Jeon Do-yeon

Jeon Do-yeon (born February 11, 1973) is a South Korean actress. She won Best Actress at the 60th Cannes Film Festival and the 1st Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Lee Chang-dong's 2007 film Secret Sunshine.

Jeon Do-yeon
Jeon Do-yeon in March 2019.
Born (1973-02-11) February 11, 1973
NationalitySouth Korean
Years active1990–present
Kang Shi-kyu (m. 2007)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationJeon Do-yeon
McCune–ReischauerChŏn Toyŏn


Jeon Do-yeon spent five years starring in television dramas before achieving instant star status with her film debut opposite Han Suk-kyu in The Contact. She went on to establish a reputation as a "chameleon" who can take on a wide variety of roles, from her performance as a doctor in the hit melodrama A Promise, to that of a schoolgirl in The Harmonium in My Memory, then a wife having an adulterous affair in Happy End.[1] In 1999 and 2000 she received a Best Actress award from both the Blue Dragon Film Awards and the Grand Bell Awards for her role in The Harmonium in My Memory.[2][3]

In 2001 she played a bank teller in Park Heung-sik's directorial debut I Wish I Had a Wife.[4] After starring as the tough-talking "Sunglasses" in Ryoo Seung-wan's No Blood No Tears (2002),[5] Jeon spent time acting in the TV drama Shoot for the Stars.[2] In 2003 she found box-office success in E J-yong's Untold Scandal, an adaptation of the famous French novel Dangerous Liaisons set in Joseon.[6] The following year she reunited with Park Heung-sik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama My Mother, the Mermaid.[7]

In 2005 Jeon played a prostitute who contracts AIDS in Park Jin-pyo's hard-hitting melodrama You Are My Sunshine.[8][9][10] The film made into a box-office hit, and her performance won her more local acting awards.[2] She then returned to television in Lovers in Prague which depicts the love story between the president's daughter and an ordinary detective; the drama averaged over 27 percent viewership ratings.[11] Hancinema noted, "It is rare for a movie and a drama with the same leading actor or actress to become major hits at the same time. And often, actors and actresses avoid such cases, due to the risk of confusing audiences, but Jeon managed to pull both roles off perfectly without causing any confusion in the audience."[12]

Her next role in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine in 2007 received universal critical acclaim.[13][14] Although the film itself, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, evoked widely differing assessments from international critics, Jeon's performance was universally praised, and she was presented with a Best Actress award by the Cannes jury—the first Korean ever to receive an acting award at Cannes.[2][15][16][17][18]

After starring in My Dear Enemy post-Cannes,[19][20][21][22][23] Jeon gave birth to a daughter and rested for a while. In 2010, she returned to play a controversial remake The Housemaid.[24][25]

In a 2011 Countdown, Jeon played a female con artist who risks her life for ten days for a final deal with a cold-hearted debt collector.[26][27][28] Countdown premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.[29]

After a two-year break, Jeon starred in Bang Eun-jin's Way Back Home (2013), based on the true story of a housewife who was imprisoned for two years on the island of Martinique after being wrongly arrested for drug smuggling at Paris's Orly Airport in 2004.[30][31] She then became a member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the first Korean actor or actress to have that honor.[32][33][34][35]

In 2015, Jeon starred in The Shameless, a thriller that explores the unexpected and carnal attraction that develops between a detective and the girlfriend of the murderer he's investigating.[36][37][38][39] For her performance in the film, Jeon won Best Actress at the 24th Buil Film Awards, the 15th Director's Cut Awards, and the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards respectively. She then played a blind swordswoman in the Goryeo-set revenge period drama Memories of the Sword (2015), her third collaboration with Park Heung-sik.[40][41] This was followed by Jeon's second film with director Lee Yoon-ki, A Man and a Woman, about a forbidden romance that takes place in the snow-swept landscape of Finland.[42][43]

Jeon returned to the small screen in the Korean remake of the American legal drama The Good Wife in 2016.[44][45]

In April 2019, Jeon reunited with Sol Kyung-gu, eighteen years after I Wish I Had a Wife, in Birthday. The film, inspired by the Sinking of MV Sewol tragedy, deals with the struggles faced by a couple who lose their son in a tragic accident.[46][47] The film had its international premiere at the 2019 Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy.[48] In the festival, Jeon was honored with Golden Mulberry lifetime achievement award.[49]

