Yoon Eun-hye is a South Korean actress, singer, director, fashion designer, and model. Yoon started her career in entertainment industry as a member of girl group, ‘Baby V. O.X’ in 1999. Thereafter, she moved to acting, and till date, she is best remembered for her extravagant performance in the television drama series, ‘Princess Hours’. She has also delivered heart-warming performances in other television dramas like ‘Missing You’, ‘The Vineyard Man’, ‘The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince’. She made her directorial debut through her college assignment, which eventually got her the status of a successful film-maker. Her movie, ‘The Knitting’, was screened at various movie festivals, and also brought her a chance to be a jury member at the ‘Face of the Sort Films Awards’ at Asiana International Short Film Festival aka AISSF. She has also been into several controversies including her tiff with her management company which eventually led to the termination of her contract, anti-fan aggression, and plagiarism.
Childhood & Early Life
Yoon was born in Guro District in Seoul, South Korea on October 3, 1984. She had a happy childhood that gave her a lot of confidence and courage to pursue her dream. Her dream was always to be an actress, and by the time she was 30, she had accomplished every side of her dream.
There is no information about her parents but she has a sibling, Yoon Ban-suk.
She attended ‘Kyung-Hee Cyber University’ an online institute, and later went to ‘Chung-Ang University’ to study Film Arts.
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Before becoming a full-fledged actress, Yoon got associated with a girl band, ‘Girl V.O.X’ in 1999. She replaced another band member as a sub-vocal. The band delivered hit singles like, ‘Get up’ and ‘Killer’ from their debut album, ‘Come Come Come’ in 1999.
While she tasted success in her first attempt, it also came with a price. A person sprayed a mixture soy sauce and vinegar in Yoon’s eyes in order to blind her. Yoon, however, refused to file a police report considering the injury was minor.
She stayed with the band from 1999 to 2005 before she moved on to explore other opportunities. She also appeared on SBS’s hit show ‘X-Men’ in 2004-2005, and was loved by her audience for her portrayal of a warrior princess in love with Kim Jong-kook.
In 2006, Yoon made her acting debut in MBC’s ‘Princess Hours’ where she played the role of a girl who got married to a prince, and became a princess by fate. Petitions were signed for replacing her as the main lead, and even then, this series turned out to be a major success, and people fell in love with Yoon’s talent and beauty.
Yoon had already tasted her first television success, and from there she became almost unstoppable. Her next major role came in KBS’ ‘The Vineyard Man’ in July 2006, which helped her win best actress award at ‘2006 Grimae Awards’.
The show contributed a lot in raising her stardom in Korean. In 2007, she came back on television screens as a lead in MBC’s drama ‘The 1st Shop Coffee Prince’, where she played a tomboy, and was loved by her fans.
She went on to become the youngest actress to win the ‘44th Baeksang Arts Awards’. The success on television made her one of the highest paid actresses in South Korea.
In 2009, she played a hot-headed rich business woman in ‘My Fair Lady’ on KBS. Her acting was largely criticized, although the show was a success.
In 2011, she played a smart government official in SBS’s hit ‘Lie to me’. Her other major role came in MBC’s ‘Missing You’ where her performance as a victim of sexual abuse won her critical acclaim.
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In 2013, she starred in ‘Marry Him If You Dare’--another hit in her list.
In 2006, she appeared in her first movie as the lead in ‘The Legend of Seven Cutter’ as a boxer. In 2010, she appeared in another movie ‘My Black Mini Dress’ which was based on a novel.
In 2016, she was cast in Chinese-Korean movie, ‘After Love’ which till date remains unreleased.
In 2012, she made her debut as a director in ‘The Knitting’. Even though, it was her college assignment, the movie was screened at the ‘17th Busan International Film Festival’. It was also screened at the ‘38th Seoul Independent Film Festival’, and further competed in the ‘Korean Short Film Competition’.
In 2015, she appeared on ‘Goddess Fashion: Season 2’, where she was awarded No.1 in fashion evaluation, but she accused of ripping off fashion designer Yoon Choon Ho’s designs. She, however, denied having to do anything with his designs, and claimed that Choon Ho was taking advantage of her fame to gain media attention.
Awards & Achievements
Her mind-blowing performance in ‘The Vineyard Man’ won her ‘Best Actress’ award at ‘19th Grimae Awards’ and ‘Best New Actress’ and ‘Best Couple (with Oh Man-seok) at ‘2006 KBS Awards’.
She won awards in ‘Top Actress’ category at ‘MBC Drama Awards’ and ‘Star News
’‘The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince’ got her ‘44th Baeksang Arts Awards’; she became the youngest actress to win this award.
She won ‘2009 KBS Drama Awards’ in ‘Best Actress’, ‘Popularity Award’ and ‘Best Couple’ (Yoon Sang-hyun) category for ‘My Fair Lady’.
Her performance in ‘Missing You’ brought her ‘Hallyu Star of the Year’ and ‘Popularity Award’.
At the ‘Hallyu 10th Anniversary Grand Prizes’, she was awarded ’Grand Prix , Best Actress’.
At the ‘18th Huading Awards’ she was honored with ‘Global Best TV Actress’ in 2016.
Even after being a successful artist, Yoon has managed to keep her personal life private from the world.
She is single, but is said to have dated actors Ju Ji Hoon, Gong Yoo, and Park Yoochun.
She has had her share of controversies. In 2007, her former managing company, ‘Eight Peaks’ accused her of being irresponsible online which was damaging for her reputation. Yoon cancelled her contractual agreement with the company, and joined ‘Kraze Entertainment’ thereafter.