the late 1980s. Besides Woman of Fire and Minari, Youn is known for her work in the South Korean films The Housemaid (2010), The Taste of Money (2012), The Bacchus Lady (2016), and Canola (2016). She is also known for her matriarch roles in the South Korean family drama series Men of the Bath House (1995), Be Strong Geum Soon (2005), Daughters-in-Law (2007), My Husband Got a Family (2012), and Dear My Friends (2016). In 2021, she will star in a TV series Pachinko on Apple TV+.
Youn Yuh-jung was born on June 19, 1947 in Kaesong, Gyeonggi Province, and grew up in Seoul. Her father died when she was young. She has two sisters. Her sister Youn Yeo-soon is a former executive at LG Group. She attended high school at Ewha Girls' High School, and enrolled at Hanyang University majoring in Korean Language and Literature, when she passed the open auditions held by TBC in 1966.
Youn has two sons, both of whom are Korean Americans.
She dropped out of college, and made her acting debut in the television drama Mister Gom in 1967. Youn shot to stardom in 1971 with two memorable portrayals of femme fatales. Her first film, Kim Ki-young's Woman of Fire, became a critical and commercial hit, for which she won Best Actress at the Sitges Film Festival.
This was followed by the MBC historical drama Jang Hui-bin where she played the titular infamous royal concubine. Kim was considered Korea's first style-conscious, experimental director, and Youn did not balk in playing risque, provocative characters that explore the grotesque in the female psyche in collaborations with him such as The Insect Woman (1972) and Be a Wicked Woman (1990). Audiences found Youn's fast way of speaking and atypical appearance refreshing and she frequently took roles in TV dramas depicting a modern woman of the new generation, notably in Stepmother (1972) written by Kim Soo-hyun.
At the peak of her career, Youn retired after she married singer Jo Young-nam in 1974, then immigrated to the United States. In 1984, she returned to Korea and permanently resumed her acting career. She and Jo divorced in 1987 and struggled to resume her acting career due to the stigma of divorce in South Korea.
Making a comeback after taking a long break was an unusual feat for a Korean middle-aged actress. Although most actresses her age played clichéd self-sacrificing mothers or coarse ajummas, Youn's acting range led to her being cast in more complex, stylish, and independent roles. In A Good Lawyer's Wife (2003), she drew critical acclaim for her nonchalant acting as a mother-in-law who neglected her husband dying of liver cancer and enjoyed extramarital affairs. Her frank and confident persona again manifested itself in E J-yong's mockumentary Actresses (2009).
Youn continued playing supporting roles in film and television, such as in The Housemaid (2010). She reunited with director Im Sang-soo for the fourth time in The Taste of Money (2012), as a cruel chaebol heiress at the center of the drama that unfolds and touches upon the themes of corruption, greed and sex. Youn said "I don't mind being called an old actress, but I do worry about how to carry on my acting career without looking like an old fool."
In 2013, she was cast as a loving mother to three loser children in Song Hae-sung's Boomerang Family. Later in the year, Youn appeared in her first reality show Sisters Over Flowers, a travel show shot in Croatia. After appearing on Sisters Over Flowers, Youn has stated that her public image became more positive.
Youn starred in two leading roles in 2015: Kang Je-gyu's Salut d'Amour about the romance between an elderly supermarket employee and a flower shop owner, and Canola about a Jeju Island female diver who reunites with her long-lost granddaughter. Salut d'Amour was Youn's first collaboration with actor Park Geun-hyung since 1971.
