He made his first feature on-screen with the SBS television series ‘Wave’ (1999). This was followed by a couple of other series before he landed up playing Yoon Tae-young in the 2003 TV series ‘Yellow Handkerchief’ that aired on KBS1. The series earned him Best New Actor award at the KBS Drama Awards that year.
He made his big-screen debut with the 2001 film ‘My Wife Is a Gangster’. He played Hyo-min in the film.
In 2003, he featured in two more TV series namely ‘A Problem at My Younger Brother's House’ that aired on SBS from October 27, 2003 to April 30, 2004; and ‘Rosemary’ that aired on KBS2 from October 29, 2003 to December 25 of that year.
He next essayed the role of Han Jin-woo in the South Korean TV series ‘Snow White: Taste Sweet Love’ that aired on KBS2 from March 15, 2004 to May 4, 2004. The same year he played Yeon Ha-neul in the MBC TV series ‘Love is All Around’ that was broadcast from June 12, 2004 to September 19, 2004.
He appeared in the starring role of Lee Gun-woo along with Kim Hee-sun and Kwon Sang-woo in the South Korean romance melodrama TV series ‘Sad Love Story’. It aired on MBC for 20 episodes. He also lent his voice to the soundtrack of the series.
The 2005 romance film ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’, loosely inspired by Jean Webster’s novel bearing same title, featured Yeon in the lead role of Kim Jun-ho opposite Ha Ji-won. The film grossed $2,534,233 at the box office. It became one of four Korean flicks that were screened at the International Fajr Film Festival in Iran in 2006.
His next film was the 2005 romantic comedy ‘Love in Magic’. He essayed the lead role of Woo Ji-hoon in the film. He released his album Yeon Jung-hoon Vol. 1 in October 2005.
One of the notable TV series of his career is the South Korean action romance drama ‘East of Eden’. It aired on MBC for 56 episodes from August 25, 2008 to March 10, 2009. His performance as Lee Dong-wook in the series earned him PD Award at the 2008 MBC Drama Awards.
This was followed by yet another notable TV series, the period medical drama ‘Jejungwon’ that aired on SBS for 36 episodes from January 4, 2010 to May 4, 2010. He played a bright and ambitious nobleman Baek Do-yang in it.
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He has keen interest in cars that saw him hosting the South Korean variety show ‘Top Gear Korea’, an adaptation of popular BBC show ‘Top Gear’ in its first three seasons starting from 2011. Yeon has also featured as guest in other variety shows namely ‘Running Man’ (2015) and ‘Let's Eat Dinner Together’ (2017).
The South Korean mystery police procedural thriller television series ‘Vampire Prosecutor’ featured him in the starring role of Min Tae-yeon. Two seasons of the series was aired on OCN. The first season for 12 episodes from October 2, 2011 to December 18, 2011, while the second for 11 episodes from September 9, 2012 to November 18, 2012.
The first season of ‘Vampire Prosecutor’ topped its time slot for eleven weeks in a row and garnered highest peak viewership rating of 4.3% for a Korean TV series in 2011.
The 2013 action/noir/gangster film ‘Good Friends’ saw him playing one of the lead roles.
In 2013, he appeared in one of his most notable TV series, ‘Pots of Gold’, a romance comedy drama. This weekend series aired on MBC for 50 episodes during April-September 2013.
His brilliant performance and presentation as Park Hyun-soo in ‘Pots of Gold’ won him Best Dressed award at the 2nd APAN Star Awards and Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama at the MBC Drama Awards in 2013.
He along with Linda Chung featured in the happy theme of four different stories of the 2014 Hong Kong micro film ‘A Time of Love’ produced by TVB. The three other themes of the series were sad, urban and cartoon.
His next starring role was that of Min Seok-hoon in the South Korean romance melodrama family television series ‘Mask’. The series aired on SBS for 20 episodes from May 27, 2015 to July 30, 2015. It won him Best Actor award at the Grimae Awards apart from a nomination for Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special at the 23rd SBS Drama Awards in 2015.
The romance comedy drama TV series ‘Ms. Temper and Nam Jung-Gi’ saw him making a special appearance as Lee Ji-sang, first ex-husband of the female lead played by Lee Yo-won.
The Hong Kong-Chinese-American action comedy film ‘Skiptrace’ featured Yeon essayed the role of Willie. Jackie Chan produced and starred in the film. The flick was based on a story by Chan and released in China on July 21, 2016 and in the US on September 2, 2016.
He played a third-generation chaebol Mo Seung-jae, the primary antagonist of the South Korean action thriller melodrama TV series ‘Man to Man’ that originally aired on JTBC for 16 episodes from April 21,2017 to June 10, 2017. He can be seen featuring in the starring role of Shin Dong-Woo in the 2017 SBS South Korean series ‘Bravo My Life’.