Han Hyo-joo

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Han Hyo-joo
Han Hyo-joo at BIFF 2013 02.jpg
Born (1987-02-22) February 22, 1987 (age 31)
Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea
Education Dongguk University - Theater and Film[1]
Occupation Actress
Years active 2003–present
Agent BH Entertainment (South Korea)
FlaMme (Japan)
Korean name
Hangul 한효주
Revised Romanization Han Hyo-ju
McCune–Reischauer Han Hyo-ju

Han Hyo-joo (born February 22, 1987) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her leading roles in the television dramas Brilliant Legacy (2009) and Dong Yi (2010), as well as the film Cold Eyes (2013) for which she won Best Actress at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Early life

Han Hyo-joo was born in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.[1] Her mother was an elementary school teacher before becoming an inspector for public schools, and her father was an air force officer. As a child, she was good in sports, particularly track and field. In her sophomore year of high school, she moved to Seoul and attended Bulgok High School, despite the objections of her strict and conservative father. She then entered Dongguk University, where she joined the theater and film department.


Han was first discovered in a teenage beauty pageant organized by food corporation Binggrae in 2003. She began her acting career in the sitcom Nonstop 5 and the gangster comedy My Boss, My Teacher. Han raised her profile by being cast in Spring Waltz, the fourth and final installment of TV director Yoon Seok-ho's "season drama" series.[2]

In 2006, director Lee Yoon-ki cast the newbie in the starring role in his low-budget independent film Ad-lib Night, which follows a young woman who rediscovers herself through an eerie overnight encounter with strangers. Han then starred in two highly successful TV projects -- KBS1 daily drama Like Land and Sky with Park Hae-jin in 2007,[3] and SBS masked-adventurer series Iljimae with Lee Joon-gi in 2008. Afterwards, she made another indie, Ride Away, which debuted at the 2008 Jeonju International Film Festival.

Han filmed the Korean-Japanese telecinema co-production Heaven's Postman in 2008, which also featured pop star Jaejoong from TVXQ (now JYJ).[4] After several postponements, it was released in theaters in late 2009, and broadcast on TV in 2010.

Her breakthrough came in Brilliant Legacy costarring Lee Seung-gi, which became a massive hit in 2009, reaching a peak viewership rating of 47.1%.[5][6][7] It catapulted Han to stardom, and after the drama's conclusion, she experienced a sharp rise in endorsement deals and media requests for interviews, as well as increased pan-Asian popularity.[8]

Later that year Han wrapped up her starring role in the musical drama Soul Special, which also featured K.Will in his acting debut. It aired in twelve five-minute segments on various online portals, with cable channel KBS Joy airing the entire drama in four parts.

As the titular character in MBC's 49th anniversary project Dong Yi,[9][10][11][12] Han won several acting awards for her portrayal of Choi Suk-bin and cemented her status as a Hallyu star.

She then played a blind telemarketer opposite So Ji-sub's ex-boxer in the melodrama Always.[13] Helmed by director Song Il-gon, it premiered as the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20] Han later contributed voice narration to the "barrier-free" version of Japanese film My Back Page, which features descriptive audio and subtitles for people with hearing or visual impairments.[21]

File:Han Hyo-Joo in 2013.jpg
Han Hyo--jo in November 2013

Han played the queen to Lee Byung-hun's Gwanghae in the 2012 blockbuster period film Masquerade,[22][23] which became one of the highest-grossing Korean films of all time. She followed that with Love 911, an unlikely romance between a doctor and a firefighter (Go Soo).[24][25][26][27]

Han then starred opposite Sol Kyung-gu and Jung Woo-sung in the action thriller Cold Eyes,[28][29] which became one of the biggest domestic hits of 2013.[30] She also received acting recognition for her performance, winning Best Actress from the Blue Dragon Film Awards and Buil Film Awards.

In 2014, Han and Love 911 costar Go Soo appeared in Myohyangsangwan ("View of Mount Myohyang"), which depicts the rendezvous of a South Korean painter and a North Korean waitress in a North Korean restaurant. The short film is a collaboration by contemporary artists Moon Kyung-won and Jeon Joon-ho, and combined a theatrical plot, experimental imagery, dance and performance art.[31][32]

She then ventured into the overseas market by starring in her first Japanese film, Isshin Inudo's Miracle: Debikuro-kun no Koi to Maho ("Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic"). Set during the Christmas season, the film is a love story about a kind bookstore employee (played by Masaki Aiba from J-pop boyband Arashi) who meets three women.[33][34]

In 2015, Han starred in the musical biopic C'est Si Bon, which depicted the ups and downs of the folk music group Twin Folio, which was active from the 1960s to 80s. Famous for its live performances, C'est Si Bon was the name of a popular music lounge located in Mugyo-dong in the 1970s, where Twin Folio got its start; Han played the group's muse.[35] This was followed by The Beauty Inside, where Han's character falls in love with a man who changes to different people every day.[36][37][38]


