Lee Min-ho was born on June 22nd, 1987 in Seoul, South Korea. As a child, Min-ho dreamt of becoming a professional soccer player, playing in an arena full of cheering supporters. Like many childhood dreams, however, his was left not entirely fulfilled due to an injury sustained as a child.
As he progressed through high school, Min-ho started to consider acting as his true calling. By his final year of high school, he was signed by Starhaus Entertainment. Like many aspiring artists, the starting point to stardom was filled with rocky steps for Lee Min-ho. One major setback occurred in 2006 when he and best friend, Jung Il-woo whom he befriended in high school, were severely injured in a car accident.
After almost a year of rehabilitation, Min-ho returned to acting through a school-centric drama, Mackerel Run. This series was his first leading role, and he had high hopes of it becoming successful. Unfortunately, Mackerel Run’s sixteen episodes run was shortened to eight. And the disappointment continued. Between 2007 and 2008, Min-ho continued to act in smaller roles in drama series, I Am Sam and Get Up, and films Public Enemy Returns and Our School E.T.
His major breakthrough came at the start of 2009 when he was chosen to play the lead Gu Jun Pyo in Boys before Flowers, a Korean adaptation of the famed manga Hana Yori Dango. This role catapulted Min-ho into an overnight star. It’s safe to assume that Lee has made Gu Jun-pyo an iconic character in the fable of Korean dramas. And it is with this role that the name “flower boy” becomes a part of Min-ho’s public lexicon.
Aware that Boys before Flowers was a perfect storm of success, Min-ho wanted to build upon his acting craft by portraying different characters. In the Spring of 2010, he took the challenge of playing a perfectionist architect, Jeon Jin-ho, in the romantic comedy, Personal Taste, starring opposite Son Ye-jin. After gaining further acting growth in this romantic comedy, Min-ho followed a different character path by choosing to act as a playboy turned heroic vigilante, Lee Yoon-sung, in a Korean City Hunter manga adaptation. After the success of City Hunter, Min-ho’s next acting endeavor was in the time-travel fusion sageuk, Faith, as General Choi Young.
Lee Min-ho’s major career breakthrough in 2009 has also attracted a legion of fans, affectionately called Minoz. Since then, he has held numerous fan-meetings and endorsed many products throughout East Asia, in part as a vehicle to maintain and deepen his relationship with the fans. His most recent interaction with Minoz was through the release of his very first album, My Everything, and a recently completed tour in eight metropolitan cities around East Asia.
In the Fall of 2013, Min-ho returned to the small screen in He Who Wears the Crown, Bears its Weight -- The Heirs. In this series, he portrayed the lead Kim Tan, an emotionally wounded upper class teenage heir yearning for reasons to heal and live through love and friendship formed within the circle of high society. After the Heirs, Min-ho's next role will be in the film, 강남 1970 (Gangnam Blues), written and directed by Yoo-ha. This movie will open on January 21st, 2015 domestically, followed by pan-Asia releases shortly after.
From a struggling actor to an overnight star, Lee Min-ho has since been solidifying himself as a leading man and serenading fans all over Asia and the world. He has come along way from that young boy who had a dream of becoming a professional footballer, displaying his skill and talent in a field of adoring home fans and fearful away supporters. But one remnant of that childhood dream is fulfilled -- he has created many spectacles in front of entertaining audiences. Just in a different field -- a stage with lights and cameras. What will he do next? Stay tuned!