Choi Ji-woo facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
June 11, 1975
|Revised Romanization||Choe Ji-u|
|Revised Romanization||Choe Mi-hyang|
Choi Ji-woo (born Choi Mi-hyang on June 11, 1975) is a South Korean actress. Considered one of South Korea's most beautiful women, she has received critical acclaim for her work in a wide range of melodramas, most notably Beautiful Days (2001), Winter Sonata (2002), Stairway to Heaven (2003), The Suspicious Housekeeper (2013) and Temptation (2014), as well as the romantic comedy series Twenty Again (2015) and Woman with a Suitcase (2016).
Choi Mi-hyang was first discovered when she won a talent audition organized by MBC in 1994, then made her acting debut in the drama series War and Love in 1995. Afterwards, she adopted the stage name Choi Ji-woo.
She was cast in her first major role in 1996 film The Gate of Destiny, but her limited acting skills resulted in her being replaced during filming. In the next couple of years Choi continued to star in both TV dramas and films, including The Hole (the Original version of Hollywood thriller Hush), as well as the romantic comedies First Kiss with Ahn Jae-wook and The Romantic President with Ahn Sung-ki. It was her portrayals on TV of tragic heroines with a pure and innocent image—notably in Truth opposite Ryu Si-won and Beautiful Days opposite Lee Byung-hun—that boosted her rising popularity.
In 2002, she reunited onscreen with Bae Yong-joon (she previously had a supporting role in his 1996 drama First Love) that she would star in her most famous, iconic role. Directed by Yoon Seok-ho as the second installment of his "season dramas," Winter Sonata became a phenomenal hit throughout Asia and has been credited as one of the initiators of the Korean Wave. As a result, Choi gained wide pan-Asian recognition, especially a huge following in Japan where she acquired the nickname Ji-woo Hime ("Princess Ji-woo"). In 2009 she and Bae reprised their roles as voice actors for Winter Sonata Anime. She continues to be a lucrative star and brand in Japan, fetching high licensing/broadcasting rights for her dramas and selling out concerts and merchandise (tvN's E News compiled a list of the top Hallyu stars in Japan based on their approximate gross incomes for the first half of 2011, and Choi was number five with approximately US$2 million).
After the success of her 2003 melodrama Stairway to Heaven with Kwon Sang-woo, Choi again attempted to break into film. She played a terminally ill heroine in Now and Forever, and a character in comedy Everybody Has Secrets ("The Original Version of Irish film About Adam). Both films were poorly received by critics and audiences in South Korea, but performed well at the Japanese box office.
Choi then spent the next few years overseas, shooting the Chinese drama 101st Proposal with Sun Xing, and the Japanese drama RONDO opposite Yutaka Takenouchi. She returned to Korean television in 2007 in Air City alongside Lee Jung-jae; her role was the Chief Operating Officer of Incheon Airport.
In 2009, she starred opposite Yoo Ji-tae in the drama Star's Lover, playing a top actress who falls in love with an ordinary man. Choi received ₩48 million per episode, the highest salary for a Korean actress at the time (her record was later broken by Go Hyun-jung's ₩55 million for the 2010 drama Daemul).
That same year, she set up her own management agency called C,JW Company with her brother as CEO. She also joined the ensemble cast of semi-improvisational mockumentary Actresses, arguably her most significant film yet.
During the press conference for the 2011 series, Can't Lose, co-starring Yoon Sang-hyun, featuring a lawyer couple facing their own divorce suit, she was asked if she worried about shedding her pure and innocent image. Choi said, "I've had the same image for 15 years. Isn't it time for me to break out? I was a melodrama queen and now I want the title of romantic comedy queen." She added that she had gained more fans after showing her cheerful, easygoing side as a guest on the reality show 2 Days & 1 Night.
In 2012, Choi was cast in the Chinese drama City Lovers, in which she portrayed the CEO at an event management company opposite Qin Hao, a newly employed businessman at her firm.
