Lee Hyun-woo (actor, born 1993)

Lee Hyun-woo (born March 23, 1993) is a South Korean actor and singer. He began his career as a child actor when he was nine, and later appeared in the television series The Return of Iljimae (2009) and Queen Seondeok (2009). He also featured in Master of Study (2010) and To the Beautiful You (2012). Lee gained recognition with his role as a North Korean spy in the 2013 film Secretly, Greatly as well as a genius hacker in 2014's The Con Artists. He then played lead roles in Moorim School (2016) and The Liar and His Lover (2017).

Lee Hyun-woo
Lee in January 2014
Born (1993-03-23) March 23, 1993 (age 28)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationDongguk University – theater and film
  • Actor
  • Singer
Years active2005–present
AgentAwesome ENT
Lee Hyun-woo
Revised RomanizationI Hyeon-u
McCune–ReischauerI Hyŏn-u


2005–2011: Beginnings as a child actorEdit

Lee began his career as a child actor, building up his resume by playing roles in a number of large-scale productions, such as The Legend, King Sejong the Great, The Return of Iljimae, and Queen Seondeok.[1][2]

He rose to fame for his role in Master of Study, a Korean screen adaptation of Japanese manga Dragon Zakura.[3][4] The same year, Lee took to the stage for the 2010 musical production of Footloose, where he played the leading role of Ren.[5]

In 2011, he and K-pop singer Yoon Doo-joon (from B2ST) began hosting the music program Music on Top for cable channel jTBC.[6] He was then featured in IU's music video for the song "You and I".[7] Lee further expanded his acting scope in historical drama Gyebaek,[8] revenge thriller Man from the Equator,[9][10] and made a guest appearance in medical drama Brain.[11]

2012–2018: Rising popularityEdit

In November 2013

In 2012, Lee co-starred in To the Beautiful You, the Korean television adaptation of Japanese manga Hana-Kimi, with his role based on the character Shuichi Nakatsu.[12][13] Despite low ratings during its domestic run, To the Beautiful You led to increased Korean Wave exposure for Lee in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and China.[14][15][16] He and co-star Hwang Kwang-hee were later announced as the new hosts of live music show Inkigayo.[17]

His breakthrough continued when he landed a major role in 2013 box office hit Secretly, Greatly, an action-comedy film in which he played a North Korean undercover spy disguised as a high school boy.[18] Lee also sang "Ode to Youth" for the film's soundtrack.[19][20] He became the first male celebrity to be appointed ambassador of the Puchon International Film Festival.[21]

In 2014, he and real-life best friend Park Ji-bin (both were child actors and belong to the same agency) appeared in the travel/reality show Real Mate in Saipan.[22] Lee next played a hacker in the heist movie The Con Artists.[23][24]

He then starred in Northern Limit Line, a 2015 naval thriller about the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong.[25] The film sold 6,024,894 tickets (grossing US$38,945,231), making it the most-watched Korean film in 2015.[26]

In 2016, he starred in the fantasy youth drama Moorim School.[27] Initially slated for 20 episodes, the drama was reduced to 16 episodes instead due to low ratings.[28]

In 2017, Lee starred in the drama The Liar and His Lover, the Korean remake of the Japanese manga Kanojo wa Uso o Aishisugiteru alongside Red Velvet's Joy.[29]

In 2018, Lee released a digital single titled "Twenty-Six", prior to joining the army.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Military serviceEdit

On February 19, 2018, Lee began his mandatory military service as an active duty soldier.[31][32] He completed his military service and was discharged on October 19, 2019.[33]



In April 2014
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2005 Baribari Jjang
2006 Holiday
A Dirty Carnival Young Min-ho
2007 Hwang Jin Yi Young Nomi
2010 The Loneliness of Butcher Boy Tae-shik Short film [34]
2011 GLove Kim Jin-man [35]
2013 Secretly, Greatly Rhee Hae-jin
2014 The Con Artists Jong-bae
2015 Northern Limit Line Park Dong-hyuk
The Beauty Inside Woo-jin
TBA Hero [ko] Yoo Dong-ha Post-production
Dream Kim In-sun Filming [36]