Next, Jeon will star opposite Jung Woo-sung in Beasts that Cling to the Straw, a mystery thriller based on Keisuke Sone's novel.[50][51]


Although not as broadly popular with audiences as some other stars in South Korea, Jeon is widely respected for her acting abilities, and many young actresses cite her as a role model.[2][52][53]

Personal life

Jeon married businessman Kang Shi-kyu in a private wedding ceremony at Shilla Hotel on March 11, 2007.[54][55][56] She gave birth to a daughter on January 22, 2009.[31]



Year Title Role
1997 The Contact Soo-hyeon
1998 A Promise Chae Hee-ju
1999 The Harmonium in My Memory Yun Hong-yeon
Happy End Choi Bo-ra
2001 I Wish I Had a Wife Jung Won-ju
2002 No Blood No Tears Soo-jin
2003 Untold Scandal Lady Jeong
2004 My Mother, the Mermaid Kim Na-young / Jo Yeon-soon
2005 You Are My Sunshine Eun-ha
2007 Secret Sunshine Lee Shin-ae
2008 My Dear Enemy Hee-soo
2010 The Housemaid Eun-yi
2011 Countdown Cha Ha-yeon
2013 Way Back Home Song Jeong-yeon
2015 The Shameless Kim Hye-kyung
Memories of the Sword Seol-rang / Wallso
2016 A Man and a Woman Sang-min
2019 Birthday Soon-nam
Beasts that Cling to the Straw Yeon-hee
2020 Hip Daddy TBA

Television series

Year Title Role Network
1992Our ParadiseSoo-hyeonMBC
1994Love Is BlueSBS
Scent of LoveHye-jinSBS
General HospitalKang Soon-youngMBC
1995Drama Game "Six Steps Towards Separation"KBS2
Our Sunny Days of YouthIm Jong-heeKBS2
Drama Game
"Can I Go to the Post Office to Find a Lost Love?"
Im Jong-hee
Sunday Family Theater "Ganyiyeok"Choi Kye-soonMBC
Until We Can LoveChoi Kye-soonKBS2
1997Star in My HeartSoon-aeMBC
1998MBC Best Theater
"What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten"
1999Love Story "Host of Memory"SBS
2002Shoot for the StarsHan So-ra
2005Lovers in PragueYoon Jae-hee
2008On AirHerself (cameo, episode 2)[57]
2016The Good WifeKim Hye-kyungtvN

Music video

Year Song Title Artist Co-stars
2002"The Name"The NameTony Leung Chiu-Wai, Ryoo Seung-bum


