Lee Byung-hun Age, Girlfriend, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Seoul
Age: 53 Years
Wife: Lee Min-jung

Lee Byung-hun

Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 154 lbs
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
DebutTV (Korean): Asphalt My Hometown (1991) on KBS2 as 'Jinwoo'
Poster of the 1991 South Korean TV show 'Asphalt My Hometown'
Film (Korean): Who Drives Me Crazy (1995) as 'Lee Jong-du'
Poster of the 1995 film 'Who Drives Me Crazy'
Film (English): 'I Come with the Rain' (2009) as 'Su Dongpo'
Poster of the 2009 film 'I Come with the Rain'
Awards, Honours, Achievements Awards
1992: Best New Actor Award for ‘Day of Sunshine’ at the KBS Drama Awards
1995: Best Actor in TV for the TV show ‘Son Of Wind’ at the 4th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards
2000: Best Actor for the film ‘Joint Security Area’ at the 1st Busan Film Critics Awards
2005: Best Actor for the film ‘A Bittersweet Life’ at the 13th Chunsa Film Art Awards
2010: Best Asian Influential International Actor at the China Music Awards and Asian Influential Awards
2013: Popular Star Award for the American films ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ and ‘RED 2’ at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards
2016: Star Asia Award for the South Korean film ‘Inside Men’ at the 15th New York Asian Film Festival
Lee Byung-hun with Star Asia Award in 2016
2018: Grand Prize (Daesang) for the South Korean TV series 'Mr. Sunshine' at the 6th APAN Star Awards
Lee Byung-hun at the 6th APAN Music Awards
2019: Best Actor (TV) for the South Korean TV series 'Mr. Sunshine' at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards
2020: Outstanding Artist for a Film for the South Korean film ‘The Man Standing Next’ at the 10th SACF Artists of the Year Awards
2020: Best Actor (Film) for the South Korean film 'The Man Standing Next' at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards
Lee Byung-hun at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards
2021: Asian Film Excellence Award at the 15th Asian Film Awards
2022: Best Actor in a film for the film ‘The Man Standing Next’ at the 20th Director’s Cut Awards

2011: Received Presidential Commendation from the government of South Korea

2010: Ranked 4th on Korea Power Celebrity list by Forbes
2014: Ranked 16th on Korea Power Celebrity list by Forbes
2016: Ranked 40th on Korea Power Celebrity list by Forbes
2019: Ranked 19th on Korea Power Celebrity list by Forbes
Personal Life
Date of Birth12 July 1970 (Sunday)
Age (as of 2022)53 Years
BirthplaceSeoul, South Korea
Zodiac signCancer
SignatureLee Byung-hun's autograph
NationalitySouth Korean
SchoolJoongdong High School, Seoul
College/University• Hanyang University, South Korea
• Graduate School of Chung-Ang University, Seoul
Educational Qualification(s)• Graduation with a major in French literature at Hanyang University
• A major in theatre and cinematography at the Graduate School of Chung-Ang University
Food HabitNon-vegetarian
Lee Byung-hun having a non-vegetarian meal
HobbyPracticing Taekwondo
ControversiesAccused of Causing Physical Harm & Gambling
On 9 December 2009, Lee Byung-hun's ex-girlfriend, Kwon Mi-yeon, filed a civil lawsuit against him, alleging that he deceived her into a sexual relationship with the promise of marriage. She accused Lee of causing her mental and physical distress and being a chronic gambler. Kwon sued Lee for 100 million won. In response, Lee's agency, BH Entertainment, denied all of Kwon's claims, stating that they were untrue and believed the lawsuit was a retaliatory action due to their breakup. Lee later countersued Kwon for defamation and extortion. [1]bnt News On 19 March 2010, Lee Byung-hun was declared innocent of the illegal gambling charges as prosecutors found no evidence to support the accusations. [2]Naver In August 2010, Kwon Mi-yeon's claim for damages against Lee Byung-hun was dropped because she did not actively take part in the legal proceedings. [3]Naver In 2010, during the filming of the TV drama series 'Iris,' there was a conflict involving TV show host Kang Byung-kyu, who accused the producer of spreading false rumors connecting him to the dispute between Lee Byung-hun and Kwon Mi-yeon. Kang allegedly brought gangsters to the set, causing disruptions and leading to his arrest on assault charges. Subsequently, Kang and Kwon were accused of colluding to blackmail Lee for money in November 2009. When Lee refused to give in to their demands, Kwon filed her civil lawsuit in December of the same year. [4]Asiae [5]Newsen In 2013, Kang Byung-kyu was sentenced to one year in prison and three years of probation for fraud and assault charges. [6]Naver