In November 2013, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office indicted Han's ex-manager from her former agency Fantom Entertainment attempted extortion. According to police, the ex-manager surnamed Lee illegally transferred 16 photos of Han and her ex-boyfriend from her digital camera to his mobile phone. Lee then threatened to publish the compromising photos unless he and his two accomplices were paid ₩400 million; Han's father paid them ₩10 million. In a press release, Han's agency BH Entertainment said the actress did not engage in any activities that deserve public criticism and threatened "strong measures" to deal with blackmail.[39][40]

In September 2014, the South Korean media reported that a petition was being circulated to boycott Han's appearance in TV commercials.[41] The petition stemmed from Han's younger brother allegedly bullying a fellow airman while both were in mandatory military service that resulted in the latter's suicide. The negative publicity was exacerbated by Han herself having once been appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the Republic of Korea Air Force.[42]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 My Boss, My Teacher Yoo Mi-jung
Ad-lib Night Bo-kyung
2008 Ride Away Im Ha-jung
My Dear Enemy Woman at the bus stop/
Voice on the phone
2009 Heaven's Postman Jo Hana / Saki telecinema
(also aired on SBS)
2011 Always Ha Jeong-hwa
2012 Masquerade Queen Consort
Love 911 Mi-soo
2013 Cold Eyes Ha Yoon-ju
2014 Miracle Devil Claus' Love and Magic So-yeon Japanese film
Myohyangsangwan Oh Yeong-ran short film
2015 C'est Si Bon Min Ja-young (20s)
The Beauty Inside Yi-soo
2016 Haeeohwa Jeong So-yul

Television series

Year Title Role Network
2005 Nonstop 5 Han Hyo-joo MBC
2006 Spring Waltz Seo/Park Eun-young KBS2
2007 Like Land and Sky Suk Ji-soo KBS1
2008 Iljimae Eun-chae SBS
2009 Brilliant Legacy Go Eun-sung SBS
Soul Special Jin Mi-ah KBS Joy
2010 Dong Yi Choi Dong-yi (later Choi Suk-bin) MBC

Music video

Year Song Title Artist
2004 "I Love You" Simply Sunday
2005 "You Just Being in This World" Position
"Paris" Epik High
2006 "Farewell is..." U
"Tree" Kwon Jin-won
2009 "They Are Men" Lee Woo-sang
"Because I Couldn't Say that I Love You" K.Will
"Are You Serious?" Rumble Fish
2010 "Don't You Know" Han Hyo-joo feat. No Reply
2012 "I Choose to Love You" Hyorin
"I Love You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Sweet Sorrow
"Hide and Seek" Han Hyo-joo feat. Broccoli, You Too?

Variety show

Year Title Network Notes
2005 Love Letter SBS Guest - Episodes 26-27, 30-31, 34-35
X-Man SBS Guest - Episodes 110-111, 114-115
2005-2006 Inkigayo (Popular Music) SBS MC
2006 Come To Play MBC Guest - Episode 82
2007 Golden Fishery MBC Guest - Episode 27
Are You Ready KBS2 Guest - Episode 1
Ya Shim Man Man SBS Guest - Episode 204
2008 Park Kyung-lim's
Wonderful Outing
MBC Guest - Episode 24
Star N The City XTM Road Trip to USA
2009 Ya Shim Man Man SBS Guest - Brilliant Legacy Special
Girls on Top Season 2 SBS MTV Guest
Sunday Sunday Night - Danbi MBC Guest - Episode 3
2010 You Hee-yeol's Sketchbook KBS2 Guest - Episode 71
2012 Running Man SBS Guest - Episodes 123-124
Cultwo Show SBS Guest - Episode 828
2013 Running Man SBS Guest - Episodes 151-152


Year Song Title Artist From the Album
2005 "It's the First Time" Han Hyo-joo Nonstop 5 OST
2008 "Ride Away" Han Hyo-joo Ride Away OST
2009 "Sudden Burst of Tears" Gan-D feat. Han Hyo-joo Soul Special OST
"바람이 불어... 널 이별해 (Prologue)" Narration by Han Hyo-joo Love Tonic
2010 "Oh Seoul" My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo For This, I Was Born
"Don't You Know" No Reply feat. Han Hyo-joo Grand Mint Festival 2010[43]
2011 "You" Browneyed Soul feat. Han Hyo-joo Brown Eyed Soul
"8 A.M." My-Q feat. Han Hyo-joo Ready For The World
"Alone in Love" Lee Seung-gi feat. Ra.D
(narration by Han Hyo-joo)
2012 "I Love You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Sweet Sorrow LG Su:m37 5th Anniversary CF song
"Hide and Seek"[44] Han Hyo-joo feat. Broccoli, You Too?
2015 "To Forget Me Now" Han Hyo-joo C'est Si Bon OST
"I'll Give It All To You" Han Hyo-joo feat. Jung Woo


