Lee Jong-suk

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Lee Jong-suk
(이종석 x 엠비오) 웹드라마 Long Distance Love 고화질 현장사진 (1).jpg
In March 2015
Born (1989-09-14) September 14, 1989 (age 28)
Nationality Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Education Konkuk University
Occupation Model, actor
Years active 2005–present
Agent YG Entertainment
Height 186cm (6ft 1in)
Korean name
Revised Romanization I Jong-seok
McCune–Reischauer Yi Chongsŏk

Lee Jong-suk (Hangul: 이종석, born 14 September 1989) is a South Korean actor and model. He debuted in 2005 as a runway model, becoming the youngest male model ever to participate in Seoul Fashion Week. Lee's breakout role was in School 2013 (2012) and he is also well known for his roles in I Can Hear Your Voice (2013), Doctor Stranger (2014), Pinocchio (2014), W (2016), and While You Were Sleeping (2017).


Lee majored in Professional Motion Pictures and Art at Konkuk University and graduated from the university in 2016.[1]


2005–2010: Beginnings

At 16, Lee began his modelling career at the Seoul Collection walkway in 2005, making him the youngest male model to debut in the Seoul Collection program at Seoul Fashion Week. Since then, he has walked in a number of fashion shows.[2][3]

Lee trained as an idol group member for three months, and had signed on with an agency to debut. However, he quit after the agency broke their promise of debuting him as an actor.[4] He took part in a selection for actors at SBS TV station when he was in middle school.[5]

In 2010, Lee made his official acting debut in the South Korean TV series Prosecutor Princess. He also made his big-screen debut in the horror movie Ghost.

2011–2013: Rising popularity and Breakthrough

Lee started to gain recognition following his supporting role in the hit drama Secret Garden where he played a talented young composer with a surly attitude and a forbidden crush on the second male lead.[6] In 2011, he appeared in MBC's sitcom High Kick Season 3 where he gained further popularity.[7][8] In 2012, Lee starred in the film R2B: Return to Base, a loose remake of the critically acclaimed 1986 film Top Gun.[9]

At Vogue Fashion's Night Out, 2013

Lee's breakout role came as a high school student in the teen drama School 2013.[10] He received his first acting award for the role at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards under the category Best New Actor.[11] He also ranked fifth according to a survey entitled 'Actors Who Lit Up 2013' by Gallup Korea.[12]

Following the success of School 2013, Lee starred in the critically acclaimed drama series I Can Hear Your Voice with Lee Bo-young. He played Park Soo-ha, an intelligent young man who can read minds.[13] Originally slated for 16 episodes, the drama was extended by 2 episodes due to its successful ratings.[14] He received the Excellence Award in the male category at the Korea Drama Awards for his performance.[15] Lee then starred in the sports film No Breathing and had a supporting role in the box office hit The Face Reader.[16][17]

2014–2015: Rising popularity in China

January 2014, Lee starred in the teen romantic comedy movie Hot Young Bloods, portraying the school's playboy where he attempts to woo all high school girls except for one, Young-Sook, who is played by Park Bo Young..[18][19]

Later that year, in July, Lee starred in the hit medical drama Doctor Stranger. He played the protagonist, Park Hoon, a genius surgeon who was kidnapped by North Korea. Park Hoon later on escapes to South Korea and becomes a doctor in South Korea's top hospital. He does anything for money to find his lost first love, Song Jae Hee (Jin Se Yun). The drama was a huge success in China, gaining 400 million views.[20]

During November, Lee next starred in Pinocchio with Co-Star Park Shin-hye. He played the protagonist, Choi Dal-po. As a young boy, his entire family was destroyed because of false news media, who then get adopted in a rural area after being found lost at sea. Time flies by and Dal-po is now a first year reporter at a broadcasting company who struggles with the idea of justice and truth in a world where the facts are often hidden.[21] Pinocchio was another hit, with a reported revenue of 6.2 billion won (US$5.62 million) for broadcasting rights in just one year.[22][23]

