It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Lee Yo-Won was born on April 9, 1980, in Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. In 1997, during her sophomore year in high school, Lee Yo-Won applied for a modeling contest and was picked as the winner. After the contest she debuted in the monthly fashion magazine "Figaro" (휘가로) for its November issue. In 1998, Lee Yo-Won made her acting debut in the film "Scent of a Man". While acting for her first movie, Lee Yo-Won sometimes tore up because staff members only applauded the other actors for their work. Then some staff members noticed her tears and mentioned she was good at tearing up. That was the first time she heard positive words about her acting. With her confidence building and gaining more attention from the staff members, Lee Yo-Won realized she wanted to pursue acting as a profession.
For her second film,
Lee Yo-Won played gas station attendant Galchi in the hit movie “Attack the Gas
Station!” which sold 2.4 million tickets. Thanks to the popularity of
that film Lee Yo-Won started to gain recognition from the public. Lee
Yo-Won then acted in several television dramas.
In 2001, Lee Yo-Won's big breakthrough came in the KBS TV drama "Blue Mist" (Pureun Angae). For the first time Lee Yo-Won played the lead character in a TV drama and the series became a big hit. The drama itself contained a controversial (for its time) storyline involving a woman in her early 20's becoming involved romantically with a married man in his 40's. In the same year, 2001, Lee Yo-Won acted as one of the three main characters in the critically praised indie film "Take Care of My Cat" directed by female director Jeong Jae-Eun. The film was chosen as one of the 5 best films of 2001 by "Cine Seoul" magazine. Lee Yo-Won mentioned in a 2009 interview with "Elle Korea" fashion magazine that "Take Care of My Cat" was her most memorable work. Lee Yo Won also got Baeksang Award for Best Newcomer Actress by the movie Take Care of my Cat.
In 2003, at the age of 22, Lee Yo-Won made the surprising announcement that she will marry. On January 10, 2003, Lee Yo-Won married professional golfer & businessman Park Jin-Woo. Lee Yo-Won temporarily put her acting career on hold while she went to the U.S. with her husband to study. Lee Yo Won accompanied her husband to get Master degree in University of San Diego while Lee Yo Won also wanted to study English in U.S.
In December 2003, Lee Yo-Won had a daughter. In an interview with TV show "Section TV - S Diary" on MBC, Lee Yo-Won mentioned that at the time of her marriage she was tired of acting and the demands placed on her. One week before her marriage, Lee Yo Won still had to complete her filming schedule for drama “Daemang”, she was really at her peak and busy as an actress at that time as she decided to get married.
In 2005, Lee Yo-Won made her acting comeback in the SBS drama series "Fashion 70's". She chose the role for three reasons: because it was a historical drama, that it was directed by Lee Jae-Kyu (who previously directed popular female oriented detective drama "Damo: The Legendary Police Woman") and that it dealt with a woman's career and success rather than a pure love story. Actually she was afraid of her comeback that people can’t accept her. She got some criticisms for her life in US that she on purpose gave birth outside Korea. She said because now she has a family, if she was mocked, her family will get the impact too. But she got big support from her husband said that “don’t really bother of what people say”.
Before taking "Fashion 70s," Lee Yo Won starred in a movie “When Romance Meets Destiny” as supporting actress, she said she likes the character and on purpose not to take as lead actress for her first comeback to entertainment. After "Fashion 70's," Lee Yo-Won acted in various drama and movies. She acted in medical drama "Surgeon Bong Dal Hee" as the main character Bong Dal Hee who was a resident doctor, struggling to be a surgeon even she herself had heart problem of her health. The Drama again made a success in TV rating, Lee Yo Won won Three Awards for this drama : Top Female Excellent, Best Couple (with Lee Bum Soo), and Popularity Award in SBS Drama Award 2007.
Another hit was movie "May 18" which was from real story of Gwangju incident in 1980, the movie attracted millions viewers on theatres and becomes first local movie in that year which can successfully compete against Hollywood movie. The end of 2007 until half 2008, Lee Yo Won acted in drama Bad Love (Cruel Love) with actor Kwon Sang Woo. This drama was a mellow one about love, unfortunately the drama wasn’t good in TV rating in Korea, and it said that the genre wasn’t popular at that time in Korean drama industry.
In 2009, Lee Yo-Won performed in another smash-hit television series, this time in the MBC historical drama "The Great Queen Seon Deok". Lee Yo-Won played main character Queen Seon Deok, who possessed extraordinary intelligence and strength. In an interview with "Star News," Lee Yo-Won stated she was tired of playing woman who were fragile and weak and eagerly took the role of Queen Seondeok because of this. At first, some people doubt about her acting as Queen Seon Deok because they just recalled her acting as fragile and teary woman in Bad Love, but the PD and director of "Queen Seon Deok" believed that Lee Yo Won deserved the role, the "Bad Love" case wasn’t wrong with Lee Yo Won’s acting skill, she was good at it, what ruined the drama was the storyline itself. And right, Lee Yo Won successfully played the main role Queen Seon Deok, the drama become drama of the year and national drama in 2009. She played opposite Go Hyun Jung, even though some people always wanted to compare the two of them, but Lee Yo Won humble said that Go Hyun Jung is her senior and really appreciate her acting.
In 2010, Lee Yo-Won's next film "The Recipe" was released in late October. She appeared at the world premiere for "The Recipe" during the Pusan International Film Festival (in which AsianMediaWiki attended). During the question and answer session Lee Yo-Won stated she chose the film, because she wanted to work with another female director due to her great experience with "Take Care of my Cat." Although she was initially reluctant to take on another role of a "fragile woman," the movie's producer Jang Jin and movie director Lee Seo-Goon convinced this would be the right role for her.
In 2011, LYW came back the small-screen with SBS Drama “49 Days”, and once again demonstrated her true value performing two unique roles: depressed Song Yi Kyung and cheerful Shin Ji Huyn. She was one of the most important factors for the success of this drama and has gained even more popularity after that.
2012 is a productive year with her when she took the
female leads in 2 movies: Suspect X and Legend Punch and joined MBC anniversary
drama: Horse Doctor.
In Suspect X, she played Hwa-sun who kills her abusive ex to protect her child and a brilliant mathematician decides to cover her accidental murder; while in Legend Punch, her role is the head of a tough production team and a strong career woman who has the 'legendary team' eating out of her hands.
For MBC medical sageuk “Horse Doctor”, she took the role of Kang Ji Nyung, a very progressive woman in the Joseon era. She was the lover at the same time the helper of Baek Gwang Huyn (Jo Seung-Woo) until he became the Royal Physician. Her presence in this drama became the discussion, it was not because of her acting skills, but because the development was too concentrated on the hero that somehow wasted her talent. However, she still received much loved from audience for showing an infinite variety of performance.
After Horse Doctor finished in early 2013, she makes her quick comeback to drama land in a SBS's drama. She will play the main female lead Choi Seo-yoon, a wise woman who is the second daughter of a wealthy family in “The Golden Empire". This drama will start to air in July, 2013.
Credit to Ninimi@soompi.com and asianmediawiki.com