In her 50s, Korean actress Jeon Do Yeon is enjoying newfound fame thanks to her role in Crash Course in Romance. Safe to say, with over two decades of acting experience under her belt, she's won the hearts of not only the audience but also the respect of her fellow artists from the Hallyu entertainment industry.
Feeling sad that your favorite Korean rom-com is about to end? Don't worry. With acting chops like hers, we have no doubt that her rise to fame will continuously impress us. In fact, we're already getting ready to witness her duality in Kill Boksoon, Netflix's upcoming action movie that's set to release by the end of March.
Here are some important facts about Jeon Do Yeon that you should definitely take note of!
10 Things You Need to Know About Korean Actress Jeon Do Yeon
1. She’s an Aquarius.
She was born on February 11, 1973 in Seoul, South Korea.
2. She’s dubbed as the “Queen of Tears.”
Because of the number of melodramas she's starred in, Jeon Do Yeon has been dubbed as the “Queen of Tears.” When asked how she felt about the title, she responded by saying she felt good about it because that meant her acting was well received by the public.
3. She was a model before becoming an actress.
Before her acting debut in the 1992 television series Our Paradise 2, Jeon used to do advertisement modeling for Johnson & Johnson.
4. She doesn't have an Instagram account.
Sadly, as of writing, Jeon doesn't have an Instagram account. This may come as a shock especially in this day and age where social media is the best way for fans to keep track of their idols, but it's actually not so rare for Korean celebrities. Some K-idols, like most of K-pop band NCT's members or MAMAMOO's Hwasa, only opened their personal IG accounts back in 2020. But while Jeon might not have an account now, who's to say she won't have one in the future? We're keeping our fingers crossed!
5. She also acted in theater plays.
Apart from K-drama series and films, she has also starred in two theater plays: Educating Rita (1997) and The Queen of Opera Tears (1998).
6. She’s the second Korean actress to win the Cannes Best Actress award.
Jeon has a long list of hit performances in her repertoire. She starred in several K-dramas such as Star in My Heart (1997), one of the first-ever K-dramas to be aired outside of Korea, jumpstarting what we now know as the K-wave or Hallyu. She then moved from the TV screen to the big screen, starring in movies such as A Promise (1998), The Harmonium in My Memory (1999), I Wish I Had a Wife (2001), No Blood No Tears (2002), Untold Scandal (2003), and You Are My Sunshine (2005) that allowed her to display her chameleonic acting skills. This eventually led to her Best Actress win at the 60th Cannes Film Festival for her lead role in Lee Chang Dong’s 2007 drama film Secret Sunshine. This made her the second Korean actress ever to win an award from the prestigious film festival.
7. She’s married to a non-celebrity whom she has a daughter with.
On March 11, 2007, she married professional car racer and South Korean businessman Kang Shi Kyu. They had their daughter two years later, who is now 14 years old.
8. She was awarded a top French honor by the French government.
In October 2009, the French government awarded Jeon with the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres medal. This is awarded to artists who have created great contributions to the influence of the arts and letters not only in France but in the world. Other notable honorees of this award are J. K. Rowling, Lee Byung-hun, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
9. She was the first Korean actress to become a judge at the Cannes Film Festival.
Seven years after her big win at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, she was invited back to become one of the nine panel members of the main competition jury at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Making history again as the first Korean actor or actress and the second Korean (after director Lee Chang Dong in 2009) to receive the honor.
10. She thinks she’d be a fantastic hit woman.
ICYDK, Jeon Do Yeon’s newest film Kill Boksoon (2023) is set to release on Netflix on March 31. Written and directed by Byun Sung Hyun, the film follows the story of a contract killer Kill Bok-soon (Jeon Do Yeon) who has to juggle killing people and being a single mother. Jeon’s character decides to step back from her double life to focus on raising her daughter. But by refusing to complete a mission she becomes the target of Seoul’s entire underground hitman industry. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she was asked if she thought she’d also make a good hit woman in real life, to which she answered, “I think I’d be fantastic at it.”