Korean Actress – Most Popular K-Drama & Film Stars of All Time

Much like with actors in South Korea, a South Korean actress in the industry is also loved, adored, and respected by the viewing audience.

Korean Actresses in South Korea

In some aspects, these beautiful South Korean actresses may even be held in higher regard than their male counterparts. Whether it’s a movie or a drama, there are always new and beautiful Korean actresses coming in to capture hearts.

Top Korean Actresses in K-Dramas

The most beautiful Korean actress may be different for each person. However, this list features South Korean actresses who were recognized for their superb acting skills shown in South Korean dramas and movies that they’ve starred in. Let’s head on to our list of the most popular Korean actresses!

Jun Ji Hyun (전지현)

Jun Ji Hyun is one of the highest-paid Korean actresses and has starred in the South Korean drama My Sassy Girl.

Picture of Joon Ji Hyun

However, when she starred in the hit drama My Love from the Star opposite actor Kim Soo Hyun, Jun Ji Hyun immediately rose to international fame.

If she already wasn’t of such status, Jun Ji Hyun is most definitely one of Korea’s highest-rated drama actresses now.

Jun Ji-Hyun Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: My Love from the Star, Legend of the Blue Sea, Kingdom: Ashin of the North

Movies: Il Mare(A Love Story), My Sassy Girl, Windstruck, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Thieves, The Berlin File, Assassination

Park Shin Hye (박신혜)

With her youthful and beautiful look, Park Shin Hye has become famous through her acting chops and become memorable through her appearance. She started her acting career as a young child actress portraying the younger version of many South Korean actresses.

Park Shin Hye is one of the most famous and best-paid South Korean actresses, and it’s no surprise as she is constantly appearing in the most popular dramas, especially geared towards younger audiences. However, in her recent films, she has taken the leading roles in horror/thriller-themed movies.

In addition to her acting skills, Park Shin Hye is also a talented singer. She has recently gotten married to Korean actor Choi Tae Joon.

Photo of Park Shin Hye

Park Shin Hye Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Stairway to Heaven, Tree of Heaven, Prince Hours, You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings, Hayate the Combat Butler, My Cute Guys, The Heirs, Pinocchio, The Doctors, Memories of the Alhambra, Sisyphus: The Myth

Movies: Cyrano Agency, Miracle in Cell No. 7, One Perfect Day, #Alive, The Call

Song Hye Kyo (송혜교)

Song Hye Kyo is one of the highest-ranked celebrities among all genders in South Korea, including non-acting celebrities as well.

Through her appearances in Descendants of the Sun and several well-received dramas and movies, she has risen to triple-A status throughout Asia which makes her one of the most influential actresses in South Korea. 

The latest drama that Song Hye Kyo starred in was Encounter alongside actor Park Bo Gum.

Photo of Song Hye Kyo

Song Hye Kyo Movies and TV Shows

K-drama:  Autumn in My Heart, Hotelier, Guardian Angel, All In, Full House, Worlds Within, That Winter, the Wind Blows, Descendants of the Sun, Encounter, Now, We Are Breaking Up, Our Blues

Movies: Hwang Jin Yi, A Reason to Live, My Brilliant Life, The Crossing, The Queens

Shin Min Ah (신민아)

Another incredibly talented actress, Shin Min Ah, and her fresh look shines in comedy and more serious work.

Although she started her career as a successful model and is still a familiar face in several ad campaigns all around South Korea, it is the last decade’s hit television dramas such as My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox and Oh My Venus that she is especially known for.

There is at least one movie starring her coming out this year. Shin Min Ah and her longtime boyfriend, Korean actor Kim Woo Bin had also been co-stars in the recent drama series, Our Blues. 

Photo of Shin Min Ah

Shin Min Ah Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: A Love to Kill, The Devil, My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox, Arang and the Magistrate, Oh My Venus, Tomorrow, With You, Chief of Staff, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

Movies: Madeleine, My Mighty Princess, The Naked Kitchen, Sisters on the Road, Gyeongju, My Love, My Bride, Diva

Ku Hye Sun (구혜선)

Much like Lee Minho, Ku Hye Sun also rose to domestic and international fame through the hit drama Boys Over Flowers.

Ku Hye Sun has continued to star in dramas actively ever since to keep up with the momentum.

This beautiful Korean actress is also well-versed as a singer-songwriter and director, amongst other artistic endeavors.

Photo of Ku Hye Sun

Ku Hye Sun Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Boys Over Flowers, The Musical, Take Care of Us, Captain, Absolute Darling, Angel Eyes, Blood

Movies: Baby and I, Daughter

Bae Suzy (배수지)

Although Suzy originally rose to fame as an idol member of the girl group Miss A, she has made herself an even bigger name through her acting.

