Kim Kang-woo

Kim Kang-woo (born July 11, 1978) is a South Korean actor. He is best known from his roles in The Taste of Money and The Missing.

Kim Kang-woo
Kim Kang-woo in Dec 2019 (Revised).png
Born (1978-07-11) July 11, 1978 (age 44)
EducationChung-Ang University - Theater and Film
Years active1998–present
AgentKing Entertainment
Han Mu-young
(m. 2010)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Gang-u
McCune–ReischauerKim Kang'u


Kim Kang-woo majored in Theater and Film at Chung-Ang University.[1] In early, Kim work as singer in 1998. In 2001, Kim made his acting debut in SBS TV Movie's and MBC Serie's Wuri's Family as bit part. Next Year, Kim make his first acting debut in Movie The Coast Guard while still a senior, later commenting that the role of a soldier was the only one he could get without any prior experience. Subsequent roles in the drama series Breathless and Three Leafed Clover earned Kim the nickname "Mr. Right" as he became known for his portrayal of honest and diligent characters.[2] His first leading film role was in Jeong Jae-eun's 2005 sophomore feature The Aggressives, for which he and co-star Chun Jung-myung were the co-recipients of the "Best New Actor" award at the 6th Busan Film Critics Awards.[3]

In 2007, Kim starred in Park Heung-sik's The Railroad, which told the story of two strangers who reveal their inner pain to each other when they are stranded at the last railway station before the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Kim was upset when the film was only released in ten theaters, and went to screenings by himself in an effort to promote the film, where he greeted and conversed with members of the audience.[4][5] In spite of its poor box office performance, The Railroad found favour with critics, and Kim won the "Best Actor" award at the 25th Torino Film Festival. Although happy to win the award, Kim found it more gratifying to observe Italian audiences responding to the film in the same way as Korean audiences, recognizing the power of film to transcend national borders.[4][6] He also admitted to being anxious because of the increased expectations people would have over his future performances.[2]

Kim found commercial success with his next film, Le Grand Chef, which despite opening during a slow season sold more than three million tickets to become the fourth biggest selling South Korean film of 2007.[4][7] Based on a popular manhwa, the film focused on the conflict between two rival chefs, played by Kim and Im Won-hee. To prepare for his role, Kim attended cooking classes for one and a half months, and for one crucial scene in particular he visited a slaughterhouse, receiving a big shock as he knew nothing about the slaughtering process.[8][9] In addition, he was required to film a number of scenes with a cow, and spent some ten days acquainting himself with it—grooming it, feeding it and taking it for walks—remarking that it was "like working with a very sensitive actress".[5] He next starred in the crime thriller Rainbow Eyes the same year, portraying a tough detective who is also a homosexual.[2]

In 2008, Kim took on the lead role in Marine Boy, portraying a former professional swimmer who falls into a debt trap.[10] The same year, he starred in the short film I'm Right Here as part of the omnibus Five Senses of Eros.[11]

Kim returned to the small screen in 2009, playing a psychopath in the action thriller The Slingshot.[12]

Following a supporting role in Hong Sang-soo's comedy drama Hahaha, Kim starred in the remake of the 1986 Hong Kong film A Better Tomorrow.[13]

Kim was then cast in the Japanese film Black Dawn, playing a Korean agent.[14] He then starred in the short film The Heavenly Creature as part of Kim Jee-woon's science-fiction anthology film Doomsday Book; and played the lead role in erotic thriller The Taste of Money by Im Sang-soo.[15][16] Kim returned to the small screen in the romantic comedy action drama Lovers of Haeundae.[17]

The same year, Kim published a travel book titled Two Men's Unstoppable Thailand Trip, which recorded his Thailand experience with his close friend and filmmaker, Lee Jung-sub.[18]

Making 2013 a busy year; Kim starred in three films: fantasy thriller The Gifted Hands, romantic comedy film Marriage Blue and 3D sports comedy film Mr. Go.[19][20][21]