In 2020, she had a supporting role as Soon-ja, a grandma of a Korean American family in rural Arkansas, in the American film Minari, for which she received critical recognition from over forty American regional critics awards, including wins from the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Youn went on to become the first Korean actress to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She was also the first Asian actress to win an acting award in the motion pictures categories at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
|Year||English title||Original title||Role||Notes|
|1971||Woman of Fire||화녀||Myeong-ja|
|1972||The Insect Woman||충녀||Myeong-ja|
|1973||Love and Hatred||다정다한|
|Tto Sun Yi, a College Girl||여대생 또순이|
|1978||The Day and Night of a Korean-American||코메리칸의 낮과 밤|
|1990||Be a Wicked Woman||천사여 악녀가 되라|
|1995||An Experience to Die For||죽어도 좋은 경험||Choi Yeo-jung|
|2003||A Good Lawyer's Wife||바람난 가족||Hong Byeong-han|
|2004||Springtime||꽃피는 봄이 오면||Hyun-woo's mother|
|2005||The President's Last Bang||그때 그사람들||Yoon-hee's mother/Epilogue narration|
|2006||Maundy Thursday||우리들의 행복한 시간||Sister Monica|
|2007||The Old Garden||오래된 정원||Hyun-woo's mother|
|Hwang Jin-yi||황진이||Old woman|
|2008||A Tale of Legendary Libido||가루지기||Old woman|
|2011||Hindsight||푸른 소금||Madame Kang|
|2012||The Taste of Money||돈의 맛||Baek Geum-ok|
|In Another Country||다른 나라에서||Park Sook|
|2013||Behind the Camera||뒷담화: 감독이 미쳤어요||Herself|
|2014||Hill of Freedom||자유의 언덕||Gu-ok|
|2015||Salut d'Amour||장수상회||Im Geum-nim|
|Intimate Enemies||나의 절친 악당들||Yeo-jung||Cameo|
|Right Now, Wrong Then||지금은맞고그때는틀리다||Kang Deok-soo|
|The Bacchus Lady||죽여주는 여자||So-young|||
|2018||Keys to the Heart||그것만이 내 세상||In-sook|||
|2019||Lucky Chan-sil||찬실이는 복도 많지||Grandmother|
|2020||Beasts Clawing at Straws||지푸라기라도 잡고 싶은 짐승들||Soon-ja|||
Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
|TBA||Heaven: To the Land of Happiness||헤븐: 행복의 나라로|||
|Year||English title||Original title||Role||Network|
|1967||Mister Gom||미스터 곰||TBC|
|1970||The Appearance of the Wife||아내의 모습|
|Let's Live by the River||강변 살자||MBC|
|River of Love and Sorrow||사랑과 슬픔의 강||MBC|
|1971||Jang Hui-bin||장희빈||Hui-bin Jang||MBC|
|1972||Rainbow||무지개||President Han's daughter||MBC|
|1976||Girl's High School Days||여고 동창생||MBC|
|1984||MBC Bestseller Theater "고깔"||MBC 베스트셀러극장 - 고깔||MBC|
|1985||Mom's Room||엄마의 방||MBC|
|1987||Love and Ambition||사랑과 야망||Song Hye-joo||MBC|
|1988||Sand Castle||모래성||Kim Jin-ae||MBC|
|People from Wonmi-dong||원미동 사람들||MBC|
|1989||Fetters of Love||사랑의 굴레||KBS2|
|Sleepless Tree||잠들지 않는 나무||Dance school teacher||MBC|
|1990||Geomsaengyi's moon||검생이의 달||KBS2|
|Betrayal of the Rose||배반의 장미||Ok-sun||MBC|
|1991||What Is Love||사랑이 뭐길래||Han Shim-ae||MBC|
|Another Happiness||또 하나의 행복||MBC|
|1992||Bun-rye's Story||분례기||Bun-rye's mother||SBS|
|Gwanchon Essay||관촌 수필||SBS|
|Women's Room||여자의 방||MBC|
|1993||How's Your Husband?||댁의 남편은 어떠십니까?||Song Eun-nyeo||SBS|
|To Live||산다는 것은||Pung-gae's mother||SBS|
|1995||Men of the Bath House||목욕탕집 남자들||Noh Hye-young||KBS2|
|Your Voice||그대 목소리||Eon-nyeon-yi||SBS|
|MBC Best Theater "Hospice Ajumma"||호스피스 아줌마||Jung-sook||MBC|
|Ganyiyeok||간이역||Gangneung restaurant owner||MBC|
|Open Your Heart||가슴을 열어라||Choi Soon-joo||MBC|
|1997||The Reason I Live||내가 사는 이유||Bar madam Son||MBC|
|Woman Next Door||이웃집 여자||SBS|
|MBC Best Theater - Bok-soon's Boomerang||MBC 베스트극장 - 복순씨의 부메랑||Actuary Bok-soon||MBC|
|Love Is All I Know||사랑 밖엔 난 몰라||MBC|
|Hong Gil-dong||홍길동||In-ok's mother||SBS|
|1999||KAIST||카이스트||Professor of Mechanical Engineering||SBS|
|Did We Really Love?||우리가 정말 사랑했을까||Choi Hye-ja||MBC|
|Who Are You||당신은 누구시길래||Jung Shin-ae||SBS|
|Hur Jun||허준||Sung In-chul's wife||MBC|
|2000||Tough Guy's Love||꼭지||Kim Bok-nyeo||KBS2|
|I Want to Keep Seeing You||자꾸만 보고 싶네||Lee Ok-bun||SBS|
|2001||Stock Flower||비단향꽃무||Ahn Jung-hee||KBS2|
|Blue Mist||푸른 안개||Mi-soon||KBS2|
|MBC Best Theater "Walking With II"||동행II||Geum-nyeo||MBC|
|This Is Love||사랑은 이런거야||Lee Jung-ja||KBS1|
|I Like Dong-seo||동서는 좋겠네||Choi Jong-sook||KBS2|
|2002||Ruler of Your Own World||네 멋대로 해라||Jung Yoo-soon||MBC|
|Who's My Love?||내사랑 누굴까||In-ae||KBS2|
|Dal-joong's Cinderella||달중씨의 신데렐라||Pal-soon||KBS1|
|2003||Pearl Necklace||진주목걸이||Yoon Hae-myung||KBS2|
|One Million Roses||백만송이 장미||Choi Geum-ja||MBC|
|Rose Fence||장미울타리||Mrs. Heo||KBS2|
|On the Prairie||저 푸른 초원위에||Kim Jeom-hee||KBS2|
|War of the Roses||장미의 전쟁||Heo Young-shim||MBC|
|Drama City- Our Ham||우리 햄||Grandma||KBS2|
|2005||Becoming a Popular Song||유행가가 되리||Oh Sook-young||KBS2|
