Song Ji-hyo

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Song Ji-hyo
Born Cheon Seong-im
(1981-08-15) August 15, 1981 (age 36)
Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea
Other names Cheon Soo-yeon
  • Actress
  • model
Years active 2001–present
Agent My Company
Korean name
Revised Romanization Song Ji-hyo
McCune–Reischauer Song Chihyo
Birth name
Revised Romanization Cheon Seong-im
McCune–Reischauer Ch'ŏn Sŏngim

Cheon Soo-yeon (born Cheon Seong-im on August 15, 1981), professionally known by her stage name Song Ji-hyo, is a South Korean actress and model. Song was a cover model for Kiki Magazine before made her acting debut in the feature film Wishing Stairs (2003), the third installment in the Whispering Corridors film series. She then made her television debut in the romantic comedy Princess Hours (2006) and appeared in the historical Jumong (2006). Song received wider recognition for the leading role in the film A Frozen Flower (2008) and the TV series Emergency Couple (2014).

Besides acting, Song is one of the regular casts of the South Korean variety show Running Man since 2010, which brought her international recognition.

Early life

Song Ji-hyo was born as Cheon Seong-im on August 15, 1981, in Pohang, North Gyeongsang. Her mother was a South Korean national swimmer representative. She has a younger sister and a younger brother, Cheon Seong-moon, an actor. Song dreamed to become an actress during her high school years after watching Park Shin-yang in the 1998 South Korean film, Promise. She graduated in tax accounting degree from Kyungmoon University (now Kookje College). Before entering the acting industry, Song was cast while working a part-time job at a cafe.[1]


2001–2005: Career beginnings

Before Song debuted as an actress, she was a model for Kiki Magazine. She chose "Song Ji-hyo" as her stage name because she was inspired by the two famous actors Song Seung-heon and Song Hye-kyo. Song then appeared in the music videos of Lee Soo-young's "And I Love You" and JTL's "Just Say Goodbye". She also made a cameo appearance in the television series Age of Innocence.

Song made her feature film debut in Wishing Stairs (2003), the third installment of the horror Whispering Corridors film series, after beating out 3000 actors in an audition.[2] Then she was nominated for the Best New Actress at the 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards for her performance in the film. She starred in the crime thriller Some (2004), where she played a reporter while co-starred with Go Soo.

2006–2009: Rising popularity

Song made her television debut by playing second female lead in the romantic comedy, Princess Hours (2006), where she played a ballet dancer who dreams to be a ballerina.[3] The series became hit across Asia, contributing to the Korean Wave. In the same year, she played the role of Lady Ye So-ya, the first wife of Jumong and the mother of King Yuri in the historical television series Jumong (2006). The series was a commercial hit, receiving the highest viewership ratings of all the Korean dramas that aired in 2006. Song experienced a rise in popularity, and was nominated for Best New Actress in the TV category at the 43th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance.[4]

The following year, Song starred as a popular swimming champion who has a painful past in the comedy film Sex Is Zero 2 (2007), the sequel to Sex Is Zero (2002) opposite Im Chang-jung.[5] She also co-hosted SBS weekly live music show Inkigayo, with Heechul of Super Junior from 11 November 2007 to 4 May 2008. Song then portrayed the Queen in Yoo Ha's film A Frozen Flower (2008), alongside Jo In-sung and Joo Jin-mo. The film became one of the highest-grossing films of 2008, and led to increased recognition for Song. She later commented, "When I decided to do this film, nudity was not the central issue. How much I expose is not important to me; I thought without that scene, it would be difficult to portray the subtle changes in emotion. What mattered to me at the time was working on my facial expressions apart from the posture that the director wanted me to convey".[6]

2010–present: Running Man and international recognition

Song has joined the urban action variety show Running Man since 2010. She was requested to join by PD Kim Joo-hyung or also known as Myeok PD, whom she worked with while hosting Inkigayo. She appeared in the show as a guest in episode 2 to episode 5 then officially joined and became a regular cast in episode 6.[7]

Song at the Crime Squad press conference in 2011.

