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Lee Byung-Hun was born in Seoul, South Korea on July 12, 1970. He grew up in a wealthy family that consisted of his businessman father (who passed away in 2000), his mother and one younger sister. Lee Byung-Hun's sister, Eun-hee Lee, would go on to win the Miss Korea beauty pageant in 1996. Lee Byung-Hun has described himself as a mischevious chlid while growing up.
In 1991 Lee Byung-Hun competed in an open audition for television network KBS and was accepted. He then made his television acting debut in the 1991 KBS drama "Asphalt My Hometown." Lee Byung-Hun didn't make his mark in television until the following year, when he appeared in the 1992 KBS drama "Tomorrow Love." His performance as Shin Beom-su provided a mixture of toughness and softness that appealed heavily to female viewers. While Byung-hun began to achieve success in the television drama realm, he initially found little success in the big screen realm. His early films like "Who Drives Me Mad?" & "Run Away" received muted responses at the box office and from critics. It wasn't until 1998, that Lee Byung-Hun started attracting the attention of critics with his performance in "The Harmonium in My Memory" (starring opposite Do-yeon Jeon). Two years later, Lee Byung-Hun would appear in Chan-wook Park's landmark cold-war film "Joint Security Area." Lee Byung-Hun's performance as Sgt. Soo-hyeok Lee, a soldier who crosses over to the North Korean side nightly to visit his "enemies," struck a deep chord with audiences and critics alike. The movie would go on to gain more than 8 million admissions and marked Lee Byung-Hun's first major blockbuster hit.
In the early to mid 2000's Lee Byung-Hun experienced more success on the small screen with "Beautiful Days" and "All In" and on the big screen with "Bungee Jumping of Their Own." His next blockbuster hit would occur in 2005, when he starred in Ji-woon Kim's mafia film "A Bittersweet Life." The movie premiered at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and received strong praise from the film festival circuit. Lee Byung-Hun then made a push to become an international star. He made a cameo appearance in the 2007 Japanese box office hit "Hero." This was followed by his first ever performance as a villain in Ji-woon Kim's "The Good, the Bad, and the Weird" (a Korean film shot mostly in China), the 2008 multi-national film "I Come with the Rain" (directed by Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran and starring American actor Josh Hartnett), and a supporting role in the 2009 U.S. film "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." Lee Byung-Hun has also kept some of the mischievousness from his childhood days. The Korea Times reported that when the cast and staff of G.I. Joe visited South Korea, the director of the film, Stephen Sommers, asked Lee Byung-Hun for tips on speaking with the Korean press. Lee Byung-Hun instructed Stephen Sommers to greet Korean reporters with the expression "Naneun baboda" - which Sommers did. Sommers found out later that "Naneun baboda" means literally "I am stupid."
Lee Byung-Hun's next project is the highly anticipated television drama "IRIS," which will have a big screen version released immediately after the television series concludes.
- Lee Byung-Hun will marry actress Lee Min-Jung at 6pm on August 10, 2013 at Grand Hyatt Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
- Best Actor ("The Man Standing Next") - 2020 (56th) BaekSang Arts Awards - June 5, 2020
- Best Actor ("Ashfall") - 2020 (56th) Daejong Film Awards - June 3, 2020
- Best Actor ("Inside Men") - 2016 (53rd) Daejong Film Awards - Dec. 27, 2016
- Best Actor ("Inside Men") - 2016 (37th) Blue Dragon Film Awards - Nov. 25, 2016
- Global Star Award - 2016 (5th) APAN Star Awards - Oct. 2, 2016
- Best Actor ("Inside Men") - 2016 (52nd) BaekSang Arts Awards - June 3, 2016
- Popularity Award - 2013 (34th) Blue Dragon Film Awards - Nov. 22, 2013
- Best Actor ("Masquerade") - 2012 (49th) Daejong Film Awards - Oct. 30, 2012
- Popularity Award ("Masquerade") - 2012 (49th) Daejong Film Awards - Oct. 30, 2012
- Daesang Grand Award (I Saw the Devil) - 2011 (47th) BaekSang Arts Awards - May 26, 2011
- Best Actor (IRIS) (KBS2) - 2010 (46th) BaekSang Arts Awards - March 26th
- Best Leading Actor, (movie category) of 2006, 42nd Baek-sang Award
- Best Actor ("A Bittersweet Life") - 2005 (25th) Critics Choice Awards - Nov. 2005
- Best Leading Actor, Busan Cinema Critics Award (2005)
- Best Performing Actor (drama category) of 2003, 39th Baek-sang Award
- Best Performing Actor (movie category) of 2002, 38th Baek-sang Award
- Best Performing Actor of 2001, SBS
- Blue Dragon Most Popular Actor (2001)
- Photogenic Prize & Korea Image Grand Prix
- Best Leading Actor, Busan Cinemas Critics Award (2000)
- Best Performing Actor of 1996, KBS (Dec 96)
- Best Performing Actor of 1995, KBS (Dec 95)
- Best Performing Actor of 1993, KBS (Dec 93)
- Best Performing Actor of 1992, KBS (Dec 92)
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