Youn Yuh-jung (born June 19, 1947) is a South Korean actress. In a film and television career spanning nearly 50 years, Youn is best known for starring in Woman of Fire (1971), The Housemaid (2010), The Taste of Money (2012) and The Bacchus Lady (2016).

Yuh-Jung Youn
Yoon Yeo-jeong at the 2016 Women In Film Korea Festival and Kim Taer-ri at the 2016 Women In Film Korea Festival.jpg
Born (1947-06-19) June 19, 1947 (age 72)
Other namesYoon Yeo-jeong
Years active1966–present
Jo Young-nam
(m. 1975; div. 1987)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationYun Yeo-jeong
McCune–ReischauerYun Yǒ-chǒng


Youn Yuh-jung was a freshman at Hanyang University majoring in Korean Language and Literature, when she passed the open auditions held by TBC in 1966. She dropped out of college, and made her acting debut in the television drama Mister Gong in 1967.[1] Youn shot to stardom in 1971 with two memorable portrayals of femme fatales. Her first film, Kim Ki-young's Woman of Fire became a critical and commercial hit, for which she won Best Actress at the Sitges Film Festival. This was followed by the MBC period drama series Jang Hui-bin where she played the titular infamous royal concubine. Kim was considered Korea's first style-conscious, experimental director, and Youn didn't balk in playing risque, provocative characters that explore the grotesque in the female psyche in further collaborations with him such as The Insect Woman (1972) and Be a Wicked Woman (1990).[2] Audiences found Youn's fast way of speaking and atypical appearance refreshing and she frequently took roles in TV dramas depicting a modern woman of the new generation, notably in Stepmother (1972) written by Kim Soo-hyun.

At the peak of her career, Youn retired after she married singer Jo Young-nam in 1975, then immigrated to the United States. In 1984, she returned to Korea and permanently resumed her acting career. She and Jo divorced in 1987.[3]

Making such a stellar comeback after taking a long break was an unusual feat for a Korean middle-aged actress.[2] Though most actresses her age played cliched self-sacrificing mothers or coarse ajummas, Youn's acting range led to her being cast in more complex, stylish, and independent roles. In A Good Lawyer's Wife (2003), she drew critical acclaim for her nonchalant acting as a mother-in-law who neglected her husband dying of liver cancer and enjoyed extramarital affairs. Her frank and confident persona again manifested itself in E J-yong's mockumentary Actresses (2009).[4][5][6][7] Youn continued playing supporting roles in film and television, notably her award-winning scene-stealing turn in The Housemaid (2010). She reunited with director Im Sang-soo for the fourth time in The Taste of Money (2012), as a cruel chaebol heiress at the center of the drama that unfolds and touches upon the themes of corruption, greed and sex. Youn said, "I don't mind being called an old actress, but I do worry about how to carry on my acting career without looking like an old fool."[8]

In 2013, she was cast against type as a loving mother to three loser children in Song Hae-sung's Boomerang Family.[9] Later in the year, Youn gained renewed mainstream popularity after appearing in her first ever reality show Sisters Over Flowers, a backpacking travel show shot in Croatia.[10]

Youn starred in two leading roles in 2015: Kang Je-gyu's Salut d'Amour about the romance between an elderly supermarket employee and a flower shop owner, and Grandmother Gye-choon about a Jeju Island female diver who reunites with her long-lost granddaughter.[11][12][13][14]