Television seriesEdit

In January 2015
Year Title Network Role Notes Ref.
2004 Oolla Boolla Blue-jjang KBS
2005 Spring Day SBS
2006 Hwarang Fighter Maru KBS2 Seo Da-ham [37]
2007 The Legend MBC Young Cheoro
Lobbyist SBS Young Harry [38]
2008 The Great King, Sejong KBS1/KBS2 Prince Choong-nyeong [39][40]
Four Colours of Love KBS2 Lee Jung-wook Episode 4: On a Night Sparkling with Stars [41]
2009 The Return of Iljimae MBC Cha Dol-yi [42]
Queen Seondeok Young Kim Yushin [43]
What's for Dinner? Tommy [44]
2010 Master of Study KBS2 Hong Chan-doo
2011 Gyebaek MBC Young Gyebaek
Brain KBS2 Park Dong-hwa Guest appearance in episodes 1–4
2012 Man from the Equator Young Kim Sun-woo
To the Beautiful You SBS Cha Eun-gyul
2015 Run Toward Tomorrow Kang Moon-jae Drama special [45]
The Scholar Who Walks the Night MBC Prince Jeonghyeon Cameo (Episode 1) [46]
2016 Moorim School: Saga of the Brave KBS2 Yoon Shi-woo
2017 The Liar and His Lover tvN Kang Han-gyul
TBA Money Heist Netflix Rio [47]

Music video appearancesEdit

Year Title Artist Ref.
2005 "Jump" Haha
2011 "You and I" IU
2012 "First Love's Melody" Acoustic Collabo
2013 "I Love You" Akdong Musician [48]
2016 "Ordinary Love" KCM [49]
2019 "Above the Time" IU


In August 2013
Year Network Title Ref.
December 8, 2011 – March 14, 2012 jTBC Music on Top
December 16, 2012 – January 26, 2014 SBS Inkigayo

Reality showEdit

Year Title Network Notes Ref.
2012 Invincible Youth Season 2 KBS2 Ep. 26
Strong Heart SBS Ep. 142, 143
2013 Running Man Ep. 147, 225
Hwasin – Controller of the Heart Ep. 22
2014 Real Mate in Saipan QTV with Park Ji-bin
Running Man SBS Ep. 225
2015 Happy Together 3 KBS2 Ep. 401
2016 Hello Counselor Ep. 257


Year Title Role
2010 Footloose Ren McCormack



Title Year Peak chart position Sales Album

"Your Face" (with Louie of Geeks)[51] 2016 54 Non-album singles
"Feel So Good" (with O Broject) N/A
"Twenty-six" 2018
As featured artist
"It's a Lie" (O Broject feat. Lee Hyun-woo & Bromance) 2015 N/A Non-album single
Soundtrack appearances
"Ode to Youth" 2013 N/A Secretly, Greatly OST
"One Thing" 2016 Moorim School OST
"I'm Okay" (Joy feat. Lee Hyun-woo) 2017 85 The Liar and His Lover OST
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 KBS Drama Awards Best Young Actor King Sejong the Great Won [54]
2012 Best New Actor Man from the Equator Nominated
SBS Drama Awards New Star Award To the Beautiful You Won [55]
2013 22nd Buil Film Awards Best New Actor Secretly, Greatly Nominated
34th Blue Dragon Film Awards Nominated
SBS Entertainment Awards Best Newcomer Award Inkigayo Nominated
2014 9th Asia Model Festival Awards New Star Award Secretly, Greatly Won [56]
16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival Best Young Actor Nominated
2015 52nd Grand Bell Awards Best New Actor Northern Limit Line Nominated
30th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards Rising Star Award Won [57]
2016 49th WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Award Won [58]


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  5. ^ '공부의 신' 이현우, 뮤지컬 '풋루즈'락 소년으로 캐스팅 [Lee Hyun-woo gets Footloose]. TV Daily (in Korean). November 29, 2010. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
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  28. ^ "'Moorim School' to wrap up early". Korea JoongAng Daily. February 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "Lee Hyun-woo, Red Velvet's Joy to star in 'She Loves Lie So Much'". Kpop Herald. January 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "[SBS Star] Lee Hyun Woo Releases a Single Before Enlisting in the Military". SBS News. February 6, 2018.
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  32. ^ "[SBS Star] Lee Hyun Woo Joins the Military with Last Farewell". SBS News (in Korean). February 20, 2018.
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  50. ^ Charted songs:
  51. ^ "Lee Hyun-woo to release single with Louie". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 31, 2015.
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External linksEdit