Year Product Notes
2005 Anti-Smoking campaign
2005 Hangame
2005 Pizza Hut with Lee Yeon-hee
2005-2006 Crencia with Jo In-sung
2005-2006 CYOU Soju
2006 Ensure Traffic Order campaign
2006 Green Time Green Tea with Ju Ji-hoon
2006-2007 Enprani Cosmetics
2008 Maxim Coffee with Jo In-sung
2008 Korean Air
2008-2011 Samchuly
2009 Save the Penguins campaign
2009 Sweetest Love campaign by Vogue Korea
2009 Nongshim Natural Snacks
2009 Cello
2009 Kia Soul
2009 Baskin-Robbins
2009 Samsung Camera VLUU series
2009 Lacoste
2009-2010 Jambangee Jeans with Chung Lim (2009)
and 2AM (2010)
2009-2015 LG Su:m37
2009-2014 Viki Numerous
2010 Grand Mint Festival Lady
2010 Yoplait Yogurt
2010-2011 Mr. Pizza
2010-2012 Lotte Card
2010-2012 Samsung NX series
2011 HEAD Sports with Park Yu-hwan
2011 LOVCAT Paris
2011 LOVCAT Bijoux
2011 Xylitol
2011-2012 Samsung Mirror Pop MV800 with Lee Je-hoon
2012 Korea Cable TV Association (KCTA) - Digital Cable TV with Yang Joon-hyuk
and Choi Hyo-jong
2012 Oksusu Corn Silk Tea
2012-2014 Black Yak with Jo In-sung
2013-2014 Acuvue with Song Joong-ki
2013 Daum Communications - 'Art and Shake' application
2013 Good Downloader campaign
2014 Givenchy eyewear
2014-2015 Hankook Tire
2014 SSG.com with Lee Byung-hun
and Ryu Seung-ryong
2015 LG Sooryehan

Goodwill ambassador

Year Title Notes
2007 Goodwill Ambassador for Chungbuk National Education
Goodwill Ambassador for Republic of Korea Air Force with Go Joo-won
2010 Honorary Ambassador for Population and Housing Census with Ji Jin-hee
Goodwill Ambassador for Grand Mint Festival
Goodwill Ambassador for Design Korea
Honorary Ambassador for G-20 Seoul Summit with Kim Yuna and Park Ji-sung
2011 Honorary Ambassador for National Tax Service with Hwang Jung-min
Honorary Ambassador for UN Foundation Nets GO
2012 Goodwill Ambassador for Barrier Free Movie
2013 Goodwill Ambassador for Incheon Asian Para Games
2014 Honorary Ambassador for Dongguk University's Creative Mindful Leadership Program (CMLP) with Son Na-eun

Awards and nominations

Year Award[45] Category Nominated work Result
2003 9th Miss Binggrae Smile Pageant Grand Prize N/A Won
2006 26th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best New Actress Ad-lib Night Won
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress Spring Waltz Nominated
2007 20th Singapore International Film Festival[46] Best Actress Ad-lib Night Won
24th Korea Best Dressed Swan Awards Best Dressed N/A Won
KBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Park Hae-jin Like Land and Sky Won
Popularity Award Won
Best New Actress Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Daily Drama Nominated
2008 1st Korea Jewelry Awards Pearl Award N/A Won
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Iljimae Won
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Nominated
4th Andre Kim Best Star Awards Star Award N/A Won
3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot Female Drama Star Brilliant Legacy Won
SBS Drama Awards Best Couple Award with Lee Seung-gi Won
Top 10 Stars Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Won
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
5th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress Won
3rd Korea Drama Awards Best Actress Dong Yi Won
MBC Drama Awards Popularity Award Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Daesang (Grand Prize) Won
2011 1st Hong Kong Cable TV Awards[47] Best Actress Won
47th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Won
45th Taxpayers' Day
(given by Ministry of Strategy and Finance)[48]
Presidential Commendation as Honest Taxpayer N/A Won
2012 CETV Asia's Top 10 Popular Star Awards[49] Hallyu Star Prize Won
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Love 911 Nominated
22nd Buil Film Awards Best Actress Cold Eyes Won
6th Style Icon Awards Style Icon N/A Nominated
33rd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Cold Eyes Nominated
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Won
2014 8th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress The Beauty Inside Nominated
36th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
Actors' Night Award Top Star Award Won


