Childhood & Early Life
Gong Hyo-jin was born on April 4, 1980, at Gangseo District, Seoul, South Korea.
She was pretty young when she moved to Australia with her mother and brother. Her father stayed back in Korea due to his work commitments.
She went to John Paul College in Brisbane, before returning to Korea in 1997 owing to the IMF crisis, which affected most parts of East Asia.
She then went to Sejong University, Seoul, to complete her education before making her debut as a model.
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In 1998, Gong started her career as a model, working in various commercials for the telecom industry. ‘Happy to Death’ was one such advertisement in which she initially appeared.
A year later, she starred in a horror flick titled ‘Memento Mori.’ Although the film didn’t become a commercial hit, it was later considered as a classic by most filmmakers. Gong managed to grab the attention of many with her first performance. In fact, she went on to receive a number of ‘Best Actress’ awards for the movie.
After the success of ‘Memento Mori,’ Gong decided to take her acting career seriously and went on to appear in the TV sitcom ‘My Funky Family’ in 2000. In 2001, she continued to mesmerize her fans with her acting skills by appearing in television series, such as ‘Wonderful Days’ and ‘Teabag Without Hope.’
Film & Television Career
She continued to appear in minor roles in films like ‘Last Present,’ ‘Volcano High,’ and ‘Guns & Talks.’ She then bagged an important role in the 2002 satirical ‘Emergency Act 19.’ Thereafter, she appeared in ‘A Bizarre Love Triangle.’
In 2002, she impressed many movie buffs by delivering a stunning performance in MBC’s ‘Ruler of Your Own World,’ which received a cult status. In the series, she played the role of Song Mi-rae and did complete justice to her role. She then starred in another movie titled ‘Conduct Zero’ and was once again appreciated by critics as well as general audience.
In 2003, she appeared in MBC’s ‘Snowman’ in which she played a girl who falls in love with her brother-in-law.
Gong played a high school teacher who meets her high school sweetheart in KBS2’s ‘Sang-doo! Let's Go to School.’ Her amazing performance in the series earned her a number of awards.
She also appeared in a few music videos for artists, such as Lee Soo-young and Yoon Gun. In 2004, she appeared in a series titled ‘5 Stars.’ In 2005, she starred in a movie called ‘Heaven’s Soldiers.’ During this stage of her career, Gong was not satisfied with the kind of roles that she was being offered.
In 2006, Gong portrayed an angry young woman who has a troubled relationship with her mother in ‘Family Ties.’ She received rave reviews for her brilliant acting in the movie. The rest of the cast too, was praised for their respective work in the film.
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The success of ‘Family Ties’ re-ignited her passion for acting. She returned to TV in 2007 with her next venture titled ‘Thank You.’ In the series, she played a single mother who needs to take care of her daughter, suffering from HIV positive.
In 2007, she appeared in various movies, such as ‘My Son,’ ‘Happiness’ and ‘M.’ She then played a major role in the 2008 film ‘Crush and Blush,’ which too, went on to achieve a cult status. It was a black comedy genre film, and Gong’s performance as a misanthropic woman earned her many awards.
In 2010, she starred in ‘Pasta,’ a romantic comedy, in which she played a chef. Her on-screen chemistry with co-actor Lee Sun-kyun became the talk of the town. Also, ‘Pasta’ went on to become a major box office hit.
In 2011, she worked in ‘The Greatest Love,’ a TV series that portrayed a romantic relationship between a pop star and an actor. The series was a big hit.
She then starred in the 2012 romantic comedy, ‘Love Fiction,’ which became a commercial success. She also appeared in a documentary titled ‘577 Project’ in which a group of actors walk across the nation, covering a staggering distance of 577 kilometers.
In 2013, she starred in a comedy flick titled ‘Boomerang Family,’ which was adapted from a novel by Cheon Myung-kwan. She then starred in a horror-comedy series, ‘Master’s Sun,’ and was hailed as the ‘Queen of Romantic Comedy’ by her fans.
She then experimented with her roles in 2014 as she starred in ‘It’s Okay, That’s Love.’ In the series, she played a psychologist who falls in love with a schizophrenic novelist. She then appeared in a sitcom titled ‘The Producers’ in 2015.
In 2016, she played a prominent role in ‘Don't Dare to Dream,’ which was aired on SBS network. She then starred in a thriller titled ‘Single Rider,’ in which she played a former violinist who lives with her son.
She has also performed on stage with Willy Russell in ‘Educating Rita.’ The play was based on a relationship between a university lecturer and a young working-class hairdresser.
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In 2010, she published a collection of essays titled, ‘Gong Hyo-jin’s Notebook.’ The book became a best-seller.
She is also a fashion star and has launched her own fashion line called ‘Excuse Me x Suecomma Bonnie.’
She became the jury president for the International Women’s Film Festival, held in 2009. She was also a jury member for the 2011 Asiana International Short Film Festival.
Awards & Achievements
She won the SBS Drama Award in 2001 for ‘Wonderful Days’ under ‘New Star Award’ category.
At the 38th Baeksang Arts Awards, she won the ‘Best New Actress’ award for ‘Wonderful Days.’
At the 2003 KBS Drama Awards, she won the ‘Best Couple Award’ for ‘Sang-doo! Let’s Go To School.’
At the 47th ‘Thessaloniki International Film Festival,’ she bagged the ‘Best Actress’ award for ‘Family Ties.’
In 2007, she won the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award for ‘Happiness’ at the 6th Korean Film Awards.
In 2009, she won the ‘Rising Star Asia Award’ at the New York Asian Film Festival for ‘Crush and Blush.’
She then bagged the ‘Best Couple Award,’ along with Lee Sun-kyun at the 29th MBC Drama Awards for ‘Pasta.’
In 2017, she won the ‘Best Actress’ award for ‘Missing’ at the Golden Cinema Film Festival.