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Kim Hee-ae (김희애)

Updated: Apr 28

Many Korean actors could work non-stop their entire lives, taking role after role, without ever getting nominated or awarded, much less winning a Daesang (Grand Prize). Kim Hee-ae has won five.

Birthday: April 23, 1967

Instagram: heeae_official

Welcome to Kim Hee-ae's extraordinary career. Before she portrayed the stress and strength of betrayed wives all over the world as Dr. Ji Sun-woo in 2020's runaway hit, The World of the Married, she won the Grand Prize for Beyond the Mountains (MBC Drama Awards, 1991), Sons and Daughters (29th Baeksang Arts Awards, 1993), Perfect Love (40th Baeksang, 2004), and My Husband's Woman (1st Korea Drama Awards, SBS Drama Awards, 2007).

Not one to shy away from emotionally demanding and even controversial roles, she also took part in Herstory, (2018) a film based on Comfort Women, and in the older-woman/younger-man sizzler drama Secret Affair (2014) opposite Yoo Ah-in. Ironically, while she may have built a career on playing complex and often adulterous women onscreen, she is happily married in real life, and a devout Roman Catholic as well.

The elegant actress let her hair down and showed her lighter side in the 2013 travel variety Sisters Over Flowers, where she went backpacking around Turkey and Croatia with fellow screen veterans Youn Yuh-jung, Kim Ja-ok, and Lee Mi-yeon, as well as Lee Seung-gi.

How does this woman stay in top form? This wife and mother of two sons credits it all to her ruthless dedication to lifelong learning. "I have to work hard to improve myself, even when I am not acting," she tells Soompi. "That’s something that’s ongoing for me.”

She most recently starred opposite fellow powerhouse actress Moon So-ri (On the Verge of Insanity) in Netflix’s political drama Queenmaker which seems to be set up for a second season. Kim Hee-ae is slated to headline another Netflix political drama, Gust, with Sol Kyung-gyu.

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