  1. 1.0 1.1 한효주. Nate (in Korean). Retrieved October 28, 2012. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Han reserves seat as next Jiwoohime". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. January 30, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "I want to try out for more extreme roles". The Dong-a Ilbo. April 5, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "TVXQ Hero hopes Postman will be assurance to fans". 10Asia. November 10, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Light-hearted romance joins weekend lineup". The Korea Herald. April 24, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Brilliant drama leaving its own legacy. Korea JoongAng Daily. July 16, 2009.
  7. "Han Hyo-joo: 'Good People Deserve to be Happy'". KBS Global. June 5, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Lee, Han Picked as Rising Ad Models". The Korea Times. September 24, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Will Dong-yi Become Next Jewel in the Palace?". The Korea Times. March 21, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Upbeat rom-com vs. court romance". The Korea Herald. March 22, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Han Hyo-joo Changes Tack in Costume Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. April 13, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Han Hyo-joo says she "hold fast" to her role in Dong Yi. 10Asia. May 7, 2010.
  13. So Ji-sub, Han Hyo-joo start filming new pic. 10Asia. April 4, 2011.
  14. Song Il Gon: 'So Ji Seob and Han Hyo Joo Are Excellent Actors'. KBS Global. September 21, 2011.
  15. Song Il-gon hopes Always will be a reminder of true value of love. 10Asia. October 6, 2011.
  16. Han Hyo Joo: 'My Best Decision Ever Is Becoming Actress'. KBS Global. October 10, 2011.
  17. Han Hyo-joo Seeking More Challenging Roles in Movies. The Chosun Ilbo. October 15, 2011.
  18. Interview: Actress Han Hyo-joo - Part 1. 10Asia. October 28, 2011.
  19. Interview: Actress Han Hyo-joo - Part 2. 10Asia. October 28, 2011.
  20. "Actress Han Hyo-joo Movie Picks". 10Asia. November 11, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Han Hyo-Ju, an honorary ambassador of Barrier Free Movie, for deaf-blinds". Innolife. November 13, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Han Hyo-joo to join Lee Byung-hun in historical film. 10Asia. January 4, 2012.
  23. "Interview: Han Hyo Joo Says Lee Byung Hun was the Best Actor She′s Met". enewsWorld. October 3, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Finecut dials up Love 911. Korean Film Council. March 14, 2012.
  25. Ko Soo, Han Hyo-joo's Romance Movie Cranks Up. 10Asia. September 13, 2012.
  26. "Go Soo, Han Hyo Joo's Movie, Band Aid to Premiere on December 19". enewsWorld. October 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Ko Soo, Han Hyo-joo Ask to Dial Love 911". 10Asia. November 22, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Police Are Hot in Pursuit of a Kingpin in COLD EYES". Korean Film Council. February 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Cold Eyes is a story of firsts for the cast". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Han Hyo-joo Celebrates Cold Eyes Records". 10Asia. July 30, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Mergers with pop culture good for art business". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Myohyangsangwan". News From Nowhere. Retrieved August 22, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "HAN Hyo-joo to Take Lead Role in Japanese Film". Korean Film Council. December 27, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Will Han Hyo-joo win Japanese fans?". The Korea Times. December 2, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "KIM Yun-seok, HAN Hyo-joo Board Music Biopic". Korean Film Council. March 11, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Actresses lead Korean film industry this summer". Yonhap. July 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Actress Han stars opposite 21 men". Korea JoongAng Daily. August 14, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "Herald Interview: Han Hyo-joo: Beauty Inside is chance of a lifetime". The Korea Herald. August 23, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "Ex-Manager Charged with Blackmailing Han Hyo-joo". The Chosun Ilbo. November 26, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Han Hyo-joo subject of blackmail plot". Korea JoongAng Daily. November 26, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. 한효주 광고 중지해주세요, 요청 쇄도..이병헌 사건에 남동생 문제까지 불똥. Seoul En (in Korean). September 20, 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. '홍보대사'의 두 얼굴, '모범 납세자 송혜교·법무부 박봄·병무청 상추...'. Ilgan Sports (in Korean). August 19, 2014. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "Actress Han Hyo-joo Song Picks". 10Asia. October 27, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. "Korean Starlets Fall in Love with Indie Musicians". 10Asia. November 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. Han Hyo-joo's Profile. BH Entertainment. May 22, 2012.
  46. Actress Han Hyo-ju Honored at Singapore Film Festival. KBS Global. May 2, 2007.
  47. 한효주-배수빈, 홍콩 '베스트 드라마 시상식' 인기상 수상. Chosun News (in Korean). January 10, 2011.
  48. Han Hyo-joo Given Honest Taxpayer Award. The Chosun Ilbo. March 3, 2011
  49. "Yoon Si Yoon receives Popular Star Prize in China". Korea.com. December 9, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links