Kim Hee-ae (born April 23, 1967) is a South Korean actress. She is best known for her leading roles in Korean dramas such as Sons and Daughters (1992), Perfect Love (2003), My Husband's Woman (2007), How Long I've Kissed (2012), Secret Affair (2014), and The World of the Married (2020). She has received multiple acting awards including two Daesang (Grand Prize) and four Best Actress Awards for Television at the Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2020, she was selected as Gallup Korea's Television Actor of the Year.[3]

Kim Hee-ae
Kim Hee-ae in 2019 (cropped).png
Kim in 2019
Born (1967-04-23) April 23, 1967 (age 55)[1]
Busan, South Korea
EducationSeoul Women's University
B.A. in Theater and Film
M.A. in Communication and Journalism
Years active1982–present
AgentYG Entertainment[2]
Lee Chan-jin
(m. 1996)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Hui-ae
McCune–ReischauerKim Hŭi-ae

Early lifeEdit

Kim Hee-ae was born in Busan, and her family later moved to Seoul.

Kim was a freshman at Hyehwa Girls' High School when she was discovered by the younger sister of one of her teachers; she had been visiting the school by chance and worked for an advertising agency. This led to her first modeling job in a commercial for a school uniform brand in 1982. This was actually her debut activity.


1983–2003: Acting debut and stardomEdit

In 1983, Kim made her acting debut in the film The First Day of the Twentieth Year. While studying at Seoul Women's University as a Theater and Film major, she appeared in her first television drama on KBS in 1986. Over the next decade, she would go on to have a successful career on Korean television, alongside fellow top actresses Chae Shi-ra and Choi Jin-sil. Among her most significant dramas during this period were Beyond the Mountains (1991) and Sons and Daughters (1992), for which she won the highest award at the MBC Drama Awards and the Baeksang Arts Awards, called the Daesang ("Grand Prize").

2003–2009: Hit dramasEdit

She again drew praise in 2003 for two consecutive hit dramas. In Wife, her husband vanishes and reappears years later as an amnesiac with another family, while in Perfect Love (written by Kim Soo-hyun), her role as the perfect wife and mother who gets diagnosed with a terminal illness earned her another Daesang from the Baeksang Arts Awards.[4][5] She worked again with Kim a year later in Precious Family (also known as Letters to My Parents), playing a woman who marries into a rich family who treats her badly after she gives birth to a baby with autism.[6] Kim next starred in the melodrama Snow Flower.[7]

Her third collaboration with Kim Soo-hyun was 2007's My Husband's Woman, but unlike her previous saintly characters, this time she was cast against type as a sexy, worldly woman having an affair with her best friend's husband.[8][9] The adultery drama was a hit with a peak viewership rating of 38.7%, and Kim yet again won the Daesang at the Korea Drama Awards and the SBS Drama Awards.[10]

2010–2012: Hiatus and focus on commercials and magazinesEdit

Afterwards Kim went on a brief hiatus, during which she continued to appear in commercials and magazines, gaining a reputation as a style icon for Korean middle-aged women (called "ajumma") by inspiring them to wear younger and edgier clothes.[11] Kim returned to acting four years later with Midas, in the role of a wealthy chaebol heiress who fosters greed and ambition in a young lawyer.[12] She then won Best Actress at the Baeksang Arts Awards for her portrayal of a housewife increasingly stifled by her husband's obsession with status who finds herself falling for her son's dentist in How Long I've Kissed, one of the inaugural dramas in 2012 of new cable channel jTBC.[13][14]

2013–present: Return to the big screen and continued successEdit

2013 marked Kim's first regular appearance in a reality show with Sisters Over Flowers, in which she, Youn Yuh-jung, Kim Ja-ok, Lee Mi-yeon and Lee Seung-gi go on a backpacker tourism trip around Croatia and Turkey.[15][16][17]

In 2014, Kim returned to the big screen after a 21-year absence in Thread of Lies, a film adaptation of Kim Ryeo-ryeong's novel Elegant Lies about teen bullying which leads to a young girl's suicide.[18] Kim said she accepted the project because the script was "faultless" and she felt empathy for the characters,[19][20] and one review described her performance as "excellent as the grieving mother [...] understated but somehow believable, touching and honest."[21]

