Jang Na-ra is a South Korean musician, record producer as well as an actress. She is known for her work in both the Chinese as well as the South Korean entertainment industry. She came to prominence after the release of her debut album ‘First Story’. The album wasn’t very successful initially, but later on it not only topped several music charts, but also won her multiple awards. Jang Na-ra made her acting debut in the TV series ‘Nonstop’. She next appeared in the TV series ‘Successful Story of a Bright Girl’, playing the leading role. The series won multiple awards and helped her gain stardom within a short time. She shortly made her film debut with a role in ‘Oh! Happy Day!’. Some of her most recent works on television are ‘Fated to Love You’ and ‘Hello Monster’. She is seen in main roles in both the series. Other than her contribution to films and television, Jang Na-ra is also known for her charitable works. The charitable activities she is known for include sending food to hungry North Korean children and making donations during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Childhood & Early Life
Jang Na-ra was born in Seoul, South Korea on 18th March 1981. Her father Ju Heo-seong is also an actor. She appeared in the play ‘Les Miserables’ with her father when she was a young girl, thus developing an early interest in acting.
During her high school days, she worked as a model in television advertisements. Later, she went to the Chung-Ang University, where she studied Fine Arts with major in acting. During her time at the university, she performed in various plays and musicals. Because of her involvement in various activities, her graduation was much delayed. She eventually graduated in February 2010.
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Jang Na-ra began her musical career in 2001, and soon signed a contract with SM Entertainment. However, she was dropped as they assumed that she wouldn’t gain much popularity. Shortly after, she released her debut album ‘First Story’. The album wasn’t received well initially. But after she released more tracks from the album, its popularity grew and it reached several charts. She received many awards as well.
Her second album ‘Jjang Nara Vol. 2 Sweet Dream’, which was released in 2002, also became hugely popular. The song ‘Sweet Dream’ went on to become a super-hit. The album became one of the top selling ones of 2002. In December 2003, she released her third album ‘3rd Story’. It was a success, though it didn’t surpass the popularity of her second album.
Her popularity grew with the release of her fourth and fifth albums, ‘My Story’ and ‘She’, both of which were released in the year 2007. She released a few Chinese albums as well.
In March 2008, she released her first multilingual album ‘Dream of Asia’. At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, she appeared in the Olympic Song ‘Beijing Welcomes You’. She was the only singer from a non-Chinese-speaking country to appear in the song.
Four years later, in 2012, she returned to the music scene with her digital single ‘I Only Think of You’. She also released another Chinese album ‘Love Journey’, the same year.
Jang Na-ra began her acting career in 2001 with a role in the TV series ‘New Nonstop’. The following year, she played the lead role in the romantic comedy series ‘Successful Story of a Bright Girl’. The series became a huge success, winning multiple awards. The same year, she appeared in another comedy series ‘My Love Patzzi’, which was also a success.
In 2003, she made her first appearance on the big screen, with her role in the film ‘Oh! Happy Day!’ Her popularity continued to grow with her appearances in other TV series such as ‘Love Is All Around’, and ‘Wedding’. In 2005, she appeared in the Chinese drama ‘My Bratty Princess’, which helped to increase her stardom in China.
The other successful works she appeared in over the next few years include ‘Good Morning Shanghai’ (2007), ‘Unruly Qiao’ (2011), ‘Baby Faced Beauty’ (2011), ‘School 2013’ (2012) and ‘Fated to Love You’ (2014).
She played the main role of a police detective in the 2015 mystery thriller series ‘Hello Monster’. She was latest seen in the romantic comedy series ‘One More Happy Ending’.
‘Successful Story of a Bright Girl’, is a 2002 South Korean TV series, which starred Jang Na-ra in the lead role. The romantic comedy series, which was directed by Jang Ki-hong, revolved around the story of a simple country girl named Cha-Yang soon. The series aired from March to May 2002. Other actors who starred in the series include Jang Hyuk, Han Eun-jung and Choo Ja-hyun.
’Baby Faced Beauty’, a 2011 South Korean TV series, can be considered one of the most successful works in Jang Na-ra’s career. Directed by Lee Jin-sen and Lee So-yeon, the series follows an aspiring fashion designer who fakes her age to find work in a fashion company. The series gained huge popularity. With Jang Na-ra in the lead role, the series also starred Choi Daniel, Ryu Jin and Kim Min-seo.
‘Hello Monster’ is one of Jang Na-ra’s recent works on television. Directed by Noh Sang-hoon and Kim Jin-won, the mystery thriller series aired from June 2015 to August 2015. The cast included Seo In-guk, Jang Na-ra, Choi Won-young and Park Bo-gum. The series gained a lot of popularity, as well as won multiple awards and nominations.
Awards & Achievements
Jang Na-ra has won numerous awards for her contributions to television as well as music. The awards won by her for music include an ‘SBS Music Award’ and a ‘KBS Music Award’ for her album ‘First Story’ in 2001, and a Golden Disk award and a ‘Seoul Music Award’ for her hit song ‘Sweet Dream’ in 2002.
The awards won by her for her acting performances include the ‘Baeksang Arts Award’ for her role in ‘Successful Story of a Bright Girl’ in 2003, and a ‘KBS Drama Award’ for her role in ‘Baby Faced Beauty’ in 2011.
Jang Na-ra is believed to be single and there is not much known about her dating life. She was once rumored to be dating actor Park Bo Gum but this allegation was dismissed as false by her agency.
She is involved in various philanthropic activities. She actively works with the FHI Charity organization and organized a fund-raising concert for child patients of leukemia in China in 2007. She also donated generously to the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.