Kim Tae-hee (Korean: 김태희; born 29 March 1980) is a South Korean actress. Considered one of South Korea's most beautiful actresses, she is best known for her roles in Korean dramas such as Stairway to Heaven (2003), Love Story in Harvard (2004), Iris (2009), My Princess (2011), Yong-pal (2015), and Hi Bye, Mama! (2020). Kim Tae-hee is referred to as one of "The Troika" along with Song Hye-kyo and Jun Ji-hyun, collectively known by the acronym "Tae-Hye-Ji".
|Born||29 March 1980|
Ulsan, South Korea
|Alma mater||Seoul National University|
|Agent(s)||Story J Company (Korea) |
Sweet Power (Japan)
|Relatives||Lee Wan (brother)|
Lee Bo-mee (sister-in-law)
|Revised Romanization||Gim Tae-hui|
Early life and educationEdit
Kim Tae-hee was born on 29 March 1980 in Ulsan, South Korea. Her father is Kim Yoo Moon, who established, and is chairman of, Hankook Union Transportation Company in 1984. She is often involved in various charities to help out underserved youths and broken families in the Ulsan area. She has an older sister, Kim Hee-won, and a younger brother, Lee Wan; the latter is also an actor and appeared in her television series Stairway to Heaven. She attended Samshin Elementary School, Daehyun Middle School (대현중학교) and then enrolled at Ulsan Girls' High School.
In 1999, Kim moved to Seoul to attend college at the prestigious Seoul National University, where she became the president of the SNU Women's Ski Club. In 2005, she graduated from SNU with a bachelor's degree in fashion design.
In 2000, an advertising executive saw Kim riding the subway, and offered her a modeling job. Kim appeared in television commercials and print ads, before making her acting debut with a small role in the 2001 melodrama Last Present. In 2002, she starred in the short film Living in New Town and the sitcom Let's Go, followed by Screen and A Problem at My Younger Brother's House in 2003.
2003–2006: Rising popularity and film debutEdit
Kim rose to stardom in 2003 via her portrayal of the evil stepsister in the popular SBS TV series Stairway to Heaven. Starting 2004, Kim was cast in leading roles in her succeeding projects, including the supernatural KBS series Forbidden Love and the SBS campus romance Love Story in Harvard. The latter drew solid viewership ratings nationwide throughout its run with a peak viewer rating of 20 percent and won Kim the Most Popular Actress award in TV category at the Baeksang Arts Awards. Love Story in Harvard was also reportedly well-received by Japanese viewers and contributed to Kim's popularity in the country.
Riding the big success of Stairway to Heaven and Love Story in Harvard, Kim became one of the most sought-after faces in the TV commercial industry. She was picked by Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation as the top advertising model of the year in 2008, earning her title of "CF Queen". However, Kim expressed her desire to be valued properly as an actor, preferring to succeed based on her acting skills rather than her image.
Kim then turned to film, starring in action fantasy epic The Restless (2006), and the romantic comedy Venus and Mars (2007). However, both were unsuccessful at the box office.
2009–2014: Iris and rising overseas popularityEdit
Back on the small screen in 2009, Kim played an NIS profiler in the spy action thriller Iris. It was one of the most expensive Korean dramas ever produced and was a critical and commercial success with an average viewership rating of 30%. Kim shed tears at the KBS Drama Awards when she won an Excellence Award in a Mid-length Drama; which was her first acting award, excluding newcomer and popularity awards.
Kim left her then-agency Namoo Actors in January 2010 to join Lua Entertainment, which was founded by her brother-in-law. That year, she also played a horse jockey who dreams of winning the championship in the sports film Grand Prix.
After the success of Iris, she again drew positive reviews in the romantic comedy series My Princess (2011); Kim played an ordinary college student who discovers that she is Korean royalty. Later that year, she starred in her first Japanese television drama Boku to Star no 99 Nichi, where her character is a Korean Wave star who meets an ordinary Japanese bodyguard and he somehow makes her fall head over heels in love with him. The Fuji TV drama, which aired in Japan from October to December 2011, raked in 9 to 10 percent of viewers' ratings on average, launching Kim as a household name in Japan. Kim later encountered backlash from some Japanese netizens for allegedly promoting South Korea's claim in the Liancourt Rocks dispute during her 2005 trip to Switzerland as a goodwill ambassador.