After her contact ended with Namoo Actors, Song signed with C-JeS Entertainment in early 2011 and appeared in Choo Chang-min's film Late Blossom (2011). The film is based on the comic I Love You by web cartoonist Kang Full.[8] She reunited with Song Il-gook after worked together in Jumong in the police procedural television series Crime Squad (2011) where she played a role as a reporter.[9] Then starred in the historical television series Gyebaek (2011) as the Queen of King Uija.[10] In the same year, she was appointed as promotional ambassador for the Ministry of Education along with label-mates JYJ.[11]

Song later co-starred Kim Jae-joong of JYJ in the action comedy Code Name: Jackal (2012) where she played a clumsy assassin.[12][13] The following year, Song participated in dubbing for the animated film Maritime Police Marco (2013) and played a detective in Park Hoon-jung's crime film New World (2013).[14][15] She also starred opposite Lee Dong-wook as a royal nurse in the historical television series The Fugitive of Joseon (2013).[16]

Song took on the leading role in the medical romantic comedy television series Emergency Couple (2014) co-starring Choi Jin-hyuk.[17] She acted as divorced medical intern who encounters her ex-husband of an ugly divorce at an emergency room.[18] Song also collaborated with NBA in a collaboration titled "NBA X Song Ji Hyo", which she released her own cap series called "CHO.2". In 2015, starred in the romantic comedy series Ex-Girlfriend Club opposite Byun Yo-han as a film producer.[19] She also featured and appeared in Taiwanese singer and actor Kenji Wu's music video "You Are So Cute".[20]

In 2016, Song was cast alongside Taiwanese actor Chen Bolin in the reality variety show We Are In Love, the Chinese version of We Got Married.[21] Song then starred in two Chinese films, the romantic drama 708090 (2016) opposite Kenji Wu and the action comedy Super Express (2016).[22][23] She then made her small-screen comeback, starring in the remake of a Japanese daily television series Listen to Love (2016) co-starring Lee Sun-kyun.[24] In November, Song made a cameo in the black comedy television series Entourage.[25] In December, Song signed with the management agency, My Company, after ended her contract with C-JeS Entertainment.[26][27]

In 2017, Song co-hosted the beauty program Song Ji-hyo's Beauty View with Gong Myung.[28] She next starred as an advertising copywriter who enjoys stardom in an online world in the web series 29gram (2017),[29] and acted in the one-act drama Chief B and the Love Letter (2017) co-starring Jo Woo-jin.[30] Song produced and launched her first own reality program I Am Jyo Unnie in December 2017.[31]

In 2018, Song starred in the romantic comedy film What a Man Wants alongside Lee Sung-min, Shin Ha-kyun and Lee El.[32] She was also appointed as the MC of upcoming beauty show Song Ji Hyo’s Beautiful Life, set to air in April on OnStyle.[33] The same year, she was cast in the romantic comedy drama Romantic Comedy King, an adaptation of the Japanese manga series Absolute Boyfriend.[34]

Personal life

Song revealed that she had changed her birth name from "Cheon Seong-im" to "Cheon Soo-yeon" on episode 351 of Running Man, stating that she had changed it because "a lot of people recognize it nowadays".[35][36]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Wishing Stairs Yoon Jin-sung
2004 Some Seo Yoo-jin
2007 Sex Is Zero 2 Lee Kyeong-ah
2008 A Frozen Flower Queen
2011 Late Blossom Kim Yeon-ah
2012 Code Name: Jackal Bong Min-jung
2013 Maritime Police Marco Lulu Korean dubbing
New World Lee Shin-woo
2016 708090 Duan Yu Rong Chinese film
Super Express Maggie / Meixi
2018 What a Man Wants Mi-young

Television series

Year Title Role Network Notes
2002 Age of Innocence Min-jung SBS Cameo, Episode 16
2006 Princess Hours Min Hyo-rin MBC
Jumong Lady Ye So-ya
2011 Detectives in Trouble Jo Min-joo KBS2
Gyebaek Eun-go MBC
2013 The Fugitive of Joseon Hong Da-in KBS2
2014 Emergency Couple Oh Jin-hee tvN
2015 The Girl Who Sees Smells Herself SBS Cameo, Episode 1
Ex-Girlfriend Club Kim Soo-jin tvN
2016 Listen to Love Jung Soo-yeon JTBC
Entourage Herself tvN Cameo, Episode 3
2017 Drama StageChief B and the Love Letter Bang Ga-young One-act drama
2018 Romantic Comedy King Da Da OCN

