Lee Dong-wook is a South Korean film and television actor who first made it big with his role in the television comedy serial ‘My Girl’. He has appeared in a number of family dramas since then which earned him the nickname ‘Wookie’. With a humble beginning in the entertainment industry, lee has gone on to be a celebrity in his own right and has appeared in a number of variety shows as a guest. He has also participated in the popular reality show ‘Roommates’. Lee has won a number of awards for his performance in films and television as well as for his work as an MC in ‘Strong Heart’ for which he received the Best Newcomer (MC) and Best Couple (with Shin Dong-yup) at the SBS Entertainment Awards. He has also appeared in music videos of various Korean artists and has directed the music video of Zozo titled ‘Dandelion’. His younger sister has also followed his footsteps and joined the show business. He is active on social media, where he has a large fan following.
Childhood & Early Life
Lee Dong-wook was born on 06 November 1981 in Seoul, South Korea. He is the eldest of four children of his parents, who came from a middle class background. He supported his family financially after he made his debut while still in high school. One of his younger sisters is also in show business.
He completed his degree in Broadcasting and Media Arts from Joongbu University. To finance his living while he was in college, he took up minor roles in television serials. He also actively participated in the university cultural activities.
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Lee started his career in 1999 with the role of Sung-joon in the television series ‘MBC Best Theatre’ on Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). He was finishing high school when he got the role of lee Kang-san in the serial ‘School’ on Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) network. The serial was based on the theme of adolescence for which lee fitted the role perfectly.
For the next five years he appeared in a number of television family drama serials such as ‘A Dreaming Family’, ‘Drama City’ and ‘Precious Family’. His innocent looks gained popularity among a cross-section of South Korean fans which made him a household name.
He finally made it big with his role in the romantic comedy serial ‘My Girl’ that became a hit not only in South Korea but across Asia. His performance got him recognised as a star with potential in the South Korean entertainment industry.
He had by now matured into a versatile actor and went on to appear in prime time serials such as ‘La Dolce Vita’, ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘Wild Romance’ and ‘Blade Man’. His current serial ‘Guardian: The Lonely and Great God’ is running on tvN since 2016 and is still gaining momentum.
Having made his mark in South Korean television, he went on to venture into South Korean films in 2006. He made his debut with a supporting role in the horror movie ‘Arang’ that received positive reviews. He then got the lead role in the detective love story ‘The Perfect Couple’ with Hyun Young.
Lee is at his best in romantic comedies and his fans just loved him in ‘Heartbreak Library’ and ‘The Beauty Inside’ that were released in 2008 and 2015 respectively. His spectacular performance soon made him a youth icon in South Korea.
Lee Dong-wook gained celebrity status and started appearing as a guest on several variety shows from 2006 onwards. These include ‘Wowowee’ in 2006, ‘Happy Together’ in 2008 and ‘The Return of Superman’ in 2016.
He also participated in season one and two of the South Korean reality show ‘Roommates’ that featured him living together with eleven celebrities in a house and sharing all utilities. Lee was one of the most popular roommates on the show.
He teamed up with comedian Shin Dong-yup to MC the talk show ‘Strong Heart’ in 2012-2013. He also was the MC for the SBS Drama Awards and the television show ‘My Bodyguard’.
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As his career progressed he appeared in music videos of various Korean artists. He also directed the music video of Zozo titled ‘Dandelion’. He is active on social media, where he has a large fan following that are eagerly waiting for his next performance.
His television serials include ‘School’ (1999 – 2000), ‘Drama City’ (2001), ‘Loving You’ and ‘Honest Living’ (2002), ‘Land of Wine’ (2003), ‘Precious Family’ (2004), ‘My Girl’ (2005), ‘Scent of a Woman’ (2011), ‘Wild Romance’ (2012), ‘Hotel King’ and ‘Blade Man’ (2014) and ‘Guardian: The Lonely and Great God’ (2016 – 2017).
He has acted in the films ‘Arang’ (2006), ‘The Perfect Couple’ (2007), ‘Heartbreak Library’ (2008), ‘The Recipe’ (2010) and ‘The Beauty Inside’ (2015).
Lee has been MC for the shows ‘Strong Heart’ (2012-2013), ‘SBS Drama Awards’ (2012) and ‘My Bodyguard’ (2016).
He has made guest appearances in a number of Variety shows including ‘Wowowee’, ‘Happy Together’, ‘Running Man’, ‘Entertainment Weekly’ and ‘The Return of Superman’.
He was a cast member of the reality show ‘Roommate’ seasons 1 and 2.
He directed the music video ‘Dandelion’ by Zozo and appeared in the music videos of various artists like Monday Kiz, Suho, Kim Dong-ryul and Kim Tae-woo.
Awards & Achievements
Lee was awarded the V-NESS Screen Award early in his career in 1999. This was followed by the SBS Drama, New Star Award for his role in ‘Land of Wine’. He also won the Most Attractive Actor in Asia and Grand Prize (Cultural Diplomacy) Award at the 8th Cosmo Beauty Awards and 18th Han II Cultural Awards ceremonies respectively.
His performance in the serial ‘Scent of a Woman’ got him the Top Excellence Award (Actor in a Weekend Drama) and Top 10 Stars at the SBS Drama Awards ceremony in 2011.
For his role as MC in ‘Strong Heart’ he received the Best Newcomer (MC) and Best Couple (with Shin Dong-yup) at the SBS Entertainment Awards in 2012.
Lee received the Fashionista Award as recognition of his overall performance at the 9th Asia Model Festival Awards ceremony in 2014.
In 2017, he received the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 5th Annual Drama Fever Awards ceremony for his role in ‘Guardian: The Lonely and Great God’.
Though his current status is single, he is rumoured to have been dated many of his co-actresses including Kim Hyun Joo, who acted in ‘Girls Generation Jessica’, and singer turned actress Lee Da Hae. His name has been associated with a few other actresses as well, but he has denied any long term relationship.
He is known to be humble in his ways and still supports his family financially. Being the eldest of four siblings, he has taken up the responsibility of settling his brothers and sisters.
He did his military service from August 2009 to June 2011, after filming for his film ‘The Recipe’.
He is known as Wookie to his fans, who adore him for his innocent looks and red lips.