Having appeared in more than 10 television dramas, Bae Suzy has become one of the most sought-after and beautiful Korean actresses. She also starred in top K-dramas, namely While You Were Sleeping. Vagabond, and most recently, Start-Up

Despite gaining momentum in acting, she has continued earnestly to work as a singer and an idol

Photo of Bae Suzy

Bae Suzy Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Dream High, Gu Family Book, Uncontrollably Fond, While You Were Sleeping, Vagabond, Start-Up

Movies: Architecture 101, The Sound of a Flower, Ashfall, 

Yoon Eun Hye (윤은혜)

Even though Yoon Eun Hye has spent the past few years laying low, she has long been one of the most popular and beautiful Korean actresses.

She made her debut as a member of the group Baby VOX but has mainly worked as a South Korean actress since 2005, when her contract ended.

She shot to fame with the almost back-to-back popular dramas Princess Hours, Coffee Prince, and My Fair Lady, cementing her legacy among Korea’s best actresses early in her career. With this, Yoon Eun Hye won the Best Actress award at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards in South Korea in 2008.

Photo of Yoon Eun HyeYoon Eun Hye Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Princess Hours, Coffee Prince, My Fair Lady, Lie To Me, Missing You, Marry Him If You Dare, Love Alert

Movies: The Legend of Seven Cutter, My Black Mini Dress

Choi Ji Woo (최지우)

Choi Ji Woo might be a slightly unfamiliar name to our younger readers. However, she has a long and steady career behind her, starting in the mid-90s.

And this award-winning actress is most definitely not a stranger to those who watched dramas in the early 2000s, starring first in Winter Sonata and then in Stairway To Heaven right after. She also made cameo appearances in the high-rating South Korean drama Crash Landing on You and, most recently, in the K-drama Shooting Stars.

Photo of Choi Ji Woo

Choi Ji Woo Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Mr. Duke, Beautiful Days, Winter Sonata, Stairway to Heaven, Air City, Woman with a Suitcase, The Most Beautiful Goodbye

Movies: The Romantic President, Now and Forever, Actresses, Like for Likes

Son Ye Jin (손예진)

With her acting career starting in the early 2000s, Son Ye Jin is one of the most beautiful Korean faces and has been consistently starring in dramas and films.

Photo of Son Ye Jin

Son Ye Jin is famous for her roles in romance-themed TV dramas. The actress most recently starred in the drama Crash Landing on You alongside Hyun Bin. The actress just recently got married to Korean actor Hyun Bin.

Son Ye Jin Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Summer Scent, Alone in Love, Spotlight, Personal Taste, Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus, Something in the Rain, Crash Landing on You

Movies: Lover’s Concerto, A Moment to Remember, April Snow, Open City, My Wife Got Married, Spellbound, Blood and Ties, The Pirates, The Truth Beneath, The Last Princess, Be with You, The Negotiation

Park Min Young (박민영)

You might have recently seen her in the South Korean series When the Weather is Fine, but Park Min Young grew popular when she starred in South Korean dramas Sungkyunkwan Scandal (a historical drama) and City Hunter (an action drama). 

She has constantly appeared and starred in TV series since 2012. Park Min Young also appeared in the popular K-pop boy band Big Bang’s MV for Haru Haru.

Park Min Young

Park Min Young Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: I Am Sam, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, Glory Jane, Dr. Jin, Healer, Queen for Seven Days, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Her Private Life, When the Weather Is Fine

Movies: The Cat

Top Korean Actresses in Movies

These Korean actresses are popular in both dramas and movies, though they have had several acting roles in movies.

Ha Ji Won (하지원)

Ha Ji Won is not only among the most beautiful Korean actresses, but she is also very versatile. It is no wonder that Ha Ji Won has become so popular and famous.

She has received several recognitions through her award-winning roles in movies and television dramas.

Like many other South Korean actors and actresses, Ha Ji Won has also dabbled in music, having even written some of her own songs.

Ha Ji Won

Ha Ji Won Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Damo, What Happened in Bali, Hwang Jini, Secret Garden, The King 2 Hearts, Empress Ki, The Time We Were Not in Love, Hospital Ship, Chocolate

Movies: Phone, Reversal of Fortune, 100 Days with Mr. Arrogant, Love, So Divine, Daddy-Long-Legs, Miracle on 1st Street, Miracle of a Giving Fool, Sector 7, The Huntresses, Life Risking Romance, Pawn

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Gong Hyo Jin (공효진)

Over the last 20 years, Gong Hyo Jin has appeared in more than 20 movies and nearly as many TV dramas in South Korea.

She is undoubtedly one of the best-liked South Korean actresses, especially when it comes to stars of romantic comedy.

On top of a great career in film and TV, she has also taken her talent to the theatre.