5 Billion Won Blackmail Scandal
On 28 August 2014, Lee Byung-hun was blackmailed by singer Dahee from the K-pop girl group GLAM [7]Star News and model Lee Ji-yeon. [8]Nate News They demanded a large sum of money, 5 billion won (approximately US$4,000,000), threatening to release a compromising video of Lee allegedly making sexual jokes while drinking with them on 3 July 2014. [9]Mediapen [10]The Korea Herald On 1 September 2014, Lee Byung-hun went to the police and reported the crime, which resulted in the arrest of Dahee and Lee Ji-yeon. They were caught when they handed him two suitcases of money as part of their blackmail plan. [11]Sports World After the investigations, it was discovered that Dahee and Lee Ji-yeon had planned the blackmail in advance, and they even looked for plane tickets to escape to Europe. [12]Joy News 24 They also attempted to secretly film a video of Lee Byung-hun hugging Lee Ji-yeon by placing a smartphone in a kitchen sink; however, their attempt was unsuccessful. [13]The Korea Daily Lee Ji-yeon said that the blackmail was an impulsive decision after her breakup with Lee Byung-hun. [14]The Korea Herald In response, Lee Byung-hun's agency issued an official statement refuting any claims of one-on-one meetings between Lee and Lee Ji-yeon. The statement also clarified that Lee had expressed his unwillingness to meet them after sensing that they might have hidden intentions, especially when they talked about their financial problems and asked him to buy them a house. [15]Star News [16]The Korea Herald In March 2015, Dahee and Lee Ji-yeon received a suspended sentence for two years after Lee requested a suspended sentence for them. [17]The Korea Herald

Fined $102,000 after Tax Audit
In 2023, Lee Byung-hun was fined 100 million won (US$102,000) after a special tax audit conducted by the National Tax Service. The audit was carried out in September 2022 and targeted both Lee Byung-hun and his management agency, BH Entertainment. Later, BH Entertainment released an statement in which it mentioned,

"Lee has never had a single tax-related incident over the past 30 years. It is true that the tax was collected by the National Tax Service, but it is not a problem of tax evasion. We paid bonuses to all employees with personal money, but accounting for the part that was treated as company expenses was a problem, and some of the model fees were set aside for donation, which became the subject of additional surcharges."

According to a South Korean news agency, in 2018, Lee Byung-hun bought a 10-storey building in Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, using a combination of his personal and corporate funds. Reportedly, in 2021, he sold the property, making a profit of 10 billion won. Later, BH Entertainment explained that the property sale and the tax investigation were not connected to each other. [18]The Straits Times
Relationships & More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/Girlfriends• Song Hye-kyo (South Korean actress)
Lee Byung-hun with Song Hye-kyo
• Lee Min-jung (South Korean actress)
Lee Byung-hun with Lee Min-jung
Marriage Date10 August 2013
A wedding day image of Lee Byung-hun and Lee Min-jung
Wife/SpouseLee Min-jung
Lee Byung-hun with Lee Min-jung
ChildrenSon- Lee Joon-hoo
Lee Byung-hun's son
Daughter- None
ParentsFather- Lee Jong-kun (businessman)
Lee Byung-hun with his father
Mother- Lee Eun-hee
Lee Byung-hun with his mother and sister
SiblingsBrother- None
Sister- Lee Eun-hee (model and actress)
Lee Byung-hun with his sister
Style Quotient
Car CollectionLee Byung-hun getting out of his car
Money Factor
Salary (approx.)150 million KRW (136,886 USD) per episode for the 2018 South Korean TV series ‘Mr. Sunshine’ [19]Koreaboo [20]Allkpop
Assets/Properties• A luxury villa located in Cheongdam-dong, South Korea (3.18 billion won)
• A house in Los Angeles (2.3 billion won (US$2 million)) [21]KBIZoom
Lee Byung-hun house in Los Angeles
• An apartment in Samseong-Dong, South Korea (5 billion won (approx. $3.6 million to $4.5 million USD)) [22]Soompi
Net Worth (approx.)US$20 million (as of 2022) [23]South China Morning Post

Lee Byung-hun

Some Lesser Known Facts About Lee Byung-hun

  • Lee Byung-hun is a South Korean actor, who is known for working in both South Korean and Hollywood films. In 2023, it was revealed that he would be part of the second season of the popular Netflix South Korean survival drama series ‘Squid Game.’
  • In childhood, he used to watch many Hollywood films with his father as his father was a huge movie buff.

