Who is Cha Tae-hyun?
Cha Tae-hyun is as well-known South Korean singer, actor and director who first made it big with his role in the comedy film ‘My Sassy Girl’. His other super hit film ‘Scandal Makers’ fetched him the top male celebrity of the year award. He has appeared in a number of television serials and has been MC for the ‘Mnet KM Music Festival’ and ‘Campus Song Festival’. He has also performed as a DJ on ‘FM Popular Music with Cha Tae-hyun’ and has released two studio albums titled ‘Accident” and ‘The Book’. He was a cast member in the reality show ‘2 Days & 1 Night’ and has made a number of guest appearances on various variety shows of South Korea. Lately he has made his directorial debut with the drama ‘Hit the Top’ and has acted in the romantic comedy ‘Because I Love You’, produced by his brother, Cha Ji-hyun. He is married to pop singer and songwriter Choi Suk-eun and has one son and two daughters.
Childhood & Early Life
Cha Tae-hyun was born on March 25, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea to Cha Jae-wan and Choi Su-min. His father was an assistant director at the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and his mother was a voice over artist in the entertainment industry. He as a brother named Cha Ji-hyun who also joined show business as a film producer.
Cha Tae-hyun too wanted to follow his parent’s footsteps and join the show business. After completing high school he studied broadcasting from Seoul Institute of Arts, Multimedia Arts from Kyonggi University and Mass Communication from Chung-Ang University.
At the age of 19 he participated in the KBS Talent Contest and was declared the runner-up. While he was studying, he took up minor roles in television serials as well as commercials. He also made a film debut in the comedy ‘Halleijah’ and worked as a radio jockey for FM radio.
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His first major role was in the romantic comedy film ‘My Sassy Girl’ alongside Jun Ji-hyun in 2001. The release of the movie was timed with the release of his debut album titled ‘Accident’ that made him an overnight sensation in Korea and the rest of Asia. The following year his performance in the tragic drama ‘Lovers Concert’ was equally successful.
After his initial success, his acting career took a downward turn due to adverse reviews of three of the comedies in which he appeared during 2002-2003. His bad luck continued with his films failing at the box office. However, this did not dampen his spirits and he came up with his second album titled ‘The Book’ that was well received.
He went on to host the ‘KBC Cool FM’s Mr Radio’ and proved his worth by being awarded the Best Radio DJ at the KBS Entertainment Awards ceremony in 2007. He came back into the limelight with his sterling performance in the comedy film ‘Scandal Makers’ that became the number one hit of 2008. Cha Tae-hyun was named the top male celebrity of the year by the South Korean advertising industry.
He joined the cast of the popular variety show, ‘2 Days & 1 Night’ that promotes South Korean tourism to this day. He also acted in the historical film titled ‘The Grand Heist’ about the Joseon era that was produced by his brother Cha Ji-hyun.
In 2016, he came out with a sequel to his super hit movie, which was titled ‘My New Sassy Girl’. He also appeared with his ‘My Sassy Girl’ co-star Jun Ji-hyun in a cameo in the drama ‘The Legend of the Blue Sea’. However, the sequel could not produce the same impact at the box office.
Lately, he has made his directorial debut with the drama ‘Hit the Top’ and has acted in the romantic comedy ‘Because I Love You’, produced by his brother. He has also been cast in the movie ‘With God’ which is based on the popular webtoon with the same name.
After his super hit movie ‘My Sassy Girl’ in 2001, he has appeared in ‘Lover’s Concerto’ (2001), ‘Happy Ero Christmas’ (2003), ‘Two Guys’ (2004), ‘Highway Star’ (2007), ‘BABO’ (2008), ‘Hello Ghost’ (2010), ‘Sunny’ (2011), ‘The Grand Heist’ (2012), and ‘Because I Love You’ (2017).
He has appeared in the television serials ‘Papa’ (1996), ‘First Love’ (1997), ‘Happy Together’ (1999), ‘First Love of a Royal Prince’ (2004), ‘Lights and Shadows’ (2011), ‘The Producers’ (2015), ‘Love in Moonlight’ (2016) and ‘Hit the Top’ (2017).
He has been MC for the ‘Mnet KM Music Festival’ (2001, 2002 and 2003) and the ‘Campus Song Festival’ (2002, 2003 and 2007). He has also been MC for the shows titled ‘Family Camp’ and ‘Happy Saturday’ on MBC and SBS respectively.
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He has been a guest on various variety shows including ‘Family Outings’, ‘Running Man’, ‘Healing Camp, Aren’t You Happy’, ‘The Return of Superman’, ‘Radio Star’, ‘Talents for Sale’, ‘Please Take Care of My Refrigerator’, ‘Carefree Travellers’ and ‘Pot Stand’.
He has been a cast member of the reality show ‘2 Days & 1 Night’ and ‘Year of the Dragon Club’.
He performed as a DJ on ‘FM Popular Music with Cha Tae-hyun’ and ‘Mr Radio’ on KBS Cool FM.
He has released two studio albums titled ‘Accident” and ‘The Book’ in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
His hit singles include ‘I Don’t Know’, ‘Forget Me’, ‘Because I Love You’, ‘Happiness’ and ‘Cheer Up Song’.
Awards & Achievements
He was awarded the Silver Medal at the KBS Super Talent in 1995 and Presidential Citation on Saving Day, 2005.
He was recognised by the Best New Actor Award at the 35th Baeksang Arts Awards, SBS Drama Awards, MBC Drama Awards, 22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards and 25th Golden Cinematography Awards.
For his performance in ‘Juliet’s Man’ he was awarded the Big Star Award, Popularity Award and SBS Award at the BSB Drama Awards 2000.
He won the Popularity Award for his role in ‘My Sassy Girl’ at the 39th Grand Bell Awards in 2002.
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He won the Popular Star Award for his role in ‘Lover’s Concerto’ and ‘Crazy First Love’.
He was judged the Best Radio DJ at the KBS Entertainment Awards, 2007.
He was awarded the Overseas Popularity Award for his work in BABO at the 45th Grand Bell Awards ceremony.
He won the Best Actor Award for his role in ‘Scandal Makers’ at the 6th Max Movie Awards.
He won the Top Entertainer Award and Top Excellence Award for his performance in 2 Days & 1 Night’ at the KBS Entertainment Awards.
He was awarded the Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama and Best Couple Award (with Kim Soo-hyun) for his performance in ‘The Producers’.
He dated pop singer and songwriter Choi Suk-eun from high school days and finally married her in 2006. They are happily married and have one son and two daughters.
He has donated approximately $ 89,000 to help children with cancer and has made regular visits to the hospital to see patients.
He once admitted to having an anxiety disorder on the talk show ‘Healing Camp, Aren’t You Happy’.
He was popularly known as ‘Korea’s Jim Carry’ after his performance in the hit comedy film ‘Hello Ghost’.