How To Say ‘Actor’ In Korean

Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by 90 Day Korean
Illustration of child actors performing in a play

Just because you’re studying, doesn’t mean that learning can’t be fun. That goes doubly for learning Korean!

That’s why today we’re diving into the world of entertainment, to learn how to say ‘actor’ in Korean. When we’re done, you’ll be able to tell your Korean friends who your favorite actor is!

Illustration of child actors performing in a play

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‘Actor’ in Korean

The word for ‘actor’ in Korean is 배우 (baeu). This can largely be used for both male actors and female actresses.

 배우 (baeu)


To distinguish male and female actors, you can say 남자배우 (namjabaeu | 
male actor) or 여자배우 (yeojabaeu | female actor). You might hear these categories if you’re watching a Korean movie award show.

 남자배우 (namjabaeu)

male actor

 여자배우 (yeojabaeu)

female actor

On occasion, actresses may specifically be referred to as 여배우 (yeobaeu), 여 (yeo) being the indication for ‘woman’, but even if you can only remember the word 배우 (baeu), you are already doing a very good job with learning how to say ‘actor’ in Korean.

Both words are quite useful, especially if you’re into watching K-dramas or Korean movies.

If you’re interested in a particular male actor or a particular female actor, check out our articles for our favorites and let us know who yours are!

You also don’t necessarily need to differentiate between a movie actor or a television actor, especially now when most actors often do both movies and TV shows.

However, if you are curious to know these terms, movie actors (or film actors) are called 영화배우 (yeonghwabaeu) and television actors are largely called 드라마배우 (deuramabaeu).

The term ‘movie actor’ is formed simply by combining the Korean words for ‘movie’ and ‘actor’ into one. However, literally translated, a television actor is actually not that but a ‘drama actor’ instead.

That is because TV series are called dramas rather than television shows in Korea. But if you preferred to say 텔레비전배우 (tellebijeonbaeu / TV actor) this is also correct.

If you’re referring to a theatre actor, you can say 연극배우 (yeongeukbaeu), 연극 (yeongeuk) meaning ‘stage’.

You might notice that many of these words are just combining a specific category + 배우 (baeu | actor) to specify an actor in that category. This is a common pattern in Korean vocabulary which makes learning general words like this very rewarding and valuable!

Related Vocabulary

희극 배우 – huigeuk baeu | comedian

뮤지컬 배우 – myujikeol baeu | musical actor

성우  – seongu | voice actor

영화 감독 / 음악 감독 – yeonghwa gamdok / eumak gamdok  | movie director / music director

가수  – gasu | singer

연예인 – yeonyein | celebrity

A word of caution about Romanization

While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes.

When you’ve become familiar with Hangeul, your life in Korea will be much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you. So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?

For more on the Korean language, go here:

Sample Sentences

Two film reels in a pile of popcorn


1. 요즘 한국에서 제일 인기 많은 배우가 누군가요? → Who’s the most popular actor in Korea these days?

 yojeum hangugeseo jeil ingi maneun baeuga nugungayo?

2. 제 꿈은 세계적으로 유명한 배우로 될 것이에요. → My dream is to become a worldwide famous actor.

  je kkumeun segyejeogeuro yumyeonghan baeuro doel geosieyo.


1. 세계에서 제일 좋아하는 배우가 누구야? → Who’s your favorite actor in the world?

   segyeeseo jeil joahaneun baeuga nuguya?

Now that you know how to say ‘actor’ in Korean, share with your Korean friends who your favorite actor is, and find out who theirs is. Also, watching your favorite actor in Korean movies can even help you learn Korean! Let us know how it goes in the comments below! 

Want more Korean phrases? Click here for a complete list!


Photo Credit: Bigstock

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