Year Title Role
1997Educating RitaSusan
1998The Queen of Opera Tears

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1995KBS Drama AwardsPopularity AwardOur Sunny Days of YouthWon
199735th Grand Bell AwardsBest New ActressThe ContactWon
18th Blue Dragon Film AwardsWon
Best ActressNominated
199834th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (Film)Won
18th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsBest New ActressWon
19th Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest ActressA PromiseNominated
199935th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Won
36th Grand Bell AwardsBest ActressNominated
22nd Golden Cinematography AwardsMost Popular ActressWon
Cine 21 AwardsBest ActressThe Harmonium in My Memory, Happy EndWon
20th Blue Dragon Film AwardsThe Harmonium in My MemoryWon
Popular Star AwardWon
2nd Director's Cut AwardsBest ActressWon
200037th Grand Bell AwardsWon
Happy EndNominated
8th Chunsa Film Art AwardsWon
1st Busan Film Critics AwardsWon [58]
20th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsWon
21st Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated
Popular Star AwardWon
200137th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)I Wish I Had a WifeWon
22nd Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest ActressNominated
200223rd Blue Dragon Film AwardsNo Blood No TearsNominated
Popular Star AwardWon
1st Korean Film AwardsBest ActressNominated
SBS Drama AwardsTop Excellence Award, ActressShoot for the StarsWon
Top 10 StarsWon
200324th Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest ActressUntold ScandalNominated
2nd Korean Film AwardsNominated
200441st Grand Bell AwardsNominated
25th Blue Dragon Film AwardsMy Mother, the MermaidNominated
3rd Korean Film AwardsWon [59]
7th Director's Cut AwardsWon
Cine 21 AwardsWon
200541st Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Nominated
13th Chunsa Film Art AwardsBest ActressWon
42nd Grand Bell AwardsNominated [60]
25th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsYou Are My SunshineWon
26th Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated [61]
Best Couple Award (with Hwang Jung-min)Won
4th Korean Film AwardsBest ActressWon [62]
6th Women in Film Korea AwardsWon
Cine 21 AwardsWon
8th Director's Cut AwardsWon [63]
SBS Drama AwardsGrand Prize (Daesang)Lovers in PragueWon [64]
Top Excellence Award, ActressNominated
Top 10 StarsWon
20063rd Max Movie AwardsBest ActressYou Are My SunshineWon
42nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Nominated
43rd Grand Bell AwardsBest ActressWon [65]
200760th Cannes Film Festival Best ActressSecret SunshineWon [66]
Asia Producers NetworkAsian Movie Artist AwardWon [67]
44th Grand Bell AwardsSpecial Achievement AwardWon [68]
Ministry of Culture, Sports and TourismOkgwan Order of Cultural MeritWon [69]
1st Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Performance by an ActressWon [70]
28th Blue Dragon Film AwardsBest ActressWon [71]
Best DressedN/AWon
27th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsBest ActressSecret SunshineWon [72]
7th Proud Korean AwardsRecipient (for Movie category)Won
6th Korean Film AwardsBest ActressWon [72]
8th Women in Film Korea AwardsWon [73]
10th Director's Cut AwardsWon
Cine 21 AwardsWon
3rd University Film Festival of KoreaWon
20082nd Asian Film AwardsBest ActressWon [74]
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Nominated
45th Grand Bell AwardsBest ActressNominated
2009Ordre des Arts et des LettresChevalierN/ARecipient [75]
Andre Kim Best Star AwardsSuper Artist AwardN/AWon [76]
12th Director's Cut AwardsCinema Angel recipientN/ARecipient
2010Village Voice Film PollBest ActressSecret Sunshine5th place
IndieWire Critics Poll7th place
47th Grand Bell AwardsThe HousemaidNominated
Cinemanila International Film FestivalWon
31st Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated
8th Korean Film AwardsNominated
20112nd Seoul Art and Culture AwardsBest Film Actor/ActressWon [77]
31st Fantasporto Director's WeekBest ActressWon [78]
5th Asian Film AwardsBest ActressNominated [79]
People's Choice Award for Favorite ActressWon
8th International Cinephile Society AwardsBest ActressSecret SunshineNominated
20145th KOFRA Film AwardsWay Back HomeWon [80]
9th Max Movie AwardsWon
19th Chunsa Film Art AwardsNominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Nominated
23rd Buil Film AwardsBest ActressNominated
51st Grand Bell AwardsNominated [81]
35th Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated
2015Jecheon International Music & Film FestivalThe ShamelessWon [82]
24th Buil Film AwardsWon [83]
35th Korean Association of Film Critics AwardsNominated
36th Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated [84]
15th Director's Cut AwardsWon [85]
Cine 21 AwardsWon
20167th KOFRA Film AwardsWon [86]
21st Chunsa Film Art AwardsNominated
52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)Won [87]
1st Asia Artist Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) The Good Wife Nominated
2019 Far East Film FestivalLifetime Achievement AwardN/A Recipient [49]
28th Buil Film AwardsBest Actress BirthdayWon
40th Blue Dragon Film AwardsNominated
6th Korean Film Producers Association AwardsWon