At W press conference, August 2016

Lee's performances in the dramas Doctor Stranger and Pinocchio earned him acting accolades, including the Male Top Excellence Award at the 8th Korea Drama Awards.[24] He also became the youngest actor to win the Best Actor award at the 27th Grimae Awards, chosen by television cinematographers.[25]

Due to Lee's success in China, a wax figure of the him went on display in Hong Kong's Madame Tussauds, which the actor unveiled himself in a ceremony.[26] Lee was also cast in his first Chinese drama entitled Jade Lovers alongside actress Zheng Shuang. The drama, filmed in Shanghai, is described as a fantasy romance series set in the 1930s.[27] Lee later released a photobook titled 2014-2015 Asia Tour Story ~With~, comprising photos taken of Lee's meetings with fans in seven Asian cities during a nine-month tour.[28]

2016–present: New agency and continued success

In December 2015, Lee left his previous agency Wellmade Yedang and signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment on May 10, 2016.[29]

In July 2016, Lee returned to the Korean small screen with MBC's fantasy thriller W alongside Han Hyo-joo.[30][31] The drama topped popularity charts in Korea,[32] and Lee won the Daesang (Grand Prize) at the year-end MBC Drama Awards.[33] The same year, he co-starred in the promotional web drama First Seven Kisses for Lotte Duty Free.[34]

In 2017, Lee starred in the crime film VIP, marking his first lead role as a villain.[35][36] Lee then starred in the supernatural-procedural drama While You Were Sleeping alongside Bae Suzy in September.[37][38]

In July of the same year, Lee was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Korean tourism by the Korea Tourism Organization. The organization also released promotional videos featuring the actor, titled "8 Episodes of Korea", which focuse on tourist spots in 10 different regions including Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Jeju and Gyeongju.[39]

Personal life

Lee is best friends with fellow model-actor and School 2013 co-star Kim Woo-bin, whom he has known since their modeling days.[40][41]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Sympathy Lee Han-sol
2010 Ghost Baek Hyun-wook
2012 As One Choi Kyung-sub
R2B: Return to Base First Lieutenant Ji Seok-hyun
2013 The Face Reader Kim Jin-hyeong
No Breathing Jeong Woo-sang
2014 Hot Young Bloods Kang Joong-gil
2017 VIP Kim Gwang-il

Television series

Year Title Role Network Notes
2010 Prosecutor Princess Lee Woo-hyun SBS
Secret Garden Han Tae-sun
2011 High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Ahn Jong-suk MBC
2012 My Prettiest Moments Yoon Jung-hyuk KBS2
School 2013 Go Nam-soon
2013 I Hear Your Voice Park Soo-ha SBS
Potato Star 2013QR3 Jong-suk tvN Cameo
2014 Doctor Stranger Park Hoon SBS
Pinocchio Choi Dal-po / Ki Ha-myung
2016 W Kang Chul MBC
Gogh, The Starry Night Song Dae-ki Sohu & SBS Cameo[42][43]
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo Himself MBC
2017 Jade Lover Bai Luohan Youku
2017 While You Were Sleeping Jung Jae-chan SBS

Web series

Year Title Role Network Notes
2016 First Seven Kisses Lee Jong-suk Naver TV Cast Ep. 6-7


