Kim Bum is an up and coming South Korean actor, singer, and model. His first major success came with the television serial ‘East of Eden’ on MBC network. His other popular television serial that came early in his career was ‘Boys Over Flowers’. In his singing debut he released his first studio album titled ‘Hometown’ and performed live in Japan. He also starred in the Chinese film ‘Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon’ that made him a popular star not only in South Korea but the rest of Asia. He has matured into a versatile actor and has appeared in many action thrillers and historical movies. He is also the brand ambassador for well known South Korean brands, including Samsung. Among other awards he has won the Netizen Popularity Award for his performance in ‘East of Eden’. Kim is active on social media and has a large fan following. He is easy to make friends with and has dated Moon Geun-young who co-starred with him in ‘Goddess of Fire’.
Childhood & Early Life
Kim Sang-bum was born on July 7, 1989 in Seoul, South Korea to Jerry and Min-ho Bum. He is the eldest of three siblings. He has a brother and sister with whom he was brought up in Seoul. He also lived in Australia with his family for awhile.
He was a good soccer player captained of his school team, for which he played in striker position. While his mother was proud of his excellence in sports, his father wanted him to concentrate on his studies. He was influenced by his cousin, Jini, who grew up to become a South Korean singer.
He did well in his studies in high school and wanted to become an actor when he grew up. In order to achieve his dream he joined Cung-ang University, from where he majored in Film and Theatre. During his college days he participated in the university cultural programmes to get first had experience of the stage.
While he was still studying, he participated in the ‘Survival Star Audition’ and came 8th out of over 100 participants. However, since he was underage, he was not allowed to complete the competition. Nonetheless, the exposure gave him rich experience and contacts in show business. Social media soon caught up with him giving both positive and negative reviews. This is something that Kim soon learnt to live with, despite his mother getting upset at times.
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He made his debut in the family comedy sitcom titled ‘High Kick’ in 2008 with a minor role. Later that year, he gave an award-winning performance in the television serial ‘East of Eden’ which was aired on MBC network as an anniversary special.
He went on to act in the serial ‘Boys Over Flowers’, based on the Japanese serial with the same name which made him a house hold name in South Korea. His supporting role in ‘Padam Padam: The Sound of His Heartbeats’ received positive reviews and further increased his popularity.
In June 2012, he released his first studio album titled ‘Hometown’ and performed live at the Stellar Ball in Tokyo, Japan. Besides his overseas musical performance, he also starred in the Chinese film by the name of ‘Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon’ directed by Tsui Hark that proved to be a super hit at the Chinese box office.
He appeared in his first television historical drama titled ‘Goddess of Fire’ based on a 16th century potter and porcelain artist of the Joseon Dynasty. His Chinese television debut came next with his role in ‘V Love’ which is a Chinese version of ‘Gossip Girls’. His other Chinese movies are ‘Lovers & Movies’ and ‘The Beloved’. As his popularity grew his fan following spread from Korea to the rest of the Asian region.
Kim matured into a versatile actor with his appearance in the thriller series ‘Hidden Identity’ on tvN and the role of a villain in the crime thriller ‘Mrs Cop 2’ in 2015. His latest release in Korean cinema is the comedy-mystery movie called ‘Detective K’. From being a youth icon he has gone on to become a star that is popular among all ages.
As his celebrity status grew he went on to endorse a number of brands including Samsung Anycall Bodyguard, LG Telecom: Teenring, Hanbull Cosmetics and Maxim Coffee. He is active on social media and has a large following of fans who are eagerly awaiting his next release.
His major films are ‘Hellcats’ (2007), ‘Death Bell’ (2008), ‘Flight’ (2009), ‘Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon’ (2013), ‘The Beloved’(2015) and his latest release ‘Detective K3’.
His television appearances include ‘Unstoppable High Kick’ (2006), ‘East of Eden’ (2008), ‘Boys Over Flowers’ (2009), ‘High Kick Through the Roof’ (2009, ‘The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry’ (2010), ‘Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeats’ (2011), ‘Goddess of Fire’ (2013) and ‘Mrs Cop 2’ (2016).
In June 2012, he released his studio album ‘Hometown’ that is popular in Asia.
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Awards & Achievements
Kim won the Netizen Popularity Award for his performance in ‘East of Eden’ at the 2nd Korean Drama Awards in 2008.
He was announced as the winner of the New Star Award at the 2009 SBS Drama Awards ceremony for his role in ‘Dream’.
He was the winner of the Andre Kim Best Male Star Award in 2009.
He was the co-winner of the Best Couple Award, with Kim So-eun, in ‘Boys Over Flowers’.
He dated Moon Geun-young who co-starred with him in ‘Goddess of Fire’ for about seven months, but the two later separated. He was also rumoured to have dated Kim So-eun from the cast of ‘Boys Over Flowers’ and South Korean singer Eun-ji Jung.
Kim is fond of soccer, baseball and kendo. Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo is his favourite sports star.
He plays the saxophone as a hobby and even played the instrument for one of the scenes in ‘Boys Over Flowers’.
He is one of the few South Korean actors to have received a special invitation to attend the opening of the Siam Centre Departmental Store in Bangkok that is linked to the Thai royal family. The event was marked as ‘The World Class Super Star Meet’ where Kim got a chance to meet stars from around the world.