Korean dramas might not have the same level of fame as Hollywood films and TV shows. However, they are still popular with a massive following around the world. And most fans who watch the dramas do so out of their love and adoration of their favourite actresses. Who do you think is the most popular Korean actress?
Female K-drama stars in Korea are pretty famous in the country and on the international scene. As a result, they are sometimes held in high regard compared to their male counterparts. It is thus not surprising that several Korean actresses have gained international fame.
10 most popular Korean actress
South Korean acting industry is vibrant, with hundreds of K-dramas available. As a result, several actresses have made a name for themselves in the industry. Below is a look at the top ten actresses famous for their acting talent and roles they have held.
1. Son Ye-jin
Son Ye-jin (born January 11, 1982) is one of the top K-drama actresses of all time. She started acting in the 2000s, becoming famous for her romance films and dramas such as Summer Scent, April Snow, The Classic, and A Moment to Remember.
After her fame, Ye-jin sought to shed her nice girl image and took on diverse roles that only highlighted her talent. Since then, the actress has attained international fame for her role in the dramas Something in the Rain and Crash Landing on You. Currently, she is working on an upcoming Hollywood movie titled The Cross.
2. Park Min-young
Park Min Young is considered one of the most beautiful Korean actresses. Born on March 4, 1986 (35 years old), the K-drama star started by doing commercials. She then went into acting, landing several minor roles in the early years.
In 2010, Min Young starred in the historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, which propelled her to fame. After the show, she landed top roles in popular dramas such as City Hunter, Glory Jane, A New Leaf, Queen for Seven Days, and more.
In recent times, Park has started in romantic comedy/drama What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, which was an international hit. Other projects she has worked on include Her Private Life and When the Weather is Fine.
3. Song Hye-Kyo
Song Hye-Kyo is a household name in the Korean entertainment industry. Born on November 22, 1981 (39 years), the actress started as a model in junior high school. This paved the way for her to go into acting, where she enjoyed several minor roles.
In 2000, Song Hye-Kyo got her breakthrough after starring in the KBS drama Autumn in My Heart. Since then, she has played leading roles in top drama series such as That Winter, The Wind Blows, Full House, Descendants of the Sun, and Encounter.
Due to her impressive talent, Song Hye-Kyo is one of the highest-paid Korean actresses, with a net worth of around $37 million. She is also a highly sought after influencer, earning up to $650 000 per endorsement.
4. Ku Hye Sun
Who is the prettiest Korean actress? You might find your answer in Ku Hye Sun. But don't her looks fool you! The 36-year old actress is just as impressive with her acting skills.
Ku Hye Sun was discovered after she became famous on the internet for her looks. Initially, she wanted to be a singer and was looking into joining a girl group. However, she chose to pursue acting, initially making her debut in commercial ads. She was then cast into the first K-drama role on the horror series Anagram.
Ku Hye Sun continued to appear in a few minor roles, until 2006 when she starred in the drama Pure in Heart. She followed this up with another impressive performance in the Historical drama, The King and I.
Ku Hye Sun has since become a household name, starring in top dramas such as Take Care of Us, Captain, Angel Eyes, Blood, and You Are Too Much. She is also a singer and has ventured into directing.
5. Kim Tae-hee
Kim Tae-hee is a veteran 41-year old K-drama actress who has been acting since 2001. Nonetheless, she is considered to be one of the most beautiful Korean actresses. She was discovered as a model by an advertising executive while riding the subway.
Kim started out doing TV commercials and magazine ads before landing her first film role in Last Present. She then appeared in several parts before making a breakthrough through the SBS drama Stairways to Heaven. After the drama's success, she landed leading roles in the TV shows Love Story in Harvard and Forbidden Love, which turned her into a household name.
6. Ha Ji-won
Ha Ji-won (real name Jeon Hae-rim) is a 43-year old South Korean singer and actress. She has been acting since 1996, making her one of the top names in the industry. She is famous for her diverse acting roles, having featured in several film and TV genres – action, comedy, romance, horror, and more.
Ha Ji-won did not have it easy getting into acting. She was turned down for several roles that she had auditioned for. However, in 1996, she got her first role in the teen drama New Generation Report: Adults Don’t Understand Us.
However, it wasn't until her role in the 1999 drama School 2 that she gained popularity. Since then, she has starred in several dozen films and K-dramas such as Empress Ki, Hospital Ship, Secret Garden, Damo, Something Happened in Bali, and more.
7. Kim Go-Eun
Kim Go-Eun is a 30-year old K-drama actress based in Seoul, Korea. She was thrust into the limelight with her first movie role when cast in the 2012 film A Muse. Her performance was so impressive that she won the Best New Actress of the Year and got several offers for more roles. However, she took a break to complete her college education.
Kim Go-Eun returned to acting in 2015 in the thriller film, Monster. Since then, she has starred in top movies and dramas such as Coin Locker Girl, Hit-and-Run Squad, The King: Eternal Monarch, and Yumi’s Cells.
8. Kim Yoo Jung
Kim Yoo-Jung (21 years) is another one of the youngest faces in the K-drama industry. She is also one of the most famous child actresses in Korea, which earned her the nickname “Korea’s Little Sister.”
Kim started modelling when she was just five years old. She then made her debut in acting with the film DMZ and the drama series Freezing Point. Since then, she has featured in dramas such as Moon Embracing the Sun, Love in the Moonlight, and more.
9. Bae Suzy
Bae Suzy (real name Bae Su-ji) is a South Korean singer, model, and actress. Born on October 10, 1994 (26 years), she is one of the youngest Korean actresses in their 20s.
Bae Suzy started as a singer as a member of the K-pop girl group Miss A. However, she has quickly made a name for herself in the acting industry.
She made her debut in the acting scene with the KBS musical teen drama Dream High. Her performance was impressive, which saw her land her debut big-screen role with the film Architecture 101. Since then, she has starred in top Korean dramas such as Start-Up, Vagabond, and While You Were Sleeping.
10. Krystal Jung
Chrystal Soo Jung (also known as Krystal Jung) is a Korean American actress based in South Korea. She is one of the youngest Korean actresses who are making waves in the industry.
Krystal started as a singer (lead vocalist) in the K-pop girl group f(x). She then tried her luck as a TV show host before landing a role in the sitcom show, More Charming by the Day. After that, she continued to land several minor roles before being cast as the star in the SBS drama My Lovely Girl.
Today, Krystal is a household name in the K-drama industry, having starred in several dramas such as Player, Prison Playbook, and Search. She has also featured in several movies and continues to pursue a career in music. Currently, she is starring in the KBS2 drama series, Police University.
Who is your favourite Korean actress? The above are some of the top names currently making waves in the South Korean acting industry. While there are several more actresses, the ones here have managed to woo fans with their acting, singing, and dancing skills – and some even with their looks. So look them up today to catch some of these K-dramas they have starred in.
Yen.com.gh shared an article on the top 15 richest actors in the world in 2020. Cinema is one of the most appreciated forms of art today. Most movies with huge budgets also bring large profits. The entire film industry is a business of its own. That is why it is easy to find the richest actors in the world surviving on film gigs alone.
Some of the highest-paid actors have taken years to get to where they are today. Actors also complement their income by getting involved in other projects like product endorsements, and any other business that will bring them money outside of the cinema.