Soundtrack appearances

Title Year Peak chart
Sales Album

"Come To Me" (내게 와) 2017 N/A While You Were Sleeping OST
"Would You Know" (그대는 알까요)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2005 South Korean Superstar Selection Competition Star of New Advertising Models N/A Won
2006 SMART Model Contest Most Photogenic Award N/A Won
2011 4th Style Icon Awards SIA's Choice Award N/A Won
2012 48th Paeksang Arts Awards Best Variety Performer - Male High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Best New Actor School 2013 Won [11]
2013 7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star – Male N/A Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Won [15]
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Won
6th Style Icon Awards The 21st Century Gentleman Won [45]
21st Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Won
Hallyu Grand Award Won
2nd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor Won [46]
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Won
SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won [47]
Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple Award with Lee Bo-young Nominated
2014 9th Asia Model Festival Awards Model Star Award N/A Won
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
51st Grand Bell Awards Popularity Award Hot Young Bloods Nominated
9th Seoul International Drama Awards People's Choice Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Doctor Stranger Nominated
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons N/A Nominated
27th Grimae Awards Top Excellence Award Doctor Stranger, Pinocchio Won [48]
SBS Drama Awards SBS Special Award Won [49]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Pinocchio Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won [49]
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Best Couple Award with Park Shin-hye Won [49]
2015 51st Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actor (TV) Won [50]
2015 Korea Brand Stars Grand Prize N/A Won [51]
8th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Pinocchio Won [24]
6th Korean Popular Culture & Arts Award Prime Minister Award N/A Won [52]
2016 5th APAN Star Awards Best Actor in a Miniseries, Top Excellence Award
Best Couple Award with Han Hyo-joo Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang)
(Determined through viewer's votes)[53]
Won [33]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won
Best Couple Award with Han Hyo-joo Won
2017 SBS Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) While You Were Sleeping Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor in Wednesday-Thursday Drama Won [54]
Best Couple Award with Bae Suzy Won [55]