|Be Strong, Geum-soon!||굳세어라 금순아||Geum-soon's grandmother||MBC|
|A Farewell to Sorrow||슬픔이여안녕||Lee Young-shim||KBS2|
|Love and Sympathy||사랑공감||Hee-soo's mother||SBS|
|2006||Love Truly||진짜 진짜 좋아해||Goo Hyang-sook||MBC|
|Hearts of Nineteen||열아홉 순정||Yoon Myung-hye||KBS2|
|What's Up Fox?||여우야 뭐하니||Jo Soon-nam||MBC|
|2007||The Person I Love||사랑하는 사람아||Yoon Min-ja||SBS|
|The Golden Age of Daughters-in-Law||며느리 전성시대||Seo Mi-soon||KBS2|
|2008||Chunja's Happy Events||춘자네 경사났네||Yang Boon-hee||MBC|
|Worlds Within||그들이 사는 세상||Oh Min-sook||KBS2|
|2009||The Road Home||집으로 가는 길||Nam Soon-jung||KBS1|
|Heading to the Ground||맨땅에 헤딩||Ae-ja||MBC|
|2010||Golden Fish||황금물고기||Jo Yoon-hee||MBC|
|Home Sweet Home||즐거운 나의 집||Sung Eun-sook||MBC|
|2011||Listen to My Heart||내 마음이 들리니||Hwang Soon-geum||MBC|
|2012||My Husband Got a Family||넝쿨째 굴러온 당신||Uhm Chung-ae||KBS2|
|The King 2 Hearts||더킹 투하츠||Bang Young-sun||MBC|
|2013||The Queen's Classroom||여왕의 교실||Yong Hyun-ja||MBC|
|2014||Wonderful Days||참 좋은 시절||Jang So-shim||KBS2|
|2015||The Producers||프로듀사||Herself (cameo, episodes 1–2)||KBS2|
|2016||Dear My Friends||디어 마이 프렌즈||Oh Choong-nam||tvN|
|2019||Never Twice||두 번은 없다||Bok Mak-rye||MBC|
|2013||Sisters Over Flowers||Cast member||tvN|
|2018||All The Butlers||Fourth Master||SBS|
|2021||Youn's Stay||Cast member||tvN|
|2021||Zigzag||fashion e-commerce platform|
Awards and nominations
|1969||TBC Drama Awards||Best New Talent||Mister Gong||Won|
|1971||Sitges Film Festival||Best Actress||Woman of Fire||Won|
|Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actress||Won|
|1992||Korean Broadcasting Awards||Best Female Talent||Bun-rye's Story||Won|
|2003||Busan Film Critics Awards||Best Supporting Actress||A Good Lawyer's Wife||Won|
|Korean Film Awards||Won|
|2004||Grand Bell Awards||Nominated|
|Korean Film Awards||Springtime||Nominated|
|2005||KBS Drama Awards||Best Actress in a One-Act Special/Drama||Becoming a Popular Song||Won|
|2010||Busan Film Critics Awards||Best Actress||The Housemaid, Hahaha, Actresses||Won|
|Sitges Film Festival||Maria Honorifica Award||N/A||Won|
|People Who Make the World Brighter Awards||Recipient, Culture and Arts category||N/A||Won|
|Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Housemaid||Won|
|Buil Film Awards||Won|
|Grand Bell Awards||Won|
|Korean Film Awards||Won|
|Blue Dragon Film Awards||Won|
|Cinemanila International Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|2011||Max Movie Awards||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Asian Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|2012||Buil Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Taste of Money||Nominated|
|Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||My Husband Got a Family||Nominated|
|KBS Drama Awards||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama||Won|
|2013||Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Boomerang Family||Nominated|
|2014||KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Wonderful Days||Nominated|
|2016||Korean Film Shining Star Awards||Star award||Canola||Won|
|Grand Bell Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Asia Pacific Screen Awards||Jury Grand Prize||The Bacchus Lady||Won|
|Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Fantasia Festival||Best Actress||Won|
|Women in Film Korea Awards||Woman in Film of the Year||Won|
|2017||Baeksang Arts Awards||Grand Prize||Nominated|
|Wildflower Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Chunsa Film Art Awards||Nominated|
|Buil Film Awards||Won|
|Korea World Youth Film Festival||Favorite Actress - Senior Actress||Won|
|2020||Korean Film Producers Association||Best Supporting Actress||Lucky Chan-sil||Won|
|Boston Society of Film Critics||Best Supporting Actress||Minari||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|Florida Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Greater Western New York Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Indiana Film Journalists Association||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Sunset Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|2021||Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|AARP Movies For Grownups Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Atlanta Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Black Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Won|