Later that year, she became the host of Choi Ji-woo's Delicious Korea on food lifestyle cable channel O'live TV alongside fashion designer Jung Kuho. The 5-episode show, which aired from November 23 to December 21, 2012, aimed to promote Korean cuisine and culture to the world, and the two hosts traveled through South Korea and introduced little-known regional food to the viewers.
She next headlined the 2013 remake of the hit 2011 Japanese drama Kaseifu no Mita. In The Suspicious Housekeeper, Choi played the titular character, an icy and stoic yet amazingly capable housekeeper who comes to work for a recently widowed father and his four children. Despite the difficulty of not being able to react to her costars, Choi said she chose the role because she "was really charmed by the way the heroine refrains from letting her emotions show."
2014–2016: Acting setback
In February 2014, Choi signed with the talent agency YG Entertainment. She then reunited with previous costar Kwon Sang-woo in Temptation; she played a rich woman who makes a dangerous offer to a married man.
Choi joined the fourth season of travel-reality show Grandpas Over Flowers in 2015, where she and Lee Seo-jin backpacked through Greece with veteran actors Lee Soon-jae, Shin Goo, Park Geun-hyung and Baek Il-seob. This was followed by the cable series Twenty Again, where she played a woman who became a wife and mother at 19 then decides to experience campus college life for the first time at age 38 when she becomes a university student alongside her 20-year-old son.
In 2016, Choi returned to the big screen in seven years, starring in the ensemble cast romance film Like for Likes. The same year, she starred in the legal romance drama Woman with a Suitcase.
2017–present: Career resurgence
In 2017, Choi was cast in the family melodrama The Most Beautiful Goodbye, a remake of the drama The Most Beautiful Goodbye in the World by Noh Hee-kyung.
In 2019, Choi made a cameo appearance as herself in episode 13 of the Netflix drama, Crash Landing on You.
Choi majored in aerobic dance at Busan Women's College. She later enrolled in Hanyang University's Department of Theater and Film and completed her first year; however she had to withdraw from college studies due to her hectic work schedule.
Choi was married on March 29, 2018. Choi announced that she was pregnant with her first child on December 23, 2019, and gave birth to a daughter on May 16, 2020.
|1995||War and Love||MBC|
|1996||MBC Best Theater "사랑, 그 하나만으로도"||MBC|
|First Love||Kang Seok-hee||KBS2|
|Three Guys and Three Girls||(guest appearance)||MBC|
|1997||Happiness Is in Our Hearts||Seon Kyung-ah||SBS|
|1999||Love In 3 Colors||Eun Ji-soo||KBS2|
|Love Story||Min-jung (episode 2: "Message")||SBS|
|Mr. Duke||Jang Soo-jin||MBC|
|2001||Beautiful Days||Kim Yeon-soo||SBS|
|2002||We Are Dating Now||(cameo, episode 15)||SBS|
|Winter Sonata||Jeong Yoo-jin||KBS2|
|2003||Stairway to Heaven||Han Jung-seo||SBS|
|2004||Full House||Herself (cameo, episode 3)||KBS2|
|101st Proposal||Li Shao Rong||BTV|
|2007||Air City||Han Do-kyung||MBC|
|2008||Star's Lover||Lee Ma-ri||SBS|
|2009||Winter Sonata Anime||Jeong Yoo-jin (voice)||SKY PerfecTV!|
|2011||Fuyu no Sakura 冬のサクラ||Inaba Tatsuki's Korean girlfriend
(cameo, episode 2)
|Can't Lose||Lee Eun-jae||MBC|
|2012||City Lovers||female CEO||AHTV|
|2013||The Suspicious Housekeeper||Park Bok-nyeo||SBS|
|2015||We Broke Up||(cameo)||Naver TV Cast|
|Second 20s||Ha No-ra||tvN|
|2016||Woman with a Suitcase||Cha Geum-joo||MBC|
|First Seven Kisses||Goddess||Naver TV Cast|
|2017||The Most Beautiful Goodbye||Yeon-soo||tvN|
|2020||Crash Landing on You||(cameo, episode 13)||tvN|
|1996||The Adventures of Mrs Park||Eun-jin|
