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Yoo Seung-ho (유승호)

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Yoo Seung-ho's adorably smiling eyes draw viewers into whatever character he plays. Handsome actors like him could have easily stuck with easy, tropey roles. But not Yoo Seung-ho. He could effortlessly kindle a fiery chemistry with his co-stars even if he were blindfolded. Acting for over two decades, he has kept his roles versatile while experimenting with other art forms. And if this were not enough, ask his fans who have fallen more in love with him for being a child actor advocate and a fur dad to four cats.

GwenchaNoona | Actor's Profile: Yoo Seung-ho

Photo from SPOTV STAR / HanCinema

Birthday: August 17, 1993 Instagram: @dandyoo93_official

In 1999, he debuted as a mobile phone ad model at six. After his first drama Daddy Fish (2000), he became famous as a city brat in his first film, the unexpected hit The Way Home (2002). He then starred in the child-oriented TV show Magic Warriors Mir & Gaon (2005) and children’s movies Hearty Paws (2006) and Unforgettable (2008). The highest-paid child actor of his generation, he played the younger counterparts of k-drama leads such as Kim Myung-min in Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin (2004), Go Jo-woon in The King and I (2007), and Bae Yong-joon in The Legend (2007).

As a teen, he earned Baeksang Best New Actor nominations for the movie 4th Period Mystery (2009) and the series Master of Study (2010). Seeking more mature characters, he portrayed a chaebol heir married at 21 in the drama Flames of Desire (2010), a witness in the thriller film Blind (2011), and an assassin in the martial arts sageuk (historical show) Warrior Baek Dong-soo (2011).

In the highly popular Warrior Baek Dong-soo (2011), he plays Yeo Woon, an assassin known for his exceptional combat abilities and loyalty to his master. However, Yeo Woon grapples with questions of identity, morality, and loyalty. His friendship and rivalry with the titular character, Baek Dong-Soo (played by Ji Chang-wook), and his actions blur the lines between good and evil, ultimately forcing him to make choices that have far-reaching consequences.

He finally landed his first lead role in Operation Proposal (2012).

His wildly successful K-dramas Queen Seondeok (2009) and Arang and the Magistrate (2012) didn’t keep him from exploring other endeavors. He appeared in music videos for So Ji-sub's songs, lent his voice to two films and a documentary, and published a photo book with the late photographer Bori. He also participated in charities, even singing a duet with IU.

After military service, he took on lead roles non-stop—a cat-loving webtoon artist in Imaginary Cat (2015), a person with hyperthemesia (autobiographical memory) in Remember (2015), and a swindler in the movie Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River (2016). He also played a secret crown prince in The Emperor: Owner of the Mask (2017), a chaebol heir with allergies in the fan-favorite I'm Not a Robot (2017), and a memory-reading detective in Memorist (2020).

In Remember, he plays Seo Jin-woo, a young man with an exceptional memory. Jin-woo's life takes a dramatic turn when his father is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Determined to prove his father's innocence and seek justice, Jin-woo embarks on a journey to become a lawyer. Throughout the drama, Yoo Seung-ho's character, Seo Jin-woo, showcases his intelligence and determination as he navigates the legal system, uncovering hidden truths and facing numerous challenges.

In I Am Not a Robot, he plays Kim Min-kyu, a young and wealthy CEO suffering from an unusual allergy to human contact. This condition forces him to live an isolated and lonely life because even a simple touch from another person could mean his death. But Min-kyu's life takes an unexpected turn when he is introduced to a humanoid robot named Aji 3. Unbeknownst to him, Aji 3 (Chae Soo-bin) is actually a human paid to play a robot. Min-kyu begins to develop feelings for Aji 3, believing her to be a real woman, which leads to a series of comical and heartwarming situations.

In Memorist, he plays Dong Baek, a detective with an extraordinary ability to read people's memories and experiences by touching them or objects associated with them. He becomes an essential asset to the police force in solving complex cases and uses his unusual skills to delve into the minds of criminals and uncover critical evidence.

After starring as a straitlaced inspector in Moonshine (2021), he made a cameo in the crime action film Special Delivery (2022). But having acted for a long time, he took a much-needed break to film a travel show in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, which was shown on Discovery Korea’s Off the Grid episodes 19 and 20 (2022-2023).

Fans eagerly await his return in his new k-drama Deal, a webtoon-based Wavve thriller about a staged kidnapping, where he will portray a former high school soccer player. Adapted from an acclaimed webtoon, "The Deal" centers around three former high school classmates in their twenties who reunite for drinks after a long hiatus. The situation takes a drastic turn as two of them impulsively opt to abduct the third, plunging all three into a harrowing and tumultuous journey.

He may follow this up with the found-family series I Am Home.

His chemistry with his co-actors has been so impressive that some fans wish they were Chae Soo-bin (I’m Not a Robot), Byeon Woo-seok (Moonshine), or Bok-gil the Cat (Imaginary Cat) in an alternate universe.

From child prodigy to multi-awarded actor, Yoo Seung-ho's career trajectory is a testament to his talent, hard work, and resilience. His ability to adapt and excel in various roles makes him a versatile actor and a treasure in the Korean entertainment landscape.

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