|Chicago Indie Critics Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Columbus Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Denver Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|DiscussingFilm Critic Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Dorian Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Gotham Independent Film Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Hollywood Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Houston Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Female||Won|
|International Cinephile Society||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|Kansas City Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Latino Entertainment Journalists Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Music City Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|National Board of Review||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|National Society of Film Critics||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|New Mexico Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|New York Film Critics Online||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|North Carolina Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|North Dakota Film Society||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|North Texas Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Oklahoma Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Online Association of Female Film Critics Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||Spotlight Award||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Satellite Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Seattle Film Critics Society||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Southeastern Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Toronto Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Utah Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Runner-up|
|Vancouver Film Critics Circle||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
- "Oscar-nominee Youn Yuh-jung reaches career peak at age of 73". The Korea Herald. March 15, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
- "'Minari' Star Yuh-Jung Youn Calls Brits 'Snobbish' in Tongue-in-Cheek BAFTA Speech". Variety. April 11, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
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- "Youn's Oscar glory celebrated in Korea". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2021-04-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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- "배우, 윤여정을 만나다(1)" (in Korean). 딴지일보. 2005-05-09. Retrieved 2021-04-27. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "'장희빈 악녀 연기' 그녀는 50년 후 오스카 후보가 됐다" (in Korean). Hankook Ilbo. 2021-03-17. Retrieved 2021-04-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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- Huh, Nam-woong (8 February 2013). "A Family Reunion Shows the Happiness of a Troubled Family". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Sunwoo, Carla (29 November 2013). "Hit travel show tries with 'sisters'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
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- Kim, June (27 January 2015). "Youn Yuh-jung and KIM Go-eun Play Family". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
- Jin, Eun-soo (20 March 2015). "Actors reunite 45 years later to play love birds". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
- "National Board of Review Names 'Da 5 Bloods' Best Picture, Spike Lee Becomes Second Black Director Winner". Los Angeles Times. January 26, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- Haring, Bruce; Ramos, Dino-Ray (December 20, 2020). "L.A. Film Critics Association Names 'Small Axe' As Best Picture Of 2020; Carey Mulligan, Chadwick Boseman Honored With Acting AwardsList". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
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- "Youn Yuh-jung Retrospective". Film at Lincoln Center Virtual Cinema. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
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- "Lee Byung-hun and Youn Yuh-jung Start Shooting New Drama". Korean Film Biz Zone. 21 June 2017.
- "Jeon Do-yeon and Jung Woo-sung Dig in to Beasts That Cling to the Straw". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 October 2018.
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- In South Korea, "talent" refers to television actor or actress.
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|Awards and achievements|
| Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress