Gong Yoo

Gong Ji-cheol (Korean공지철; born July 10, 1979), better known by his stage name Gong Yoo (Korean공유), is a South Korean actor. He is best known for his roles in television dramas Coffee Prince (2007) and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016–2017), and the films Silenced (2011), Train to Busan (2016) and The Age of Shadows (2016).

Gong Yoo
Gong Yoo (Sep 2016).png
Gong in May 2016
Gong Ji-cheol

(1979-07-10) July 10, 1979 (age 41)
EducationKyung Hee University
Years active2001–present
AgentManagement SOOP
Height6' 0" (1.84 m)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGong Yu
McCune–ReischauerKong Yu
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGong Ji-cheol
McCune–ReischauerKong Chi-ch'ŏl

His stage name is a combination of his father's last name "Gong" and of his mother's last name "Yoo".[2]


2001–2004: BeginningsEdit

Gong Yoo graduated from Kyung Hee University with a B.A. degree in theater.[3] In 2000, he started his show business career as a video jockey on Mnet and debuted as an actor in the TV series School 4 in 2001.[4] Thereafter, Gong did a number of supporting roles in dramas and movies and also hosted the music program Music Camp in 2004.

2005–2007: Coffee Prince and breakthroughEdit

In 2005, he landed his first lead role in SBS's Hello My Teacher opposite Gong Hyo-jin.[5] This was followed by the romance melodrama One Fine Day in 2006.[6]

Gong Yoo was then cast in MBC's romantic comedy Coffee Prince, which became his breakout role. The popularity of the drama not only solidified his status as a leading man, but also made him a hallyu star.[7][8]

2008–2015: Military enlistment and comebackEdit

On January 14, 2008, Gong Yoo enlisted for the mandatory service, which ended on December 8, 2009.[9][10] He did 8 months of frontline active service in Cheorwon and was transferred to the Defense Media Agency, where he served in the public relations department and hosted as a DJ for the army radio station.[11] He was discharged in December 2009.

He made his comeback in the romantic comedy Finding Mr. Destiny, which was a medium box office hit in Korea.[12][13]

In January 2011

He then initiated and pursued the production of a theatrical adaptation of Gong Ji-young's novel The Crucible, a congratulatory gift from his senior for his promotion during enlistment.[14][15] This movie was internationally released under the title Silenced. Upon its release on September 22, 2011, the film sparked public outrage.[16] This led to a reopening of the investigations into the incidents on which the novel and film are based. Public demand for legislative reform reached the National Assembly, where a revised bill to target sex crimes against minors and the disabled, dubbed the Dogani Bill after the Korean title of the film, was successfully passed in late October 2011.[17]

Gong Yoo then starred opposite Lee Min-jung in the romantic-comedy series Big written by the Hong sisters.[18] Although the drama was initially well-received, it was later heavily criticized for its ending.[19]

In December 2013

In 2013, he returned to the big screen after a two-year gap in the movie The Suspect. He played an elite North Korean spy who defects after being betrayed by his country.[20][21] In November 2013, Gong Yoo was appointed as a special representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Korea, in conjunction with a celebration of the 24th year since the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted. Following his appointment, he has visited countries around the world to raise awareness of the situation of children in underdeveloped countries.[22]

On July 7, 2014, Gong Yoo was named as an ambassador for the National Tax Service (NTS), alongside actress Ha Ji-won. The pair modeled for promotional posters and took part in street campaigns that encourage honest tax payment in support of the NTS.[23]

2016–present: Career resurgenceEdit

Gong Yoo experienced a new high in his career with consecutive hit works in 2016.[24] His first film in 2016 was the melodrama A Man and a Woman alongside critically acclaimed actress Jeon Do-yeon.[25][26] He then starred in the hugely successful zombie blockbuster Train to Busan,[27] which surpassed 11 million admissions in South Korea.[28] He then starred in another box office hit The Age of Shadows,[29] which surpassed 6 million admissions in two weeks.[30]

In December 2016, Gong Yoo returned to television in Kim Eun-sook's fantasy-romance drama Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, playing the titular goblin.[31] The drama was a massive hit and Gong won Best Actor at the Baeksang Awards for his performance.[32][33]

In October 2018, Gong Yoo was cast in two films. In Lee Yong-ju's action thriller film Seo Bok, Gong will play a former intelligence agent who is caught up in the chase of catching the first human clone to uncover the secret to eternal life.[34][35] In the feminist film Kim Ji-young: Born 1982, Gong plays the role of Kim Ji-young's husband.[36]

In March 2020, Gong Yoo was cast in Kim Tae-yong's upcoming film Wonderland, where he will appear alongside Chinese actress Tang Wei.[37]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 My Tutor Friend Lee Jong-soo [38]
2004 Spy Girl Choi Ko-bong [39]
Superstar Mr. Gam Park Chul-soo [40]
S Diary Yoo-in [41]
2005 She's on Duty Kang No-young [42]
2007 Like a Dragon Park Chul Film adaptation of video game Ryu Ga Gotoku[43]
2010 Finding Mr. Destiny Han Gi-joon Film adaptation of stage musical Finding Kim Jong-wook
2011 Silenced Kang In-ho Film adaptation of Gong Ji-young's novel The Crucible
2013 The Suspect Ji Dong-chul
2016 A Man and a Woman Ki-hong
Train to Busan Seok-woo
The Age of Shadows Kim Woo-jin
2019 Kim Ji-young: Born 1982 Jung Dae-hyun
2020 Seo Bok Ki-heon
2021 Wonderland

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Network Notes
2001 School 4 Hwang Tae-young KBS2 Ep. 29 to 48
2002 Whenever the Heart Beats Park Chan-ho
Hard Love Seo Kyung-chul
2003 20 Years Seo Joon SBS [44][45]
Best Theater: Flying Saucer Ki Jin MBC Ep. 533
Screen Kim Joon-pyo SBS
My Room, Your Room Kim Sung-joon SayClub Internet Drama[46]
2005 Hello My Teacher Park Tae-in SBS
2006 One Fine Day Seo Gun MBC
2007 Coffee Prince Choi Han-kyul
2012 Big Seo Yoon-jae/Kang Kyung-joon KBS2
2013 Dating Agency: Cyrano Magician tvN Cameo, ep. 9[47]
2016–2017 Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Goblin / Kim Shin
2021 Sea of Silence Yoon Jae Netflix[48]

Music video appearancesEdit

Year Song title Artist Ref.
2014 "How I Am" Kim Dong-ryool [49]


Year Program Role Episodes Network Ref.
2004 Music Camp Host 2004.01.10–2004.07.03 MBC [50]
2008–2009 장병가요 베스트 (Best Music) episodes 155~186 KFN [51]
공유가 기다리는 20시 DJ 371 episodes [4]


Year Title Album Ref.
2012 "Because It's You" Big soundtrack [52]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2002 16th KBS Drama Awards Best New Actor Hard Love Nominated
2003 11th SBS Drama Awards New Star Award Screen Won [53]
2005 13th SBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Hello My Teacher Nominated
2006 25th MBC Drama Awards Special Award, Actor in a Miniseries One Fine Day Won [54]
2007 1st Mnet 20's Choice Awards Best Style N/A Won [55]
26th MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor Coffee Prince Won [56]
Popularity Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Yoon Eun-hye) Nominated
2011 32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actor Silenced Nominated
Popular Star Award Won [57]
2012 48th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (Film) Nominated
26th KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Big Nominated
Best Couple Award (with Lee Min-jung) Nominated
2013 8th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actor Nominated
2014 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor The Suspect Nominated
48th Taxpayers' Day Presidential Commendation N/A Won [58]
22nd Korea Culture and Entertainment Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Film The Suspect Won [59]
2016 Korea Film Actors Association Awards Grand Prize A Man and a Woman Won [60]
2nd Fashionista Awards Best Fashionista – Red Carpet Category N/A Nominated [61]
Best Dresser – Male Nominated
BloodGuts UK Horror Awards Best Actor in an International Film Train to Busan Nominated
2017 14th Seoul Creative Festival of Film Advertising Model of the Year N/A Won [62]
11th Asian Film Awards Best Actor Train to Busan Nominated
iHorror Awards Best Actor – Horror Film Nominated
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Won [33]
Brand of the Year Awards Actor of the Year Won [63]
2017 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Actor Train to Busan Nominated
22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor Nominated
Korea Advertisers Association Awards Best Model Award N/A Won [64]
3rd Fashionista Awards Best Fashionista – TV & Film Division Guardian: The Lonely and Great God Nominated [65]
2020 Brand Customer Loyalty Award Advertising Model N/A Won


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External linksEdit