Kim then starred in thriller Tabloid Truth as a talent manager, a film focusing on the tabloid culture of South Korea.[22] He next featured in the ensemble drama Cart, a film depict a story about contract workers in a large discount store who are faced with wrongful dismissals.[23] Meanwhile, on the small screen, Kim took on the lead role in the revenge thriller Golden Cross.[24][25]

In August 2014, Kim left his previous management agency Namoo Actors, and signed with C-JeS Entertainment.[26]

In 2015, Kim starred in the period film The Treacherous, playing a tyrant king who exploits the populace for his own carnal pleasures.[27][28] He then starred in his first cable television series; mystery thriller The Missing;[29][30] followed by another thriller Goodbye Mr. Black, taking on a villainous role.[31]

In 2016, Kim and Kim Dong-won's were double cast as Hamlet in 6th Best Theater Festival with a rewrite of Shakespeare's classic Hamlet-The Play (2016).[32][33] It was directed by Kim Dong-yeon and was released to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's Death.[34] It was based on the university performance Hamlet - The Story of a Sad Clown, which adapted and directed by Kim Dong-yeon in 2001. Writer Ji Seon joined the project and created the play anew after 15 years.

In 2017, Kim starred in the science fiction drama Circle alongside Yeo Jin-goo.[35][36] In June 2017, Kim's contract with C-JeS Entertainment expired and he decided to sign with new management agency King Entertainment.[37]

In 2018, Kim starred in the psychological thriller The Vanished, a remake of the 2012 film The Body.[38][39] The same year, he starred in the weekend drama My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh together with Uee.[40][41]

In 2019, Kim starred in the fantasy drama Item as the antagonist.[42] and as an ex-detective in Woman of 9.9 Billion.

In 2021, he starred in a mystery-thriller film Recalled, directed by Seo Yoo-min alongside Seo Yea-ji.[43]

Personal lifeEdit

On June 18, 2010, Kim married his longtime girlfriend Han Mu-young, the elder sister of actress Han Hye-jin.[44][45] Their son was born in 2011.[46]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 The Coast Guard Private Jo
2003 Silmido Min-ho
2004 Springtime Ju-ho
2005 The Aggressives Mogi
The Beast and the Beauty Tak Joon-ha
2007 The Railroad Kim Man-soo
Le Grand Chef Seong-chan
Rainbow Eyes Cho Kyung-yoon
2008 Hello, Schoolgirl Gyu-cheol (cameo)
2009 Marine Boy Cheon-soo
Five Senses of Eros Kang Hyeon-woo
2010 Ha Ha Ha Kang Jeong-ho
A Better Tomorrow Kim Chul
2012 Doomsday Book Park Do-won
The Taste of Money Joo Young-jak
Black Dawn Yoo Dae-ha / An Min-cheol
2013 The Gifted Hands Yang Choon-dong
In My End Is My Beginning Jung-ha's younger brother cameo[47]
Mr. Go Doosan Bears general manager Kim
Marriage Blue Tae-kyu
2014 Tabloid Truth Lee Woo-gon
Cart Dong-joon
2015 The Treacherous Prince Yeonsan
2016 Clocking Out (Short film) Kim Hyo-chan [48]
2018 The Vanished Park Jin-han
High Society Baek Kwang-hyun
2021 New Year Blues Kang Ji-ho
Recalled Ji-hoon [49][50]
Guimoon: The Lightless Door Do-jin [51][52][53]
2022 Far East Ahn Tae-joon sound film[54]
Birth Jeong Ha-sang special appearance[55]
TBA Sad Tropics - [56]
Tyrant Paul [57]

Television seriesEdit

Year Title Role Ref.
2001 Wuri's Family Private Security Company
2003 Breathless Shin Moo-chul
2005 Three Leafed Clover Yoon Seong-woo
2008 Bichunmoo Shi Jun [58]
2009 The Slingshot Chae Do-woo
2012 Lovers of Haeundae Lee Tae-sung / Nam Hae
2014 Golden Cross Kang Do-yoon
2015 Missing Noir M Gil Soo-hyun
2016 Goodbye Mr. Black Min Seon-jae
2017 Circle Kim Joon-hyuk
2018 My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh Oh Jak-doo / Oh-Hyuk
2019 Item Cho Se-hwang
2019–2020 Woman of 9.9 Billion Kang Tae-woo [59]
2021–2022 Artificial City Jeong Joon-hyeok

