Kim Ha-neul Biography

Kim Ha-neul is a South Korean actress and a former model. This biography profiles her childhood, family, personal life, career, achievements and some interesting facts.

Kim Ha-neul
Quick Facts

Birthday: February 21, 1978

Nationality: South Korean

Famous: Actresses South Korean Women

Age: 41 Years, 41 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Pisces

Born in: Danyang County, South Korea

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Choi Jin-hyeok (m. 2016)

father: Jong-won Kim

mother: Hwa-sook Lim

More Facts

awards: 2011 · Blind - Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Leading Actress
2011 · Blind - Grand Bell Award for Best Actress
2004 · Too Beautiful to Lie - Baeksang Arts Award for Best Leading Actress in Film

2003 · My Tutor Friend - Baeksang Arts Award for Most Popular Actress in Film
2008 - Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Female
2017 - Baeksang Arts Award for InStyle Best Style

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Kim Ha-neul is a South Korean actress and a former model known for her comedy timing and general acting skills. Born and brought up in Seoul, she started her career with modelling for brands and appearing in music videos. As her early small stints in front of the camera provided her enough experience, her magnetic presence also caught the attention of filmmakers. From there, she made her acting debut in the year 1998 with the film ‘Bye June’ and after a slow start as an actor, it took her a few more years to establish a kind of name that she wanted for herself in the industry. Her films like ‘My Tutor Friend’ and ‘Too Beautiful to Lie’, which belonged to comedy genre resonated well with the audiences and Kim became more popular. Continuing with comedy roles for many years following that, she experimented with the thriller film ‘Blind’, which got her a Grand Bell Award and a Blue Dragon Film Award for her performance. A big film star, she is quite popular among TV audiences as well with her roles in the broadly successful series’ such as ‘On Air’, ‘Romance’ and ‘A Gentleman’s Dignity’.

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Kim Ha-neul
Childhood & Early Life
  • Kim Ha-neul was born on 21st February 1978 in Seoul, South Korea in an upper middle class household and grew up with a younger brother.
  • A fan of TV dramas and films since her very early years, she developed a keen interest in acting during her middle school days. But being from a non-filmy background, her interests got her parents quite a lot worried about the direction her future career will take.
  • Studying in Yang Kang Middle School, she starting acting in small parts in school plays, and became absolutely sure about what she wanted to do all her life when it came to deciding on a career. Upon the appreciation from her teachers, she continued it during her high school days at Keum Okay Girl’s High School.
  • Apart from acting and watching films, she developed an interest in music and sports as well. While music kept her happy, playing outdoor sports played a major role in her being physically fit to pursue a career in modelling, which she understood was the entry gate to the films.
  • A follower of Zen philosophy, she believed that it helped her maintaining calm during the early years of struggle. She started modelling and eventually went on to model for a big apparel company STORM. Many other modelling assignments followed and Kim starting gaining fame.
  • These modelling assignments also got her acquainted her with quite a few musicians, who then approached her to feature in their music videos. Jo Sung-mo’s ‘To Heaven’ became a big hit in 1998, and while she was already auditioning for films and TV roles, she made her acting debut in the same year.
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  • Kim’s very first film 1998’s ‘Bye June’ was a small budget film based around sex and drugs and how they were ruining the South Korean youth at that time. The film received a general appreciation, but couldn’t ensure a wide release. It did the job of bringing Kim into the limelight though.
  • In the same year, Kim made her TV debut with the family drama series ‘Happy Together’, which was met with a critical acclaim.
  • For her second film itself, titled ‘Doctor K’, Kim ended up winning nominations for quite a few awards such as a Blue Dragon Film Award for the Best Supporting Actress. In the next year, she received another nomination for the same award for the film ‘Ditto’, only this time around it was for the Best Actress. She had successfully transitioned into a leading actress.
  • Although she was becoming a favourite among the small time filmmakers, she awaited a break which could put her in the list of frontrunners of the industry. In 2001 came an opportunity, when she was offered a major role in the series ‘Piano’ where she played the role of a pure at heart young woman. The drama resonated well with the audiences and the critics alike, and Kim tasted the sweet fruit of a wider fame for the first time.
  • Her success continued with the next series she was seen in. Titled ‘Romance’, the series came out in 2002 and won for Kim, her very first major acting award; the Top Excellence Award for her unforgettable performance in the heavy hearted romance drama.
  • In 2003 came the film ‘My Tutor Friend’, a film where she played the role of a college girl, tutoring a high school student. The film did well among the audiences and the light hearted drama secured her another role in a romantic comedy film ‘Too Beautiful to Lie’. Both the successful romantic comedies, established her as the ‘Comedy Queen’ of South Korean entertainment industry.
  • Not quite enjoying the type-casting, she decided to experiment with her image in the following years with her drama heavy roles in films such as ‘Ice Rain’, a drama based around mountain climbing, and an out and out horror film ‘Dead Friend’. The melodrama ‘Stained Glass’ also saw her playing an performance-heavy role and seeing that she wasn’t going distance with any of those roles, she decided to return to her comfort zone, that were romantic comedies.
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  • 2006’s romantic comedy film ‘Almost Success’ brought her fame as her role as an aspiring young actress who had stage fright became likeable. ‘Lovers of Six Years’ followed and became a moderate box office and critical success, just like most of her films by then.
  • Things changed rapidly in the year 2008 through a drama called ‘On Air’, where Kim essayed the role of an arrogant film-star. The series got her many awards at the SBS Drama Awards and Korea Drama Awards. Her film ‘My Girlfriend is an Agent’, also became a major box office hit, and Kim enjoyed a solid revival of her acting career.
  • 2011’s serial killer crime thriller film ‘Blind’ provided her wide spread acclaim for her performance as a visually impaired former police detective who witnesses a murder. She shone at the Grand Bell Film Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards and won honours for her performance in the leading role.
  • In 2012, Kim featured in the TV series ‘A Gentleman’s Dignity’, wherein she played the role of a teacher who falls in love with an architect, who happens to be a playboy. The drama was successful and won her accolades for her performance.
  • By 2015, the Chinese filmmakers had developed a liking for Kim and she made her debut in Chinese films with ‘Making Family’ and later starred in a South Korean indie film ‘Don’t Forget Me’, a crowd-funded venture.
  • She then appeared in a melodrama ‘On the Way to the Airport’ and in 2017 she played the role of a teacher again in the film ‘Misbehaviour’. Presently, she is looking forward to the release of ‘With God’, a highly anticipated film.
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Personal Life
  • Kim Ha-neul has kept herself calm and composed all the years she has been active in the industry. She believes that it can get pretty insanely tough sometimes, and the Zen way of life which she follows plays a major role in keeping her happy.
  • Kim has stayed away from dating people from within the industry and shocked everyone with the news of her marriage to a businessman Choi Jin-hyeok in 2016. In October 2017, she made a public announcement that she happens to be expecting her first child.

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Article Title
- Kim Ha-neul Biography
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Last Updated
- March 04, 2018

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