|1997||Hallelujah||Bar madam (bit part)|
|1998||Alien||Kim's daughter (voice)|
|First Kiss||Song Yeon-hwa|
|1999||Nowhere to Hide||Kim Ju-yeon|
|2002||The Romantic President||Choi Eun-soo|
|2004||Everybody Has Secrets||Han Sun-young|
|2005||Shadowless Sword||Female martial arts gosu -Special Participation|
|2006||Now and Forever||Han Hye-won|
|2016||Like for Likes||Joo-Ran|
|2008||Line to the Law Center||VTR appearance||NTV|
|2012||Choi Ji-woo's Delicious Korea||Host||O'live TV|
|2013||MBC Human Documentary - Love||Narration||MBC|
|2015||Grandpas Over Flowers||Cast member (season 4)||tvN|
|2017||Candy in my Ears - Season 2||Cast member||tvN|
|1996||"Endless Love(moo han ji ae)"||Kim Jung-min|
|1998||"Scenery"||Goo Bon-seung and Jang Dong-gun|
|"Na Na Na"||Yoo Seung-jun|
|1999||"For Your Soul"||Jo Sung-mo|
|2003||"The Young Prince's Dream"||Cha Tae-hyun|
Awards and nominations
|1995||Korea's Isabelle Adjani Contest||N/A||N/A||Won|
|1996||KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||First Love||Nominated|
|1997||18th Blue Dragon Film Awards||The Hole||Nominated|
|1998||34th Baeksang Arts Awards||Won|
|21st Golden Cinematography Awards||Won|
|1999||14th Golden Disk Awards||Golden Video Best Actress||For Your Soul||Won|
|20th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nowhere to Hide||Nominated|
|2000||37th Grand Bell Awards||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||Mr. Duke, Truth||Won|
|2001||SBS Drama Awards||Beautiful Days||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2002||38th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (TV)||Winter Sonata||Won|
|Model Line Best Dresser Awards||Swan Award||N/A||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Winter Sonata||Won|
|2003||Andre Kim Best Star Awards||Female Star Award||N/A||Won|
|26th Golden Cinematography Awards||Most Popular Actress||The Romantic President||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Stairway to Heaven||Won|
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2004||40th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actress (TV)||Won|
|4th Proud Korean Awards
(Journalists Federation of Korea)
|2005||41st Baeksang Arts Awards||Hallyu Special Award||N/A||Won|
|The Motion Pictures Association of Korea||N/A||Won|
|2006||Dior Timeless Beauty Awards||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|2007||MBC Drama Awards||Popularity Award, Actress||Air City||Nominated|
|2009||International Cultural Industry Exchange Foundation Awards||Recipient||N/A||Won|
|4th Seoul International Drama Awards||Inducted into the Star Hall of Fame||N/A||Won|
|36th Tourism Day||Presidential Commendation||N/A||Won|
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Star's Lover||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Yoo Ji-tae||Nominated|
|2010||World Tourism Cities Forum||Top Popularity Award||N/A||Won|
|2011||MBC Drama Awards||Popularity Award, Actress||Can't Lose||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Yoon Sang-hyun||Nominated|
|2012||7th Asia Model Festival Awards||Asia Star Award||N/A||Won|
|Seoul International Social Work Conference||Social Welfare Award||N/A||Won|
|2013||SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||The Suspicious Housekeeper||Nominated|
|2014||7th Korea Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special||Temptation||Nominated|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award with Kwon Sang-woo||Nominated|
|2016||MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama||Woman with a Suitcase||Nominated|
|tvN10 Awards||Best Actress||Second 20s||Nominated|
Choi Ji-woo Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.