  1. "Jeon Do-yeon". Variety. July 30, 2007.
  2. Actors and Actresses of Korean Cinema. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  3. A Tale of Two Jeons. The Chosun Ilbo. April 1, 2004.
  4. "I Wish I Had a Wife". Variety. June 13, 2001.
  5. 2 characters working without a script Archived 2012-07-10 at Korea JoongAng Daily. February 25, 2002.
  6. "Untold Scandal". Oh My News. June 6, 2006.
  7. "Did My Mom Love Like That?". The Donga Ilbo. June 15, 2004.
  8. "너는 내운명 (You're My Sunshine) Production Meeting". Twitch Film. August 12, 2005.
  9. "너는 내운명 (You're My Sunshine) Press Screening Report". Twitch Film. September 7, 2005. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  10. "An Actress Who Puts All Her Energy Into Love". The Dong-a Ilbo. September 15, 2005.
  11. Drama Looks for Love in Prague. The Korea Times. September 14, 2005.
  12. "Jeon Do-yeon's multiple hits stem from passion for acting". Hancinema. September 29, 2005.
  13. "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1". 10Asia. April 21, 2010.
  14. "INTERVIEW: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2". 10Asia. April 21, 2010.
  15. Cannes top prize goes to Korean film actress Archived 2012-07-30 at Korea JoongAng Daily. June 7, 2007.
  16. Actress without ambition gets it all Archived 2012-07-15 at Korea JoongAng Daily. May 16, 2007.
  17. Interview with Jeon Do-yeon. CNN. October 9, 2007.
  18. Int'l Awards Only the Start for Jeon, Kang. The Chosun Ilbo. October 8, 2007.
  19. Cannes winner takes her next step Archived 2012-07-10 at Korea JoongAng Daily. October 3, 2007.
  20. Jeon Do-yeon, Ha Jung-woo as Ex-Lovers. The Korea Times. August 27, 2008.
  21. Jeon Do-yeon on Pregnancy, Post-Cannes Film. The Korea Times. September 21, 2008.
  22. Queen of Cannes Is Back with Lighter Fare. The Chosun Ilbo. September 22, 2008.
  23. Enemies conquer poverty to rekindle love Archived 2012-07-13 at Korea JoongAng Daily. October 2, 2008.
  24. Jeon Do-yeon Returns to Screen in Risque Role. The Chosun Ilbo. April 16, 2010.
  25. Korea's Queen of Cannes is back Archived 2011-03-13 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters. April 26, 2010.
  26. Cannes Winner Jeon Hopes Countdown a Commercial Hit. The Chosun Ilbo. October 1, 2011.
  27. Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 1. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  28. Interview: Actress Jeon Do-youn - Part 2. 10Asia. October 21, 2011.
  29. Korean pic Countdown announced as part of 1st lineup for TIFF. 10Asia. July 27, 2011.
  30. "Jeon Do-yeon Plays Inmate on Tropical Island in Latest Flick". The Chosun Ilbo. November 29, 2013.
  31. "Jeon Do-yeon speaks about her latest movie, motherhood". The Korea Herald. December 12, 2013.
  32. "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  33. "Jeon Do-yeon first Korean actress to be Cannes jury member". The Korea Herald. April 29, 2014.
  34. "Jeon Do-yeon Invited to Cannes' Jury". The Chosun Ilbo. April 29, 2014.
  35. "Jeon Do-yeon arrives in Cannes". The Korea Times. May 15, 2014. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014.
  36. "The Shameless gears up for Cannes". The Korea Herald. April 24, 2015.
  37. "Award-Winning Actress Still Excited About Cannes Screening". The Chosun Ilbo. May 2, 2015.
  38. "JEON Do-yeon Visits Cannes for the 4th Time with THE SHAMELESS". Korean Cinema Today. June 1, 2015.
  39. "Jeon shows reluctance over her latest image". Korea JoongAng Daily. June 2, 2015.
  40. "JEON Do-yeon in Way Back Home and Memories of the Sword: From Actress to Mother, and Mother to Actress". Korean Cinema Today. January 28, 2014.
  41. "Herald Interview: Memories of the Sword a welcome challenge for Jeon Do-yeon". The Korea Herald. August 12, 2015.
  42. "JEON Do-yeon Returns to Melodrama". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 28, 2014.
  43. "Jeon Do-yeon, Gong Yoo Work Together on Upcoming Film". The Chosun Ilbo. January 27, 2016.
  44. "Jeon Do-yeon to Appear in TV Drama for 1st Time in a Decade". The Chosun Ilbo. February 27, 2016.
  45. "Jeon Do-yeon Shines in 'Good Wife' Remake". The Chosun Ilbo. July 30, 2016.
  46. "Ferry Disaster-Inspired Film Set for Release in April". Chosun Ilbo. February 20, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  47. "JEON Do-yeon and SUL Kyung-gu to Celebrate BIRTHDAY". Korean Film Biz Zone. April 9, 2018.