Shortly after, Kim reunited with the writer and director of How Long I've Kissed in Secret Affair, about an art foundation director who embarks on a passionate affair with a poor but talented pianist 20 years her junior.[22][23]

She next played the muse of real-life folk music group Twin Folio in the 2015 film C'est Si Bon, named after a music lounge located in Myeong-dong which was famous in the 1970s and 1980s for its live performances.[24] She returned to the small screen with the police procedural drama Mrs. Cop, playing a violent crime detective who struggles to become a good mother.[25][26]

In 2016, Kim signed with YG Entertainment.[2] The same year, she starred in the family melodrama Second to Last Love.[27]

Kim then returned to the big screen, starring in the psychological thriller The Vanished[28][29] and drama film Herstory, based on the real story of comfort women.[30][31] In 2019 she starred in Lim Dae-hyung's film Moonlit Winter.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Kim married Lee Chan-jin, CEO of the web portal DreamWiz, in 1996.[9] They have two sons and a daughter.

Kim is a Roman Catholic and was one of 50 Catholic celebrities who appeared in the 2014 music video for the digital single "Koinonia" to commemorate Pope Francis's visit to South Korea, the first time in 19 years that the pope visited Asia.[33][34][35]



Year English title Original title Role
1983 The First Day of the Twentieth Year 스무해 첫째 날
1985 Reminiscent Flame 불의 회상
My Love Jjang-gu 내 사랑 짱구 Mi-hye
1987 The Hero Comes Back 영웅 돌아오다 Young-mi
1993 The 101st Proposition 101번째 프로포즈 Jung-won
2014 Thread of Lies 우아한 거짓말 Yoo Hyun-sook
2015 C'est Si Bon 쎄시봉 Min Ja-young (40s)
2018 The Vanished 사라진 밤 Yoon Seol-hee
Herstory 허스토리 Moon Jeong-sook
2019 Moonlit Winter 윤희에게 Yoon-hee
2023 The Moon 더 문 Moon Young-eun [36]
TBA Dead Man 데드맨 Mrs. Shim [37]
The Dinner 더 디너 Yeon-kyung[38]


Year English title Original title Role
1986 A Woman's Heart 여심 Song Da-young
1987 원다풍
Mother 어머니
Terms of Endearment 애정의 조건 Kim Won-mi
1988 Forget Tomorrow 내일 잊으리 Seo In-ae
1989 Your Toast 당신의 축배 Jeon Yeo-ok
1990 What Do Women Want 여자는 무엇으로 사는가 Cha Young-gun
Winter Wanderer 겨울 나그네 Da-hye
500 Years of Joseon:
조선왕조 오백년:
Empress Myeongseong
I'm Still Loving You 사랑해 당신을 Wan-joo
1991 The Beginning of the End 이별의 시작 Jung Hye-jung
Beyond the Mountains 산너머 저쪽 Kang Myung-ae
1992 Namok 나목 Kyung-ah
The Kingdom of Anger 분노의 왕국 Min Jae-kyung
Sons and Daughters 아들과 딸 Lee Hoo-nam
1993 The Stormy Season 폭풍의 계절 Lee Hong-joo
1994 Kareisky 까레이스키 Sung Nam-young
1995 Love and Marriage 사랑과 결혼 Yoon Soo-bin
Love Formula 연애의 기초 Choi Jeong-hee
1999 You're One-of-a-Kind 하나뿐인 당신 Jang Seo-young
2003 Wife 아내 Kim Na-young
Perfect Love 완전한 사랑 Ha Young-ae
2004 Precious Family 부모님 전상서 Ahn Sung-sil
2006 Snow Flower 눈꽃 Lee Kang-ae
2007 My Husband's Woman 내 남자의 여자 Lee Hwa-young
2011 Midas 마이더스 Yoo In-hye
2012 How Long I've Kissed 아내의 자격 Yoon Seo-rae
2014 Secret Affair 밀회 Oh Hye-won
2015 Mrs. Cop 미세스 캅 Choi Young-jin
2016 Second to Last Love 끝에서 두번째 사랑 Kang Min-joo
2020 The World of the Married 부부의 세계 Ji Sun-woo

