Lee Wan Biography
Lee Wan is a South Korean film and TV actor who started his career with music videos at a young age. His acting debut happened with the TV series ‘My Fair Lady’ in 2003 and with his older Sister Kim Tae-hee being a popular actor, he got some good early roles in his career which more or less established him as a highly competent actor. His breakthrough role came in the same year that he made his acting debut in form of ‘Stairway to Heaven’, where he played a supporting role. The audiences loved his portrayal and Lee started gaining recognition. His stint as the lead actor for ‘Snow White: Taste Sweet Love’, further established him as a bankable young actor. His popularity in Japan skyrocketed around that time, and he was offered the lead role in Japanese film ‘Veronika Decides to Die’. Making waves internationally as well, Lee successfully did some critically Korean projects as well, and as his acting prowess got appreciated further, he concealed his name as one of the most competent actors of this generation. He has been awarded at the SBS Drama Awards and KBS Drama Awards for his performances.
- Lee Wan was born on 30th January 1984 in Ulsan’s Nam District of South Korea. He grew up with his older sister Lee Tae-hee in a small family.
- As opposed to his sister, Lee was never interested in acting in TV or films during his early years. All he was interested in were sports and physical training.
- Once his school was over, he enrolled into the Kookmin University to get a degree in physical education and later went on to do sports management.
- But by the time he was a graduate, the acting bug had bit him, and seeing his sister struggling to become an actor also played a major role in shaping his psyche up. He worked on his looks and taught himself the nuances of acting and plunged into the show business in early 2000’s.
- His entertainment career began with an appearance in a music video alongside his sister, where his solid presence and good looks were fairly noticed, and he then went about auditioning for roles in TV. It wasn’t soon before he got his very first acting job in the year 2003.
- Lee started with a small role in the drama ‘My Fair Lady’ in 2003, which happened to be a remake of a successful Japanese series. And it wasn’t much time before he made a slightly bigger appearance in ‘Nursery Story’ in the same year. But it was his role in the series ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which did the trick of bringing into the limelight.
- ’In ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Lee played a major supporting role as the younger version of one of lead characters Tae-hwa and gained recognition. His acting chops were appreciated in the series and this was also one of the reasons for his next few projects being offered to him, where he started playing the leading roles.
- In 2004’s ‘Snow White: Sweet Taste Love’, he portrayed the leading role and the success of the comedy drama paved way for more leading roles to come his way. He followed it up in the same year with ‘Little Women’.
- While he was becoming more famous in South Korea each day, the Japanese audiences were also smitten by his charm and in an attempt to reap the benefits of his major Japanese following, he was offered the leading role in the Japanese-Korean co-production ‘Tree of Heaven’, which touched the taboo subject of step siblings falling in love.
- After some initial controversy, the series was released to acclaim and Lee’s performance received universal accolades. Lee also featured in the soundtrack for series with his contribution to the song ‘Where Farewells don’t exist’.
- This new found success then led to a role in the Japanese film ‘Veronika Decides to die’, which was based on a novel of the same name by the acclaimed author Paulo Coehlo. The film, although not so successful on the commercial front, resonated well with the critics and was eventually featured in the highly regarded Tokyo Film Festival.
- Establishing himself as an actor who could pull off the humour and drama content impeccably, he was also still a young actor. This ever increasing popularity in Japan had him prefer Japanese dramas more than Korean ones more. In 2007, came another groundbreaking role for Lee, as he was featured as the leading man in ‘Under the Magnolia’, a Japanese romance drama which told the tale about a Japanese woman and a Korean man as they meet and fall in love.
- The series was a major success and Lee returned back to South Korea to star in a supporting role in the series ‘In-soon is pretty’. After this, he went back to play a cameo in Japanese drama ‘Ryokiteki na Kanojo’, which happened to be a remake of the famous American film ‘My Sassy Girl’.
- In 2008, Lee played the leading role in the South Korean drama film ‘Once Upon a Time in Seoul’ based on the 1953 Korean War. Lee played the role of a tough man in the film, and although the performances and the direction of the film were appreciated, it fell short of leaving a mark on the box office. The failure of this highly ambitious film took Lee really bad.
- The success of 2009’s period drama ‘Swallow the Sun’ redeemed his credibility to a great degree. Lee played one of the leading roles in the drama series and received a widespread appreciation for his role.
- This was followed in 2010 with a two year mandatory military service. But by the time he was back, many things had changed and it seemed like Lee had lost his star power.
- He made a comeback on the smaller screen with 2013’s ‘Its Not Over Yet’, which was then followed by a supporting role in the naval thriller film ‘Northern Limit Line’. The film was nominated for many major film awards and was a moderate financial success.
- In 2016 Lee made an appearance in the most successful and longest running South Korean variety show ‘Running Man’ and in the same year, he made his comeback to the South Korean fiction television with ‘Our Gap-soon’, where he was seen playing a side character.
- Lee has won awards in the early phases of his career for his performances in the series’ ‘Little Women’ and ‘Snow White: Taste Sweet Love’ at the KBS Drama Awards and SBS Drama Awards.
- His career graph also includes time to time appearances in the music videos for the South Korean musicians such as Tei, Vibe and Vintage Blue.
- Despite belonging to the same industry, Lee Wan has openly said that he and his older sister Kim Tae-hee don’t share a very warm personal relationship. He also pulled her leg saying that everybody considered him way better-looking than his sister. He also told one of his co-actors on one of his variety shows that she was ‘thousand times prettier than his sister’.
- Lee is presently single, and as it’s a norm with the South Korean actors, Lee hasn’t quite opened up about any of his relationships yet. But he has been linked with quite a few of his co-actors.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed