Who is Jung Il-woo?
Blessed with stupendous acting skills, Jung Il-woo is a South-Korean actor. He has attained worldwide fame through his hit drama series and talked about movies. His breakthrough performance in family sitcom, ‘Unstoppable High Kick’ gave him instant fame, and since then, his acting career has only touched heights. Even though he rose to fame through ‘Unstoppable High Kick’, his break out role came in ‘49 Days’ where he played a modern day Grim Reaper. This role made him popular amongst his audience. With time, he started getting overseas attention, and got enough opportunities to star in international movies, including Korean-Chinese web series, ‘High-End Crush’ which recorded more than 200 million views. Although, his acting career is going pretty well, during November 2016, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening mental condition while he was preparing for his military service.
Childhood & Early Life
Jung (family name) was born on September 9, 1987 in Seoul, South Korea. Jung comes from a pretty well family.
His father was a television news anchor, and that’s one reason why Jung was attracted towards Television and Films since childhood. His mother was professor at the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage. He has a sister as well.
His father was also the director of a Kendo Academy. His grandfather is the chief director of a hospital in Korea.
He went to ‘Seoul Institute of the Arts’ to study broadcasting, but he soon realized his love for acting, and transferred to the Theatre and Film Department of ‘Hanyag University’.
He is a childhood friend of fellow actor, Lee Minh-ho. In 2006, Jung and Lee met an accident which resulted in Lee being bed-ridden for several months due to his leg injuries.
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In 2006, he made his acting debut with the movie ‘The World of Science’. He later became a teen heartthrob, when he debuted on small screen with family sitcom ‘Unstoppable High Kick’.
In ‘Unstoppable High Kick’, he played the character of an unruly teenager who was obsessed with motorcycles. The boy with a rebellious nature falls in love with his teacher. This role made him an overnight star in South Korea.
In 2007, he appeared in a film named ‘My Love’ which was a romantic comedy. In 2009, he got a lead in ‘The Return of Iljimae’. His role was of a historical warrior who was adamant in bringing justice to the world.
He also appeared in music videos like ‘This is Me’ by SAT and ‘Goodbye Sadness’ by Goo Jung-hyun. In the same year, he played a high-class lawyer in a romantic comedy, ‘My Fair Lady’.
His most challenging role came when he took the stage to play an HIV-positive gay man in a play called, ‘Beautiful Sunday’. The play was a sold-out.
His next major breakthrough came in 2011, when he played the role of a Grim Reaper in TV series, ’49 Days’. From this series, his popularity went northward.
In the romantic comedy ‘Flower Boy Ramyun Shop’ he played an arrogant man. His leading role in the 2011 movie earned him a lot of female fan following.
In 2012 historical drama, ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’, Jung Il portrayed a ‘crazy in love prince’ who turns against his own brother for the throne. It was a historical drama, and added another feather to the actor’s already upward career.
During 2013-14, he appeared in KBS2’s ‘Queen of the Office’, and appeared in the lead in MBC’s ‘Golden Rainbow’.
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In another period drama, ‘The Night Watchman’s Journal’, he played the lead role of a prince who could turn into a ghost. Jung’s mother crafted a colorful handbook for the episode four of ‘The Night Watchman’s Journal’, which he wore quite gladly.
His performance in the Chinese-Korean web series, ‘High-End Crush’ with Jin Se-yeon earned him 200 million views on the internet, which says a lot about his crazy fan following and stardom.
In the Chinese comedy ‘Rise of a Tomboy’, he reached out to international audience by portraying the character of a CEO who helps a girl develop a love app.
In 2016, his comeback TV series, ‘Cinderella and Four Knights’ proved his power as a mega TV star again. He played the role of a wild orphan who suddenly becomes a member of a rich family.
In 2017, he starred in the Thai drama ‘Gon Rak Game Ma Ya’ aka ‘Love and Lies’ which eventually took his superstardom to another level. He became quite famous in Thailand too, and became the first ever Korean actor to star in a Thai drama series.
Awards & Achievements
In 2007, he won 9th Mnet KM Music Festival under ‘Best Actor in a Music Video’ for ‘Goodbye Sadness’. He also won ‘1st Mnet 20's Choice Awards’ under ‘New Star’ and ‘Drama Star’ Award for ‘Unstoppable High Kick’.
He won MBC Entertainment Awards under ‘Best Newcomer’ category too. He was nominated as ‘Best New Actor’ for his film ‘My Love’ at the ‘44th Baeksang Arts Awards’.
In 2009, he was nominated for ‘My Fair Lady’ under’ Best Actor’ category.
In 2011, he became an honorary ambassador for ‘12th Jeonju International Film Festival’ and also at ‘Canadian Tourism Commission’.
In 2012, he became the ‘Korean Representative’ at ‘4th Japan-Korea Friendship Festival’. He also received second ‘Ministry of Health and Welfare’ Share Happiness Award. He won under ‘Asia Male Actor Award’ at ‘7th Huading Award’.
In 2013, he was awarded another ‘Male Actor Award’ at iQiyi Awards. He also received a nomination for ‘Golden Rainbow’ at MBC Drama Awards for ‘Excellent Actor in a Miniseries’.
In 2014, he won ‘Forever Young Icon Male Star’ at ‘Cosmo Beauty Awards’. He won ‘Top Excellence Award’ for ‘Actor in a Special Project Drama’ for ‘The Night Watchman’s Journal’.
In 2015, he was awarded as ‘The Most Celebrated Award’ at ‘Asian Influence Eastern Awards.’
Personal Life & Legacy
In December 2016, Jung enlisted himself to serve his military service but he was unfortunately diagnosed with a serious mental condition, cerebral aneurysm. However, he didn’t leave his military training. He will be completing his training in the December of 2018.
He is single as of now, but his name is often linked with actresses like Kim jin, Lee Chang uh, Kim Yoo-mi and Park Shin-hye. However, in an interview he revealed that his only girlfriend is Sandara Park, and he says that they’ve been in a relationship for 6 years.