  48. Frater, Patrick (March 28, 2019). "Udine Festival to Open With Korean Tragedy 'Birthday'". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  49. "Jeon Do-yeon Honored for Lifetime Achievement at Italian Film Fest". Chosun Ilbo. April 29, 2019. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  50. "JEON Do-yeon and JUNG Woo-sung Dig in to BEASTS THAT CLING TO THE STRAW". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 October 2018.
  51. "BEASTS THAT CLING TO THE STRAW Wraps Production". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 14, 2018.
  52. "JEON Do-yeon, Korean Cinema's Leading Actress: Her Past, Present and Future". Korean Cinema Today. January 24, 2014.
  53. "Jeon Do-yeon and Younha Chosen as Female Role Models". KBS World. October 15, 2008.
  54. Jeon Do-yeon to Tie Knot in Private Ceremony. The Chosun Ilbo. March 6, 2007.
  55. Stars Have Nuptial Plans: Actress Jeon Do-yeon Cuts Tape. The Korea Times. March 6, 2007.
  56. Actress Jeon Marries. The Korea Times. March 11, 2007.
  57. "Jeon Do-yeon makes cameo appearance in upcoming drama series 'On Air'". Hancinema. Broasia. January 4, 2008.
  58. "Film Awards Ceremonies in Korea". Korean Film. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  59. "'Old Boy' Gets Best Picture at Korea Film Awards". The Korea Times. December 6, 2004.
  60. ""Crying Fist" Nominated for 12 Categories of Daejong Award". KBS World. July 4, 2005.
  61. "Nominations announced for Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 24, 2005.
  62. ""Welcome To Dongmakgol" wins best picture award". KBS World. December 5, 2005.
  63. "Young Korean directors present Directors' Cut Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 30, 2005.
  64. "TV Networks Hand Out Awards". The Korea Times. January 1, 2006.
  65. "43rd Crowns King and the Clown". Korean Film Biz Zone. July 26, 2006.
  66. "Jeon Do-yeon Wins Best Actress at Cannes". The Chosun Ilbo. May 18, 2007.
  67. "Cannes winner takes her next step". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 23, 2007.
  68. "Family Ties Wins Top Prize at Home". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 13, 2007.
  69. "Culture Ministry to Award Medal to Actress Jeon". KBS World. June 28, 2007.
  70. "Jeon Do-Yeon Wins Best Actress Award at Asia Pacific Screen Awards". KBS World. November 14, 2007.
  71. "The Show Must Go On takes best film award at Korea's Blue Dragons". Screen Daily. November 26, 2007.
  72. "Jeon Do-yeon Takes Home Seventh Award". The Korea Times. December 3, 2007.
  73. "Jeon Do-yeon, voted as the "Best actress of the year" by female directors". Hancinema. Star Money. December 17, 2007.
  74. "'Secret Sunshine' Snags Three Awards at Asian Film Fest". The Chosun Ilbo. March 19, 2008.
  75. Jeon Do-yeon Awarded Top French Honor.The Chosun Ilbo. October 10, 2009.
  76. "Stars Shine at Andre Kims Atelier". The Korea Times. November 29, 2009.
  77. "Rain, Girls' Generation, Lee Beom-soo to receive arts & culture award". 10Asia. 15 February 2011.
  78. "Korean films win a series of awards at the Fantasporto Film Festival". Korean Film Biz Zone. March 9, 2011.
  79. "Korean Cinema Dominates Asian Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. March 25, 2011.
  80. "Korean Film Reporters Name SNOWPIERCER Best of 2013". Korean Film Biz Zone. January 28, 2014.
  81. "The 51st Daejong Film Awards Nominations Announced". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 12, 2014.
  82. "Hwang Jung-min and Jeon Do-yeon, the best actress and actor of the year". Hancinema. Osen. August 17, 2015.
  83. Conran, Pierce (October 8, 2015). "THE SHAMLESS Triumphs at the 24th Buil Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone.
  84. "Nomination Announced for 36th Edition of the Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. November 17, 2015.
  85. "Results of 2015 Major Korean Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 21, 2015.
  86. "Jeon Do-yeon named best actress". Korea JoongAng Daily. January 28, 2016.
  87. "BaekSang Grand Prize Goes to Director LEE Joon-ik". Korean Film Biz Zone. June 13, 2016.
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