Year English title Hangul Role Notes
1971 Woman of Fire 화녀 Myeong-ja
1972 The Insect Woman 충녀 Myeong-ja
1973 Love and Hatred 다정다한
Tto Sun Yi, a College Girl 여대생 또순이
1978 The Day and Night of a Korean-American 코메리칸의 낮과 밤
1985 Mother 에미 Mrs. Hong
1990 Be a Wicked Woman 천사여 악녀가 되라
1995 An Experience to Die For 죽어도 좋은 경험 Choi Yeo-jung
2003 A Good Lawyer's Wife 바람난 가족 Hong Byeong-han
2004 Springtime 꽃피는 봄이 오면 Hyun-woo's mother
2005 The President's Last Bang 그때 그사람들 Yoon-hee's mother/Epilogue narration
2006 Maundy Thursday 우리들의 행복한 시간 Sister Monica
2007 The Old Garden 오래된 정원 Hyun-woo's mother
Hwang Jin-yi 황진이 Old woman
2008 A Tale of Legendary Libido 가루지기 Old woman
2009 Actresses 여배우들 Herself Also screenwriter
2010 Ha Ha Ha 하하하 Moon-kyeong's mother
The Housemaid 하녀 Byeong-sik
2011 Hindsight 푸른 소금 Madame Kang
List 리스트 Short film
2012 The Taste of Money 돈의 맛 Baek Geum-ok
In Another Country 다른 나라에서 Park Sook
2013 Behind the Camera 뒷담화: 감독이 미쳤어요 Herself
Boomerang Family 고령화가족 Mom
2014 Hill of Freedom 자유의 언덕 Gu-ok
2015 Salut d'Amour 장수상회 Im Geum-nim
Intimate Enemies 나의 절친 악당들 Yeo-jung Cameo
Right Now, Wrong Then 지금은맞고그때는틀리다 Kang Deok-soo
2016 Canola 계춘할망 Gye-choon
The Bacchus Lady 죽여주는 여자 So-young [15]
2018 Keys to the Heart 그것만이 내 세상 In-sook [16]
2019 Beasts That Cling to the Straw [17]
2020 Minari 미나리 Soonja [18]

