Yoon Eun-hye (윤은혜)
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
Who else in k-dramaland has effectively portrayed a young princess and a male barista? A former Baby V.O.X vocalist, Baeksang Best Actress Yoon Eun-hye has proven her acting prowess—her roles in Princess Hours (2006) and Coffee Prince (2007) remain iconic and timeless.
Photo from HanCinema
Birthday: October 3, 1984
Yoon Eun-hye's portrayal of Eun-chan in Coffee Prince, 2007’s timeless gender-bender k-drama, is truly iconic. More than sporting short hair and masculine clothes, Yoon Eun-hye walked and acted like a guy—a realistic portrayal of a male disguise so she can work in the male-only wait staff at the coffee shop. Add her nuanced acting and great chemistry with Gong Yoo and we get why she became the youngest Best Actress winner at the 44th Baeksang Arts Awards, beating veterans Kim Hee-ae and Park Jin-hee.
Before becoming an actress, she debuted at 15 as a member of the famous K-pop group Baby V.O.X (Voices Of eXpression) in 1999. The "first generation" girl group (loosely defined as those which debuted from the late 1990s to early 2000s) was considered at the forefront of the Hallyu Wave. It topped Chinese music charts, became the second girl group to perform in North Korea, and sold hundreds of thousands of albums in South Korea, China, Thailand, and other Asian countries. However, amidst chart success, in 2000, a male anti-fan shot her in the eyes with a soy-sauce-vinegar-filled water gun, but she did not press charges.
In 2005, she left the group and switched to acting. She was cast as an ordinary-girl-turned-crown-princess in the rom-com Princess Hours (2006). Despite a petition to replace her, Princess Hours became so popular across Asia that it spun off a TV series, a musical, various remakes, and an upcoming second Korean adaptation.
In 2006, she debuted in the movie Legend of Seven Cutter. A year later, she achieved Hallyu status because of Coffee Prince. Criticisms followed her every success, but she continued working on several TV projects such as Missing You (2012) and Stars' Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant (2019 to present), and films like Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2015).
Breaking boundaries, she directed the short film The Knitting (2012), screened at the 17th Busan International Film Festival and the 38th Seoul Independent Film Festival. In 2015, she won in the Chinese reality show Goddess Fashion 2, but later apologized for plagiarism accusations.
In 2017, she joined the variety show Dear Pet, We Need to Talk. In 2020, she walked fans down memory lane in the documentary My Dear Youth – Coffee Prince where the main cast, the writer, and producer-director were interviewed at the various Coffee Prince sets, carefully preserved after all these years.
She currently vlogs through her YouTube channel "Yoon Eun Hye’s Eunhyelogin."