Web seriesEdit

Year English title Original title Role
2023 Queenmaker 퀸메이커 Hwang Do-hee [39]

Television showEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2013 Sisters Over Flowers Cast Mamber with Youn Yuh-jung , Kim Ja-ok , Lee Mi-yeon and Lee Seung-gi
1994–present New Life for Children Co-host with Ha Sung-woon and Lee Dae-hwi (2019)
with Lee Sang-yeob (2021)
with Kim Cho-rong (2022)
2021 Off The Grid Main Cast [41]

Radio programEdit

Year English title Korean title Station
1986 Popular Music FM with Kim Hee-ae 김희애의 FM인기가요 KBS Happy FM

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1986 KBS Drama Awards Best New Actress A Woman's Heart Won
1987 Our Star Awards Won
23rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress (TV) Won
1990 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Forget Tomorrow Won
1991 Beyond the Mountains Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Won
1993 Sons and Daughters Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
29th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV Won
Best Actress (TV) Won
TV Journal Star of the Year Won
14th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Leading Actress The 101st Proposition Nominated
1994 32nd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated
30th Baeksang Arts Awards Most Popular Actress (TV) Sons and Daughters Won
6th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Won
1995 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Love and Marriage Nominated
1996 8th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Won
2003 39th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Wife Won
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Perfect Love Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won [42]
SBSi Award Won
16th Grimae Awards Best Actress Won
2004 40th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV Won
Best Actress (TV) Nominated
16th Korea Broadcasting Producer Awards Best Performer, TV Actress category Won
2005 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Precious Family Nominated
2007 Korea Fashion & Design Awards Best Dressed Won [43]
1st Korea Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) My Husband's Woman Won
SBS Drama Awards Won [44]
Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
2008 1st Style Icon Awards Style Icon, TV actress category Won
44th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) Nominated
2011 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Planning Drama Midas Nominated
2013 49th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (TV) How Long I've Kissed Won
2014 35th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Leading Actress Thread of Lies Nominated
50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated
Fashionista Award Won
51st Savings Day Presidential Commendation Won [45]
7th Style Icon Awards Top 10 Style Icons Won [46]
9th Seoul International Drama Awards Best Actress Secret Love Affair Won [47]
7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
3rd APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Won
2015 SBS Drama Awards Mrs. Cop Nominated
2016 Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Romantic-Comedy Drama Second to Last Love Nominated
2018 2nd Elle Style Awards Timeless Icon Won [48]
6th Marie Claire Asia Star Awards Actress of the Year Herstory Won [49]
39th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Leading Actress Nominated [50]
27th Buil Film Awards Best Actress Won [51]
2nd Korea China International Film Festival Won [52]
2nd The Seoul Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated [53]
2019 55th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film) Nominated [54]
24th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress Nominated [55]
2020 2nd Asia Contents Awards The World of the Married Won [56][57]
56th Baeksang Arts Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) for TV Nominated [58]
Best Actress (TV) Won [59]
Best Actress (Film) Moonlit Winter Nominated [60][59]
Faro Island Film Festival (Korean and Japanese) Best Supporting Actress Won [61]
56th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Nominated [62]
25th Chunsa Film Art Awards Nominated [63]
29th Buil Film Awards Nominated [64]
7th Korean Film Producers Association Awards Won [65]
2021 41st Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Leading Actress Nominated [66][67][68]
7th APAN Star Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) The World of the Married Nominated [69]
2022 20th Director's Cut Awards Best Actress in film Moonlit Winter Nominated [70]

State honorsEdit

Name of country, year given, and name of honor
Country Year Honor Ref.
South Korea[note 1] 2020 Presidential Commendation [74]


Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Forbes 2015 Korea Power Celebrity 26th [75]
2021 34th [76]


  1. ^ Honors are given at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards, arranged by the Korea Creative Content Agency and hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.[71][72] They are awarded to those who have contributed to the arts and South Korea's pop culture.[73]


  1. ^김희애
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  40. ^
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External linksEdit