Television seriesEdit

Year English title Hangul Role Network
1967 Mister Gong 미스터 공 TBC
1970 강변 살자 MBC
River of Love and Sorrow 사랑과 슬픔의 강 MBC
Maria Park 박마리아 MBC
1971 Jang Hui-bin 장희빈 Hui-bin Jang MBC
1972 Rainbow 무지개 President Han's daughter MBC
Daewongun 대원군 Empress Myeongseong MBC
Stepmother 새엄마 Eun-hye MBC
1976 Girl's High School Days 여고 동창생 MBC
1984 MBC Bestseller Theater "고깔" MBC 베스트셀러극장 - 고깔 MBC
1985 Mom's Room 엄마의 방 MBC
1986 First Love 첫사랑 MBC
1987 Love and Ambition 사랑과 야망 Song Hye-joo MBC
1988 Sand Castle 모래성 Kim Jin-ae MBC
People from Wonmi-dong 원미동 사람들 MBC
1989 Fetters of Love 사랑의 굴레 KBS2
철새 MBC
Sleepless Tree 잠들지 않는 나무 Dance school teacher MBC
1990 검생이의 달 KBS2
Betrayal of the Rose 배반의 장미 Ok-sun MBC
1991 What Is Love 사랑이 뭐길래 Han Shim-ae MBC
Another Happiness 또 하나의 행복 MBC
1992 Bun-rye's Story 분례기 Bun-rye's mother SBS
Gwanchon Essay 관촌 수필 SBS
Women's Room 여자의 방 MBC
1993 How's Your Husband? 댁의 남편은 어떠십니까? Song Eun-nyeo SBS
To Live 산다는 것은 Pung-gae's mother SBS
1994 Farewell 작별 Lee Shin-ae SBS
1995 Men of the Bath House 목욕탕집 남자들 Noh Hye-young KBS2
Your Voice 그대 목소리 Eon-nyeon-yi SBS
MBC Best Theater "Hospice Ajumma" 호스피스 아줌마 Jung-sook MBC
1996 Temptation 유혹 KBS2
Ganyiyeok 간이역 Gangneung restaurant owner MBC
Open Your Heart 가슴을 열어라 Choi Soon-joo MBC
1997 The Reason I Live 내가 사는 이유 Bar madam Son MBC
Woman Next Door 이웃집 여자 SBS
MBC Best Theater - Bok-soon's Boomerang MBC 베스트극장 - 복순씨의 부메랑 Actuary Bok-soon MBC
1998 Firstborn 맏이 Choi Sook-ja MBC
Love Is All I Know 사랑 밖엔 난 몰라 MBC
Hong Gil-dong 홍길동 In-ok's mother SBS
Lie 거짓말 Yoon Young-hee KBS2
Crush 짝사랑 KBS2
1999 KAIST 카이스트 Professor of Mechanical Engineering SBS
Did We Really Love? 우리가 정말 사랑했을까 Choi Hye-ja MBC
Who Are You 당신은 누구시길래 Jung Shin-ae SBS
Hur Jun 허준 Sung In-chul's wife MBC
2000 Tough Guy's Love 꼭지 Kim Bok-nyeo KBS2
I Want to Keep Seeing You 자꾸만 보고 싶네 Lee Ok-bun SBS
2001 Stock Flower 비단향꽃무 Ahn Jung-hee KBS2
Blue Mist 푸른 안개 Mi-soon KBS2
Hotelier 호텔리어 Yoon Bong-sook MBC
Soon-ja 순자 Go Chang-daek SBS
MBC Best Theater "Walking With II" 동행II Geum-nyeo MBC
This Is Love 사랑은 이런거야 Lee Jung-ja KBS1
I Like Dong-seo 동서는 좋겠네 Choi Jong-sook KBS2
2002 Ruler of Your Own World 네 멋대로 해라 Jung Yoo-soon MBC
Affection Ms. Uhm SBS
Who's My Love? 내사랑 누굴까 In-ae KBS2
2003 Dal-joong's Cinderella 달중씨의 신데렐라 Pal-soon KBS1
Pearl Necklace 진주목걸이 Yoon Hae-myung KBS2
One Million Roses 백만송이 장미 Choi Geum-ja MBC
Rose Fence 장미울타리 Mrs. Heo KBS2
On the Prairie 저 푸른 초원위에 Kim Jeom-hee KBS2
2004 Ireland 아일랜드 Shi-yeon's mother MBC
War of the Roses 장미의 전쟁 Heo Young-shim MBC
Drama City- Our Ham 우리 햄 Grandma KBS2
2005 Becoming a Popular Song 유행가가 되리 Oh Sook-young KBS2
Be Strong, Geum-soon! 굳세어라 금순아 Geum-soon's grandmother MBC
A Farewell to Sorrow 슬픔이여안녕 Lee Young-shim KBS2
Love and Sympathy 사랑공감 Hee-soo's mother SBS
2006 Love Truly 진짜 진짜 좋아해 Goo Hyang-sook MBC
Pure in Heart 열아홉 순정 Yoon Myung-hye KBS2
What's Up Fox? 여우야 뭐하니 Jo Soon-nam MBC
2007 The Person I Love 사랑하는 사람아 Yoon Min-ja SBS
The Golden Age of Daughters-in-Law 며느리 전성시대 Seo Mi-soon KBS2
2008 Chunja's Happy Events 춘자네 경사났네 Yang Boon-hee MBC
Worlds Within 그들이 사는 세상 Oh Min-sook KBS2
2009 The Road Home 집으로 가는 길 Nam Soon-jung KBS1
Heading to the Ground 맨땅에 헤딩 Ae-ja MBC
2010 Golden Fish 황금물고기 Jo Yoon-hee MBC
Home Sweet Home 즐거운 나의 집 Sung Eun-sook MBC
2011 Listen to My Heart 내 마음이 들리니 Hwang Soon-geum MBC
2012 My Husband Got a Family 넝쿨째 굴러온 당신 Uhm Chung-ae KBS2
The King 2 Hearts 더킹 투하츠 Bang Young-sun MBC
2013 The Queen's Classroom 여왕의 교실 Yong Hyun-ja MBC
2014 Wonderful Days 참 좋은 시절 Jang So-shim KBS2
2015 The Producers 프로듀사 Herself (cameo, episodes 1-2) KBS2
2015-2017 Sense8 N/A Min-jung Netflix
2016 Dear My Friends 디어 마이 프렌즈 Oh Choong-nam tvN
2019 Never Twice 두 번은 없다 Bok Mak-rye MBC

Variety showEdit

Year Title Role Network
2013 Sisters Over Flowers Cast member tvN
2017 Youn's Kitchen
2018 Youn's Kitchen - Season 2
All The Butlers Fourth Master SBS

