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Top 10 Korean Actresses and Their Best Dramas

Winning us over in both small screen and big, these actresses are true queens in our book! Here, we list 50+ of their must-watch dramas

Stills from the top ten Korean actresses' latest dramas | JTBC, tvN, MBC, SBS, Netflix. Background photo by sl wong on Pexels.

Korean actresses are so much more than just their beauty, they exude style, grace, and talent. And with every single drama, they win us over more and more.

Here, we list our top ten Korean drama actresses in alphabetical sequence—Kim Go-Eun, Kim Hyun-Joo, Kim Ji-Won, Ku Hye-Sun, Lee Ji-Eun (IU), Park Min-Young, Seo Ye-Ji, Son Ye-Jin, Song Hye-Kyo, and Song Ji-Hyo. For their dramas, we chose the ones wherein these actresses received much critical acclaim for and are, in our books, their absolute must-watch dramas.

10 Underrated K-Dramas You're Missing Out On


10 Underrated K-Dramas You're Missing Out On

Kim Go-Eun

This actress and singer first made her debut in A Muse (2012) which garnered a lot of media attention, critical acclaim, and won her several Best New Actress awards that year. Having wanted to become a filmmaker after watching Chen Kaige's Together many times, she attended Kaywon High School of the Arts and took up Drama at the Korea National University of Arts. Shortly after A Muse, she took a hiatus to finish her studies, returning to film in 2014 starring in the thriller Monster where she played a developmentally disabled woman whose younger sister is murdered by a ruthless serial killer. Kim has worked on many films since debut, a total of 11 films, and three dramas—all of which were hits!

Kim Hyun-Joo

This actress and model first made her movie debut in the 1998 film If It Snows On Christmas, where she was cast in the leading role despite being a newcomer. This film was followed by Calla (1999) with Song Seung-heon, and she worked on two other films after—Star Runner and Shin Suk-ki blues. Kim received her first acting award for Best Actress in a drama, Twinkle Twinkle, in 2011, and has under her belt 4 movies and a total of 23 TV series. 

Kim Ji-Won

Trained in both acting and singing, Kim Ji-Won decided to focus and really pursue the former. She first gained attention after starring in the 2011 sitcom High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged. After, she was cast in her first major television role in the musical drama What's Up and made her film debut in the romance omnibus film Romantic Heaven. Then, she  starred in the high school drama To the Beautiful You and headlined the film Horror Stories. To this day, Kim has a total of 11 dramas to her name, as well as 4 movies. 

Ku Hye-Sun

This actress, singer-songwriter, director, and artist first gained widespread recognition in the dramas Pure in Heart (2006), The King And I (2007), and Boys Over Flowers (2009). Aside from her acting and directional works, Ku also takes part in in a wide range of projects, including writing and drawing, as well as ambassador activities. To date, she has appeared in 12 series and 3 movies.

Lee Ji-Eun (IU)

Singer-songwriter and actress IU first made her debut as a singer at the age of fifteen with her album Lost and Found. Her stage name "IU" is derived from "I and You"—to "become one, you and me, with music." Her talent for acting is undeniable and since making her acting debut in Dream High, she has starred and appeared in a total of 9 dramas as well as 3 films.

Your Ultimate IU Drama Guide


Your Ultimate IU Drama Guide

Park Min-Young

This actress launched her acting career in the hit sitcom High Kick! (2006) and afterwards continued to appear in television dramas, in roles such as the only daughter of a notorious gangster in I Am Sam (2007), and a gumiho (nine-tailed fox in Korean mythology) in an episode of horror-themed drama Hometown of Legends (2008). She has won awards for her roles in Healer (2014) and Glory Jane (2011). To date, Park has worked on a total of 16 dramas and one movie.

Seo Ye-Ji

The IOTNBO actress began her career in the sitcom Potato Star 2013QR3 (2013–2014), which was then followed by major roles in period drama Diary of a Night Watchman (2014) and Last (2015). While Seo's ambition was initially to be a TV news presenter, she stepped in the entertainment industry by appearing in an advertisement in 2013. The rest is history, and she's appeared in 10 dramas and 7 dramas since!

Son Ye-Jin

Hailed the "Queen of Melodrama," this actress first rose to fame in romance-themed films and television series such as The Classic (2003), Summer Scent (2003), A Moment to Remember (2004), and April Snow (2005) and is known for her versatility in diverse genres. Her lead roles in recent hit romance dramas Something in the Rain (2018) and Crash Landing on You (2019) further solidified her status of being a household name having had such a prolific acting career that spends twenty years! As of today, she has a total of 21 movies and 10 dramas to her name.

Song Hye-Kyo

Actress and model Song Hye-Kyo first made her debut in Korean entertainment in a small role in First Love (1996). After, she continued to appear in a string of various dramas and sitcoms but it wasn't until the KBS drama Autumn in My Heart in 2000, with Song Seung-heon and Won Bin, that she rose to fame in Korea and throughout Asia. To this date, she has 13 dramas and 8 movies under her belt.

Song Ji-Hyo

Actress Song Ji-Hyo was first a model when she entered the Korean entertainment industry. She made her acting debut in the film Wishing Stairs (2003) and her television debut in the romantic comedy Princess Hours (2006) and the historical Jumong (2006). Following this, Song received wider recognition in her movie projects which included A Frozen Flower (2008) and New World (2013). Besides her acting, Song is one of the regular cast members of the South Korean variety show Running Man since 2010! To date, she has 10 films and 12 dramas to her name. 

IU and Lee Joon Gi Express Hope For ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ Season 2


IU and Lee Joon Gi Express Hope For ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’ Season 2

Lead photos from the actresses' latest dramas JTBC, tvN, MBC, SBS and floral background photography by sl wong on Pexels.