  1. ^ Kim, Ji-young (February 21, 2016). "Lee Jong-suk graduates Konkuk Univ". Kpop Herald. Retrieved February 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Models rushing to small screen". Korea Times. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Lee Jong-suk emerging as new Asian star". Korea Times. May 28, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Lee Jong Seok Says He Can't Call Himself an Actor Yet". enewsWorld. September 2, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "이종석-손동운 건국대 정시모집 합격...네티즌 "얼굴만 잘 생긴게 아니었네"" (in Korean). Nate. February 1, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ "이보영 이종석 윤상현,SBS 수목극 '너의 목소리가 들려' 출연". Sports Seoul (in Korean). April 29, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "MBC 일일시트콤 하이킥! 짧은 다리의 역습 메인 페이지". Imbc.com (in Korean). Retrieved March 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Lee Jong Seok Says 'High Kick 3' was the Jewel of His Life". enewsWorld. March 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ "[Interview Part I] The Pretty Boy Lee Jong Seok Takes a Turn with 'R2B'". enewsWorld. September 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Ho, Stewart (October 29, 2012). "Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin, Park Se Young, 5dolls' Hyoyoung Cast as Main Students for School 5". enewsWorld. 
  11. ^ a b "Big Winners of 2012 Announced at Drama Awards Ceremonies of Major Broadcasters". 10Asia. January 1, 2013. Archived from the original on April 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "이보영·지성 부부, 2013년을 빛낸 탤런트 1·2위" [Newlyweds Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung rank #1 and #2 in survey for ‘Actors Who Lit Up 2013’]. Star News (in Korean). December 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Drama gives 'Voice' to unique storylines". Korea JoongAng Daily. July 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lee, Eun-ah (July 17, 2013). "Lee Jong-suk's I Can Hear Your Voice Extended by 2 Episodes". TenAsia. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "이종석·김동완·서현진 '코리아드라마어워즈' 남녀우수상 수상 Lee Jong-suk, Kim Dong-wan and Seo Hyeon-jin receive awards". TV Daily (in Korean). October 2, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (October 25, 2013). "Actors take plunge into swimming roles". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  17. ^ Tae, Sang-joon (August 14, 2013). "Director and Stars Gather for THE FACE READER Press Conference". Korean Film Council. 
  18. ^ "Lee, Park to star in 'Boiling Youth'". The Korea Times. August 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Lee Jong-suk Sets Hearts Racing as Country Bumpkin in New Comedy". The Chosun Ilbo. August 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "'Doctor Stranger' gets nearly 400 million views in China". Yonhap. July 7, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lee Jong-suk Finds Acting Harder as He Gets More Famous". The Chosun Ilbo. February 21, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Cultural Exports to Surpass 1 Trillion Won This Year". Business Korea. December 26, 2014. 
  23. ^ "'Pinocchio' sells distribution rights to China for record price". Kpop Herald. November 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "[2015 KDA]김수현 눈물의 대상 '2년 연속 수상'". E Daily (in Korean). October 9, 2015. 
  25. ^ "이종석, 촬영감독들이 뽑은 '그리메상' 남자 최우수연기상 역대 최연소로 수상" [Lee Jong Suk to be the youngest male actor to win Grimae’s "The Best Male Actor Awards"]. Sports Kyunghyang (in Korean). December 9, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk's wax figure to be unveiled in Hong Kong". Yonhap. January 21, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk cast for S. Korean-Chinese drama". Yonhap. December 23, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk's photo book to go on sale overseas". Yonhap. July 29, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Actor Lee Jong-suk signs with YG". Korea JoongAng Daily. May 11, 2016. 
  30. ^ Kim, Soo-hyang. "Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo in new drama 'W'". Kpop Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  31. ^ Jang, Jin-ri. "'더블유' 이종석-한효주, 7월 안방 특급 커플이 뜬다". TenAsia (in Korean). Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  32. ^ "Sci-fi drama 'W' takes top spot on CPI chart". Yonhap. August 2, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "[MBC 연기대상] 맥락 있는 시청자 선택=이종석…안방점령 'W' 7관왕(종합)". JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). December 31, 2016. 
  34. ^ "[단독]이종석·이준기·지창욱·박해진 뭉쳤다…'첫키스만 여섯번째' 출연". News1 (in Korean). Retrieved November 2, 2016. 
  35. ^ Jin Min-ji (August 20, 2016). "Actor Lee Jong-suk confirmed for 'VIP'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  36. ^ "Lee Jong-suk Shows His Dark Side in Latest Crime Thriller". The Chosun Ilbo. September 2, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Lee Jong-suk to play prosecutor in next drama". Kpop Herald. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  38. ^ "Lee Jong-suk, Su-zy to Star in New TV Series This Fall". The Chosun Ilbo. August 5, 2017. 
  39. ^ Kim, So-yeon. "Lee Jong-suk named honorary ambassador for Korea Tourism". Kpop Herald. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  40. ^ Choi, EunHwa (October 22, 2013). "Lee Jong Suk says Kim Woo Bin is the Only Friend He Can Lean On". enewsWorld. 
  41. ^ Kim, Soo-hyang (June 23, 2016). "Strong friendships among male celebrities". Kpop Herald. 
  42. ^ "Lee Jong-suk and Park Shin-hye cameo in web-drama". Kpop Herald. October 23, 2016. 
  43. ^ "Lee Jong-suk appears as cameo on 'Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo'". Kpop Herald. November 2, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Gaon Chart". Gaon Chart (in Korean). 
  45. ^ "Lee Jong Suk Accepts Award at 2013 Style Icon Awards". enewsWorld. October 24, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Who Won Top Honors At The 2013 APAN Star Awards?". KDramaStars. November 18, 2013. 
  47. ^ "SBS Drama Awards 2013 Winners". HanCinema. December 31, 2013. 
  48. ^ "'You Who Came from the Stars,' Lee Jong Suk and Song Yoon Ah Win Big at Grimme Awards". enewsWorld. December 8, 2014. 
  49. ^ a b c "SBS Drama Awards 2014 Winners". HanCinema. December 31, 2014. 
  50. ^ Yoon, Sarah (May 27, 2015). "Lee Min-ho, Park Shin-hye, Lee Jong-suk win Most Popular awards". K-pop Herald. 
  51. ^ "이민호·이종석, 중국인이 뽑은 한류★ '올해의 브랜드'". My Daily (in Korean). October 7, 2015. 
  52. ^ "Park Shin-hye, Lee Jong-suk awarded at 2015 KPCAA". Kpop Herald. October 30, 2015. 
  53. ^ "MBC Drama Awards 2014 to Decide Grand Prize Winner through Real Time Text Voting". OSEN. 
  54. ^ "Lee Jong-suk Wins Top Excellence Actor Award at '2017 SBS Drama Awards'". SBS News. January 2, 2018. 
  55. ^ "SBS Drama Awards 2017: Defendant star Ji Sung bags grand prize; complete winners list". International Business Times. December 31, 2017. 

External links

  • Official website (in Korean)
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