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1969 TBC Drama Awards Best New Talent[19] Mister Gong Won
1971 4th Sitges Film Festival Best Actress Woman of Fire Won
10th Grand Bell Awards Best New Actress Won
8th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Won
1992 19th Korean Broadcasting Awards Best Female Talent[19] Bun-rye's Story Won
2003 4th Busan Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actress A Good Lawyer's Wife Won
2nd Korean Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
2004 41st Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
3rd Korean Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Springtime Nominated
2005 KBS Drama Awards Best Actress in a One-Act Special/Drama Becoming a Popular Song Won
2010 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Supporting Actress The Housemaid Won
11th Busan Film Critics Awards Best Actress The Housemaid, Ha Ha Ha, Actresses Won
43rd Sitges Film Festival Maria Honorifica Award N/A Won
6th People Who Make the World Brighter Awards Recipient, Culture and Arts category N/A Won
19th Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Housemaid Won
47th Grand Bell Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
8th Korean Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
31st Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
12th Cinemanila International Film Festival Best Actress Won
2011 8th Max Movie Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
Best Actress Nominated
5th Asian Film Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
2012 21st Buil Film Awards Best Supporting Actress The Taste of Money Nominated
5th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress My Husband Got a Family Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Won
2013 50th Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Boomerang Family Nominated
2014 KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Wonderful Days Nominated
2016 Korean Film Shining Star Awards Star award Canola Won
37th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress The Bacchus Lady Nominated
20th Fantasia Festival Best Actress Won
10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Actress Nominated
Special Jury Prize Won
17th Women in Film Korea Awards Best Actress Won
53rd Grand Bell Awards Best Actress Canola Nominated
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress (Film)[20] The Bacchus Lady Nominated
Grand Prize (Film) Nominated
4th Wildflower Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
22nd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actress Nominated
26th Buil Film Awards[21] Best Actress Won
17th Korea World Youth Film Festival Favorite Actress - Senior Actress Won


  1. ^ 윤여정 [Yoon Yeo-jeong]. Korean Movie Database (in Korean). Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  2. ^ a b "Youn Yuh-jung". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  3. ^ 1970년대 '충무로 누벨 바그' 윤여정. The Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  4. ^ Beck, Una (11 December 2009). "Interview: Yoon Yeo-jung - Part 1". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  5. ^ Beck, Una (11 December 2009). "Interview: Yoon Yeo-jung - Part 2". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  6. ^ Beck, Una (11 December 2009). "Interview: Yoon Yeo-jung - Part 3". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  7. ^ Beck, Una (7 June 2010). "Yoon Yeo-jung's Movie Picks". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  8. ^ Kim, Hyo-eun; Cho, Jae-eun (18 May 2012). "At 64, Yoon Yeo-jeong won't let age get in the way of a sex scene". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
  9. ^ Huh, Nam-woong (8 February 2013). "A Family Reunion Shows the Happiness of a Troubled Family". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  10. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (29 November 2013). "Hit travel show tries with 'sisters'". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  11. ^ Jin, Eun-soo (20 March 2015). "Actors reunite 45 years later to play love birds". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  12. ^ "Yoon Yeo-jeong, "Being an actress is selfish"". Newsis via Hancinema. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  13. ^ Lee, Seung-mi (14 April 2015). "Youn looks back on 40-year career". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  14. ^ Kim, June (27 January 2015). "Youn Yuh-jung and KIM Go-eun Play Family". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  15. ^ "Working only with people you like is the best revenge: Yoon Yeo-jeong : 69-year old vet earns kudos for role of aged prostitute in 'The Bacchus Lady'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 10 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Lee Byung-hun and Youn Yuh-jung Start Shooting New Drama". Korean Film Biz Zone. 21 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Jeon Do-yeon and Jung Woo-sung Dig in to Beasts That Cling to the Straw". Korean Film Biz Zone. 1 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Actresses Youn Yuh-jung and Han Ye-ri to make Hollywood debut in film produced by Steven Yeun". Aju Daily. 12 July 2019.
  19. ^ a b In South Korea, "talent" refers to television actor or actress.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-04-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "A Taxi Driver Tops Buil Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. October 17, 2017.

External linksEdit