Childhood & Early life
Lee Soo-kyung was born into an upper class family on 13th March 1982 in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. She was inclined towards fitness and a healthy diet routine since her childhood. That was partly due to her family, in which everyone gave much importance to fitness.
During her middle and high school days, she realized the importance of her good looks and her interest in performing arts also played a major part in her deciding to become an actress.
She did theatres in high school and became a fine-tuned actress. After completing her schooling, she enrolled herself into the Dongduk Women’s University, where she did her bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting and Entertainment. She started modelling during her college days and appeared in several magazines and did photo shoots for many other publications.
The acting bug compelled her to start auditioning despite an initial struggle with lack of self-confidence. But she fought through this phase and after a few failed attempts, she finally started getting her opportunities. She was blessed with a good beginning and carried on doing roles which she got, however insignificant they were.
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The early years of her professional acting career were filled with supporting roles in TV dramas like ‘You’ll Find Out’ and ‘Dear Heaven’ in mid 2000s.This was also the time when she made her movie debut with a very small role in the 2005 film ‘Wet Dreams 2’. Although the roles, which she was getting during this phase of her career were small, her confidence improved, and so did her contacts in the industry, which further helped her in grabbing more eyeballs.
In 2006, she appeared in the film ‘Tazza: The High Rollers’. Though her role in the movie was small, it was noticeable, and so was her acting prowess.
Lee’s first big break came in 2006, in the form of a leading role in the sitcom ‘Soulmate’. She presented herself as a perfect mixture of serious and a comic character, which subsequently helped the show garner more ratings, and it was eventually declared a success. Most of the credit went to the performances of the cast members, spearheaded by Lee.
Luckily, Lee didn’t have to wait longer to get another breakthrough role of her career. In the very next year, she appeared as one of the lead cast members in the series ‘The Golden Age of Daughters-in-Law’. Lee played the role of an independent innocent young girl who marries young while having big dreams about her life and career. At that year’s KBS Drama Awards, Lee became the recipient of Best New Actress award along with the Best Couple Award with Kim Ji-hoon.
She then made a key appearance in the 2007 crime thriller ‘Rainbow Eyes’. Though the film turned out to be a failure, Lee’s performance received some good reviews.
In 2009, she played the lead role in the romantic comedy film ‘Triangle’, which was a Japan-South Korea co-production, revolving around a funny love triangle. This was followed by the leading female part in the emotionally charged TV drama ‘Loving you a Thousand Times’. This time around, she played the role of a wife, who is unable to conceive a baby. The versatility and maturity she showed while jumping from one distinct role to another is one of the main reasons why she went on to gain wide appreciation.
Lee became a cast member of the series ‘Big Thing’. The series became successful due to its highly controversial subject matter and due to the fact that it portrayed the complexities of life in a light-hearted manner. The series, which was based on the famous South Korean comic ‘Daemul’, remained at the top spot for 11 straight weeks in its timeslot. This was followed by a guest appearance in the romantic comedy drama series ‘Can’t Lose’.
She kicked off 2013 with the romantic family drama series ‘Pots of Gold’, which explored the nuances of love, marriage and quirkiness that persists in the average South Korean middle class families. The series was adored by both national and the international audience. She followed this up with another romantic comedy series in the form of ‘Let’s Eat’, which revolved around a group of corporate employees, who all are kept connected by a common interest – food.
2016 was a busy year for her as she appeared in three dramas back to back. She kicked off the year with a leading role in the romantic comedy series ‘My Little Baby’ and followed it up with a horror mystery series titled ‘Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight’, which was an adaptation of a successful webtoon of the same name. She ended the year with the drama ‘Father, I’ll take care of You’, which explored the relationship between elderly parents and their children. All the series did well on the ratings, and faired moderately as far as the critics were concerned.
Over the years, Lee has also been quite active in the field of variety shows. Earlier, she appeared in ‘Real Romance Love Letter’ and ‘Family Outing’. These shows helped her to get in touch with her fans, and she did that by shredding her star persona. As a result of her constant appearances on variety shows, she became a known face in South Korea and considering the ever growing popularity of South Korean shows and films in Japan, she managed to garner a massive fan following in Japan as well.
In her recent TV appearances, she was seen in variety shows such as ‘Let’s Eat Dinner Together’, ‘Knowing Bros’ and ‘Please Take Care of My Refrigerator’.
Lee Soo-kyung revealed in May 2006 that she was in a relationship. She never disclosed the name of her partner but said that he wasn’t famous and that he worked as a regular employee in a big company. Apart from that, she has been linked with her co-stars every now and then, but she has denied such allegations.
Lee ran into a massive controversy in January 2015, when she was caught drunk during a press conference. Nobody noticed it until she started laughing unnecessarily and disrespected a reporter. She also annoyed her co-actors, and received quite a lot of backlash from her fans and media, before the matter eventually went cold.