Web series

Year Title Network
2017 29gram DIA TV

Television show

Year Title Network Notes
2007–2008 Inkigayo SBS Host
2010–2011 TV Entertainment Tonight Presenter
2010–present Running Man Guest (Episode 2–5)
Regular cast (Episode 7–present)
2016 We Are In Love Jiangsu TV Regular cast; with Chen Bolin
2017 Song Ji-hyo's Beauty View JTBC2 Host
I Am Jyo Unnie Naver Corporation First own reality show
2018 Song Ji Hyo’s Beautiful Life OnStyle Host
My Little Old Boy SBS Special Guest Host (ep79-80)

Music video

Year Title Performer(s)
2001 "Just Say Goodbye" JTL
"And I Love You" Lee Soo-young
2006 "믿을 수 없는 말" Stay
2010 "Don't Listen To This Song" Young Jee
2011 "별 거 아니야" Young Jee
"In Heaven" JYJ
2012 "Be Happy" Young Jee, Lee Kyu-hoon
2013 "Winter Song" Freestyle
2016 "Lonely Night" Gary feat. Gaeko



Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref(s)
2003 24th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New Actress Wishing Stairs Nominated
2007 43rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Jumong Nominated
2009 45th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (Film) A Frozen Flower Nominated
2010 4th SBS Entertainment Awards Special Award in Variety Running Man Won [37]
2011 5th SBS Entertainment Awards Excellence Award in Variety Won [38]
Netizen's Popularity Award Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Miniseries Gyebaek Nominated [39]
Producer's Award Won
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Miniseries Detectives in Trouble Nominated
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Female Entertainer Running Man Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Nominated
7th SBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Female Award Won [40]
Viewer's Most Popular Award with Running Man members Won
Best Couple with Gary Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Excellence Actress Award in a Mid-length Drama The Fugitive of Joseon Nominated
Netizen's Award Nominated
2014 2nd Annual DramaFever Awards Best Kiss with Gary Running Man Won
Best Couple Not Meant To Be with Gary Nominated
6th Macau International Movie Festival Best Supporting Actress 708090 Nominated
2015 3rd Annual DramaFever Awards Best Actress of the Year Emergency Couple Won [41]
9th SBS Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award in Variety Running Man Won
2016 Sina Weibo Night Awards Best Trans-boundary Female Artist N/A Won [42]
2017 Mapo Tax Office Model Taxpayer Award N/A Won [43]


