Jeon Do-yeon (전도연)
Updated: Feb 12
The only Korean actress ever to win Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, Jeon Do-yeon is the superlative muse to many notable Korean directors. She is known for her wide yet uncompromising range of film roles and performances, which span a list so long and impressive that in 2014, she was made a panel member of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, once again making her the only Korean actress to do so. She is widely regarded as one of the best actresses in Korean cinema and has been awarded several accolades for her outstanding performances.
Born in 1973 in Seoul, South Korea, Jeon Do-yeon made her acting debut in the late 1980s, appearing in various TV dramas and films. Despite her early success, it wasn't until the late 1990s that Jeon Do-yeon rose to national and international fame.
She met huge box-office success with commercial features such as “Untold Scandal” (a Korean adaptation of the French novel “Dangerous Liaisons”), but it was with her incredible performance as a widowed mother in “Secret Sunshine” (2007) that she truly shot to international fame. She won the Best Actress award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for her stunning performance in the said film, and remains the only Korean actress to do so. This marked a major turning point in her career and solidified her status as one of the leading actresses in Korea.
Since then, Jeon has continued to captivate audiences with her performances in a wide range of films, from heartwarming dramas to intense thrillers. She has also proven her versatility by taking on a range of different characters, showcasing her ability to fully immerse herself in each role and bring it to life on the big screen. Some of her most notable films include the remake of "The Housemaid," and "Way Back Home."
On the small screen, Jeon is best remembered as the lead of “Lovers in Prague,” which won her the coveted Grand Prize (Daesang), and also as the lead of "The Good Wife" k-drama remake (2016).
Her stellar career has not shown any signs of slowing down. Beyond the Cannes trophy, she has continued to win all the major acting awards given by illustrious bodies such as the Blue Dragon, Grand Bell, Baeksang, and Chunsa Awards. She is also a recipient of the Korean Order of Cultural Merit, and a French grantee of the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres for all her contribution to the arts.
Despite her busy acting schedule, Jeon Do-yeon is also actively involved in various philanthropic endeavors. She is a strong advocate for children's rights and is a passionate supporter of various charitable organizations that help children in need. With her stunning performances, natural beauty, and passionate spirit, she will continue to be a beloved figure in the Korean entertainment industry for many years to come.
Many happy returns for this Korean screen icon!