TV MovieEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2001 You Say It's Love, I Think It's Desire with Bae Doona
2004 Letter

Television showEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 Suspicious Vacation [ko] Cast member with Im Hyung-joon
2018 4 Wheeled Restaurant Season 2 With Lee Yeon-bok , Seo Eun-soo , Heo Kyung-hwan [60][61][62]
2020 Law of the Jungle – Hunter and Chef with Kim Byung-man, Im Ji-ho [ko], Kim Gu-ra, Gong Seung-yeon, Lee Yong-jin [63]
Law of the Jungle – Tribe Chief and Granny with Kim Byung-man, Kim Soo-mi , Park Mi-sun, Jessi, Kangnam, Yang Ji-il [ko] [64]


Album information Track listing
가디안 (Guardian)
  • Album
  • Artist: Guardian (Jo Hyun-jae, Kim Kang-woo, 2 others)
  • Released: May 1, 1998
  • Label:
Track listing
  1. Intro
  2. 슬픈 인연 (Sad Fate)
  3. 아르바이트 (Part-time job)
  4. 세상이 가르쳐준 이별
  5. 수호천사 (Guardian Angel)
  6. 빨라 빨라 (Hurry, Hurry)
  7. 애상 (Aesang)
  8. 미스터 플라워 (Mister Flower)
  9. 죄와 벌 (Crime and Punishment)
  10. 일요일 아침같은 그대
  11. 혼돈 (Chaos)
  12. Outro
괜찮아요 (I'm Okay)
  • Track from Three Leaf Clover OST
  • Artist: Kim Kang-woo
  • Released: January 28, 2005
  • Label: DSP Entertainment
Track listing
11. 괜찮아요 (I'm Okay)
한 사람 (One Person)
  • Track from Love Tree Project: Namoo Actors Charity Project
  • Artist: Kim Kang-woo
  • Released: January 8, 2010
  • Label: Ode Music/KT Music
Track listing
1. 한 사람 (One Person)
그게 맞다면
  • Single
  • Artist: Kim Kang-woo
  • Released: March 25, 2010
  • Label: Star East Entertainment/Digital Records
Track listing
  1. 그게 맞다면
  2. 그게 맞다면 (Inst.)
위험한 소문 (Dangerous Rumors)
Track listing
  1. 위험한 소문 (Dangerous Rumors)
  2. 위험한 소문 (Dangerous Rumors) (Inst.)


  • Ambassador for Busan Contents Market (2022)[65]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2004 MBC Drama Awards Best New Actor Breathless Nominated
3rd Korean Film Awards Best New Actor Springtime Nominated
2005 6th Busan Film Critics Awards Best New Actor[66] The Aggressives Won
2007 25th Torino Film Festival Best Actor The Railroad Won
2009 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama The Slingshot Nominated
2010 3rd Korea Jewelry Awards Sapphire Award Won
2012 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Haeundae Lovers Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple Award with Cho Yeo-jeong Nominated
2014 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama Golden Cross Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Best Couple Award with Lee Si-young Nominated
2016 MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Goodbye Mr. Black Nominated
2018 6th APAN Star Awards[67] Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh Nominated
MBC Drama Awards[68] Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Weekend Drama Won
Selfish Motive Award – Organic Parody Award with Uee Won
KBS Drama Awards[69] Best Actor in a One-Act/Special/Short Drama After the Rain Nominated
2019 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Woman of 9.9 Billion Nominated
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated


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  4. ^ a b c "Actor Inspired by Hungry Spirit". The Dong-a Ilbo, 4 December 2007.
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External linksEdit