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Han Suk-kyu (한석규)

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

When Han Suk-kyu donned the surgical scrubs and white coat and burst into our small screens as Kim Sa-bu in 2016’s Dr. Romantic, we knew instinctively that we were in for an exhilarating ride. But the gruff triple-board-certified genius doctor is only one of the many memorable roles in Han’s long career on screen.

Photo from The Korea Herald
Birthday: November 3, 1964

Fans of the actor would not be surprised to know that he once sang in an amateur folk rock band in college and that he started out as a voice actor at KBS. His unmistakably deep voice and clear enunciation are the stuff that young thespians all hope to emulate. Thankfully, he didn’t stay behind the scenes long and debuted in a youth drama Our Paradise in 1990.

His best work, however, can be found in films. He won a Baeksang Best New Actor for film for his role in Doctor Bong (1995). He was also praised for his roles in The Gingko Bed (1996), and in the critically acclaimed films Green Fish (1997) and No. 3 (1997). In 1999, Han took a break from acting because of a medical problem.

Eventually, he did return to acting both in films and in dramas. In 2011, he played King Sejong in the historical drama Deep Rooted Tree where he won a Daesang (grand prize).

In 2013, he starred alongside up-and-coming actor Lee Je-hoon in My Paparotti. They would again work alongside each other in the sageuk Secret Door (2014).

He continued to make his mark in films and was consistently nominated for his work in The Prison (2017), Idol (2019), Forbidden Dream (2020).

In 2022's drama Recipe for Farewell, he stars alongside Kim Seo-hyung as a couple facing an impending loss.

His most recent role as mentor/ doctor Kim Sa-bu in the three seasons of Dr. Romantic has endeared him to a whole new generation of K-drama fans.

A-list actor Han Suk-kyu proves to his peers, his younger co-stars, and his fans that real talent only gets better with age.

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