Gong Hyo Jin

Gong Hyo Jin Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Hello My Teacher, Pasta, Cool Guys, Hot Ramen, Master’s Sun, It’s Okay, That’s Love, The Producers, Don’t Dare to Dream, When the Camellia Blooms

Movies: Family Ties, Happiness, M, Crush and Blush, Sisters on the Road, Love Fiction, Boomerang Family, Missing, Single Rider, Door Lock, Hit-and-Run Squad

Lee Young Ae (이영애)

While Lee Young Ae wasn’t seen in a film or a drama for a long time since starring in the movie Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, she has continuously been regarded as one of Korea’s best-paid and most beautiful Korean actresses, especially among the slightly older population.

She is so highly regarded that she even became the first South Korean actress ever to be invited as a jury member for the International Berlin Film Festival. Lee Young Ae finally returned to TV in 2017 and the big screen a year later.

Photo of Lee Young Ae

Lee Young-Ae Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Love and Marriage, Asphalt Man, West Palace, Medical Brothers, Invitation, Jewel in the Palace, Saimdang, Memoir of Colors, Inspector Koo, 

Movies: Last Present, Lady Vengeance, Bring Me Home

Kim Go Eun (김고은)

Actress Kim Go Eun’s acting debut was in the South Korean film A Muse. With this, she won several Best New Actress awards in South Korea. The Korean actress went on a South Korean entertainment hiatus despite several offers as she had to finish her degree in college. 

She then returned to acting in South Korean movies in 2014 and began her television career in 2016. She became increasingly popular when she starred in the K-drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God alongside Korean actor Gong Yoo. Kim Go Eun has recently starred in the Korean series The King: Eternal Monarch together with actor Lee Min Ho, and the adorable K-drama Yumi’s Cells. 

Kim Go Eun is set to continue with the second season of  Yumi’s Cells, opposite K-pop group GOT7 member Jinyoung.

Kim Go Eun

Kim Go Eun Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Cheese in the Trap, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, The King: Eternal Monarch, Yumi’s Cells

Movies: A Muse, Monster, Memories of the Sword, The Advocate: A Missing Body, Canola, Sunset in My Hometown, Tune in for Love

Park Bo Young (박보영)

South Korean actress Park Bo Young started officially started her acting career way back in 2006, with several breaks in between. Her comeback to South Korean television has also been a continuous success for her.

Park Bo Young then starred in several series, including the South Korean drama Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which became one of the highest-rated South Korean dramas in cable television history.  She also starred in the Korean drama Oh My Ghost.

Park Bo Young

Park Bo Young Movies and TV Shows

K-drama:  Jungle Fish, Oh My Ghost, Strong Girl Bong-soon. Abyss, Doom at Your Service

Movies: The ESP Couple, Don’t Click, A Werewolf Boy, Hot Young Bloods, The Silenced, You Call It Passion, On Your Wedding Day 

Han Hyo Joo (한효주)

Korean actress Han Hyo Joo started her career early when she was discovered in a beauty pageant in 2003. The actress is known for her versatility, switching from one genre to another. She recently starred in the Korean thriller series, Happiness alongside actor Park Hyung Sik.

Apart from TV series, she has also starred in different movies and web series and appeared in music videos and TV shows. 

Han Hyo Joo

Han Hyo Joo Movies and TV Shows

K-drama: Moving, Happiness, Treadstone, W-Two Worlds, Dong Yi, Soul Special, Brilliant Legacy/Shining Inheritance, Iljimae, As Much as Heaven and Earth,  Spring Waltz, Moving 


The Pirates 2: Goblin Flag, The Sun Does Not Move, Illang – The Wolf Brigade, Golden Slumber, Love, Lies, The Beauty Inside, C’est Si Bon, View of Mount, Myohyang , Miracle Devil Claus’ Love and Magic, Cold Eyes, Love 911/Bandage, Gwanghae: The Man Who Became King,  Always, Heaven’s Postman, Ride Away

Other Famous Korean Actresses

Here are more of the talented and beautiful Korean actresses who starred in high-rating TV series.

  • Kim Yoo Jung
  • Lee Ji Eun (IU)
  • Lee Sung Kyung
  • Kim So Hyun
  • Kim Tae Hee
  • Kim Hyun Joo
  • Song Ji Hyo
  • Kim Ji Won
  • Kim Hye Ja

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Wrap Up

While this list details some of the best and most beautiful Korean actresses of all time, it certainly leaves a lot of room for more to be discovered. Who are your favorites right now? Who do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: BigStockPhoto, Soompi.com, Mipijin, kimetc (et cetera) and Yoon Min-Hoo [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], tenasia10 [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], KIYOUNG KIM from Seoul, South Korea [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], https://mydramalist.com/

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183 thoughts on “Korean Actress – Most Popular K-Drama & Film Stars of All Time”

  1. A????Y❣️O❤️‍????O????L❤️‍????A❤️‍????M????I????P❤️‍????O????S????I???? Becca❤️‍????????❤️

    My love for kdrama ????????❤️ I so much love them

  2. Han Hyo-joo, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Tae-hee and Oh Yeon-seo.. Are my most favorite Korean Actresses… They’re look similar and very talented.

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