  1. ^ "'런닝맨' 송지효, 인생역전 "카페 알바하다 캐스팅"". Naver (in Korean). TV Report. 6 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "여우야 여우야 숨긴걸 말해줘, ". Cine21 (in Korean). 12 November 2003. 
  3. ^ "[Star of the Week] Song Ji Hyo, the Actress Before Running Man". enewsWorld. 9 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Song Ji-hyo: 'I Become Very Competitive Both in Acting and Entertaining'". Hancinema. KBS Global. 29 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "'Sex is Zero 2' sticks to toilet and bawdy humor". Hancinema. The Korea Herald. 3 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "Popularity of Song Ji-hyo's 'A Frozen Flower' Yet to Thaw". The Chosun Ilbo. 26 January 2009. 
  7. ^ 송지효 ‘런닝맨’ 예능감 작렬 "고정출연 해달라" 시청자 요구 봇물 (in Korean). Newsen. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Blossom portrays love in twilight years". The Korea Times. 6 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Song Ji-hyo, returns after 4 years with KBS "Detectives in Trouble"". Hancinema. Nate. 16 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Song Ji-hyo chosen for "Gyebaek"". Hancinema. Nate. 18 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "JYJ, Song Ji-hyo to Combat Violence at School". The Chosun Ilbo. 17 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Ho, Stewart (18 May 2012). "Song Ji Hyo Begins Filming For Her Movie With Kim Jae Joong". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Ho, Stewart (1 November 2012). "Song Ji Hyo is Charismatic Ace for The Jackal is Coming". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Song Ji Hyo Joins Lee Kwang Soo in Dubbing for Animation Movie 'Maritime Police Marco'". enewsWorld. 18 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Song Ji-hyo to star in "New World" with Choi Min-sik, Lee Jung-jae". Hancinema. Daum. 17 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "KBS showcases 'Fugitive of Joseon' cast". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Divorced doctors in love". Korea JoongAng Daily. 22 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Song Ji-hyo goes back to acting in new divorcee role". Korea JoongAng Daily. 22 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Meet members of 'Ex-girlfriend Club'". The Korea Times. 1 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Song Ji-hyo sings a duet with Kenji Wu". Kpop Herald. 27 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Chen Bolin, Song Ji-hyo to appear on 'We Are in Love'". Kpop Herald. 20 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "《708090之深圳恋歌》520上映 吴克群宋智孝表白日". CCTV (in Chinese). 12 May 2016. 
  23. ^ "Actress Song Ji-hyo stars in Chinese film 'Super Express'". The Korea Times. 6 December 2016. 
  24. ^ "Song Ji-hyo and Lee Sun-kyun to co-star in JTBC drama". Kpop Herald. 10 August 2016. 
  25. ^ "Spot by Song Ji-hyo on 'Entourage'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 15 June 2016. 
  26. ^ 박소현 (10 July 2015). 송지효, FA 됐다…씨제스 엔터와 매니지먼트 업무 종료. Xports News (in Korean). 
  27. ^ 강서정 (1 December 2016). 송지효, 신생기획사 마이컴퍼니와 전속계약 ‘새출발’. OSEN (in Korean). 
  28. ^ "'뷰티뷰' 송지효 "공명과 호흡, 예쁜 남동생 생긴 기분"". Sports Chosun (in Korean). 18 January 2017. 
  29. ^ "Song Ji-hyo and brother join cast of web drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 17 October 2017. 
  30. ^ "Song Ji-hyo, Jo Woo-jin to star in tvN drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 6 September 2017. 
  31. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Riddhiman. "Lee Kwang Soo and Song Ji Hyo join 2 new reality shows: Check out clips here!". International Business Times, Singapore Edition. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  32. ^ "Song Ji-hyo, Shin Ha-kyun cast for new film 'Wind Wind Wind'". The Korea Herald. 3 March 2017. 
  33. ^ "[SBS Star] Song Ji-hyo to Host a New Program 'Song Ji-hyo's Beautiful Life'!". SBS News. 10 March 2018. 
  34. ^ "송지효 천정명, 日원작 넘을 '로코킹'이 온다..'이 조합 신선' [종합]". Osen (in Korean). 15 March 2018. 
  35. ^ "[스브스타] '런닝맨' 송지효 본명 '천성임' 개명한 이유…유재석 때문?". SBS News (in Korean). 22 May 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  36. ^ "송지효, 본명 천성임서 천수연으로…개명효과는?". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). 22 May 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  37. ^ "Kang Ho-dong scores grand prize at SBS Entertainment Awards". 10Asia. 31 December 2010. 
  38. ^ "Yoo Jae-suk deemed SBS' entertainer of the year". 10Asia. 2 January 2012. 
  39. ^ "2011 MBC Drama Awards : Winners List". Hancinema. 31 December 2010. 
  40. ^ "Yoo Jae Suk Wins Big, Winners from '2011 SBS Entertainment Awards'". enewsWorld. 31 December 2011. 
  41. ^ "Song Ji Hyo Wins Best Actress Award from 'DramaFever Awards'". enewsWorld. 9 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "Weibo Night honors JYP, Nichkhun". The Korea Times. 8 January 2016. 
  43. ^ "'납세보국'-세금 잘 냈다고 상 받은 연예인은 누구? 유해진·성유리·송지효·김태균 씨". Tax Times (in Korean). 3 March 2017. 

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