In 2013, Kim starred in her first historical drama Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love as the infamous royal concubine Hui-bin Jang. This was followed by another period role, as the wife of famed Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi in the Chinese television drama Saint Wang Xizhi.
2015–present: Career resurgenceEdit
Kim returned to Korean television in 2015, playing an heiress who recovers from a coma with the help of a doctor-for-hire, the titular Yong-pal. The show garnered strong ratings and Kim won a Top Excellence Acting award from the Korea Drama Awards.
In 2020, Kim returned to television in the family drama series Hi Bye, Mama!.
In September 2012, Kim started dating South Korean singer-actor Rain. They married on 19 January 2017.
On 23 May 2017, Kim's agency, Lua Entertainment, announced that Kim was pregnant with their first child. She gave birth to a daughter on 25 October 2017. In February 2019, Kim announced she was pregnant again. On 19 September 2019, she gave birth to the couple's second daughter.
Kim is a practicing Catholic. She was one of 30 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 an incumbent pope visited South Korea. Her baptismal name is Verda. 
In May 2022, Kim donated 200 million won to help neighbors affected by forest fires in Uljin, Gyeongbuk and Samcheok, Gangwon through the Hope Bridge National Disaster Mitigation Association.
On July 22, 2022, Kim donated 1.1 million KF94 masks and face masks to NGO G-Foundation.
|2001||Last Present||Young Park Jung-yeon|
|2002||Living in New Town||Ji-soo||Short film|
|2007||Venus and Mars||Yoon Jin-ah|
|2010||Grand Prix||Seo Ju-hee|
|Iris: The Movie||Choi Seung-hee|
|A Problem at My Younger Brother's House||Park Su-jin|
|Stairway to Heaven||Han Yoo-ri|
|2004||Forbidden Love||Yoon Shi-yeon|
|Love Story in Harvard||Lee Soo-in|
|2011||My Princess||Lee Seol|
|Boku to Star no 99 Nichi||Han Yoo-na||Japanese drama|
|2013||Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love||Jang Ok-jung|
|2020||Hi Bye, Mama!||Cha Yu-ri|
|2023||A House with a Yard|||
Music video appearancesEdit
|2004||"Don't Go Away"||Park Yong-ha|
|2014||"Koinonia"||Korean Catholic celebrities|
|2021||"I Like You"||Ciipher|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2003||SBS Drama Awards||New Star Award||Stairway to Heaven||Won|||
|2004||2nd Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Female Star Award||Won|||
|KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||Forbidden Love||Won|||
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Love Story in Harvard||Nominated|
|Excellence Award, Actress in Drama Special||Nominated|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2005||41st Paeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (TV)||Won|||
|2007||43rd Paeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (Film)||The Restless||Won|
|3rd Pyeongtaek Film Festival||New Currents Movie Star - Best New Actress||Won|
|15th Chunsa Film Art Awards||Best New Actress||Nominated|
|44th Grand Bell Awards||Overseas Popularity Award||Won|||
|Best New Actress||Nominated|
|28th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Popular Star Award||Won|||
|Best New Actress||Nominated|
|6th Korean Film Awards||Nominated|
|André Kim Best Star Awards||Female Star Award||—||Won|||
|2009||KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Iris||Nominated|||
|Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama||Won|
|Best Couple Award with Lee Byung-hun||Won|
|2010||46th Paeksang Arts Awards||Best Actress (TV)||Nominated|
|3rd Korea Drama Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2011||6th Seoul International Drama Awards||Outstanding Korean Actress||My Princess||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|Popularity Award, Actress||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Song Seung-heon||Nominated|
|2013||Cosmo Beauty Awards||Asia Dream Star||—||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love||Nominated|
|2015||8th Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Yong-pal||Won|||
|4th APAN Star Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Won|||
|Best Couple Award with Joo Won||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|Forbes||2009||Korea Power Celebrity 40||10th|||
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- Kim Tae-hee blog at Naver (in Korean)
- Kim Tae-hee fan cafe at Daum (in Korean)
- Kim Tae-hee on Sina Weibo (in Chinese) (in Chinese)
- Kim Tae-hee Japanese website (in Japanese)
- Kim Tae-hee at IMDb
- Kim Tae-hee at the Korean Movie Database
- Kim Tae-hee at HanCinema