    A childhood image of Lee Byung-hun

    A childhood image of Lee Byung-hun

  • After his father’s death, Lee Byung-hun had to deal with financial challenges and clear his debts, which took a toll on his mental well-being. He fell into a state of depression and started experiencing panic disorders, making it difficult for him to attend award ceremonies. [24]Soompi
  • Reportedly, in 1995, he was adopted by Kim Woo-joong, the chairman of Daewoo Group, and his wife, which formed a special bond between them. Former Daewoo Group chairman Kim Woo-joong and his wife, Jung Hee-ja, had three sons and one daughter. Their eldest son and heir to the Daewoo Group, Kim Seon-jae, passed away in a car accident at the age of 24. Four years after the loss of her son, Jung Hee-ja saw a rookie actor named Lee Byung-hun on TV, who resembled her late son.
    Lee Byung-hun (right) and Kim Seon-jae (left)

    Lee Byung-hun (right) and Kim Seon-jae (left)

    She asked Yoo In-chon, a former model of Daewoo Electronics commercials, to arrange a meeting with Lee Byung-hun. During the meeting, Jung Hee-ja made an unexpected proposal to adopt Lee Byung-hun as her son. At first, he was surprised by the idea, but eventually, he agreed to the suggestion. Lee Byung-hun also modelled for Daewoo Motors Tico. Despite facing a scandal in 2014 involving blackmail, he flew to the US to apologize to Kim Woo-joong and his wife for causing trouble. Lee Byung-hun continues to maintain a close bond with the Kim family and pays regular visits to the mortuary of former chairman Kim Woo-joong, who passed away in 2019. [25]KBIZoom

  • In 1999, he released his debut album titled ‘Lee Byung Hun – To Me.’ Later, in 2008, he released a single soundtrack called ‘Itsuka’ (Someday). He also contributed his voice to two original soundtracks, ‘Stay’ and ‘Endless Road,’ for the South Korean TV series ‘Iris’ in 2009.
  • In 1999, Lee Byung-hun portrayed the character of Seo Tae-poong, a baseball player, in the SBS TV series ‘Happy Together.’ The story revolved around his character’s search for his missing brother and three sisters.
  • In 2000, he gained significant recognition after he played the role of Lee Soo-hyuk, a South Korean soldier in the action thriller film ‘Joint Security Area.’

    Lee Byung-hun in a still from the 2000 South Korean film 'Joint Security Area'

    Lee Byung-hun in a still from the 2000 South Korean film ‘Joint Security Area’

  • He has appeared in many South Korean TV series such as ‘The Fragrance of Love’ (1994), ‘White Nights 3.98’ (1998), ‘Beautiful Days’ (2001), and ‘Iris’ (2009).
  • He has acted in several South Korean films, including ‘Kill the Love’ (1996), ‘The Harmonium in My Memory’ (1999), and ‘Bungee Jumping of Their Own’ (2001).
  • In 2008, Lee Byung-hun released a single soundtrack called ‘Itsuka’ (Someday). He also lent his voice to two original soundtracks, ‘Stay’ and ‘Endless Road,’ for the South Korean TV series ‘Iris.’
  • In 2009, he entered Hollywood by portraying the character of Storm Shadow in the famous Sci-fi action film ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,’ which became a significant turning point in his career.

    Poster of the 2010 film 'G. I. Joe - The Rise of Cobra'

    Poster of the 2010 film ‘G. I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra’

  • In 2010, Lee Byung-hun was chosen as California’s tourism promotion ambassador to Korea.
  • Lee Byung-hun is a coffee lover. In 2010, he took a break from acting and pursued his passion by becoming a certified barista.
  • In March 2011, Lee Byung-hun made a generous donation of 700 million won to the Korean Red Cross to provide assistance to the local residents affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. [26]Naver
  • In 2013, he reprised his role as Storm Shadow in the movie ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation,’ where he acted alongside Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Channing Tatum.
  • In 2013, he also appeared in the American film ‘RED 2,’ which is a sequel to the action-comedy movie ‘RED’ from 2010. In ‘RED 2,’ he shared the screen with famous actors like Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich. Additionally, he has worked in several other notable English films, including ‘Terminator Genisys’ (2015), ‘Misconduct’ (2016), and ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (2016).

  • In 2013, Lee Byung-hun was selected as an honorary ambassador for the Association of Film Commissioners International annual meeting, which aims to support international co-productions in the film industry. He was also appointed as an honorary ambassador to promote the 50th Daejong Film Awards in the same year.
  • He is the first South Korean actor to present an Oscar at the prestigious annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles in 2016. In the same year, he became a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • In November 2016, Lee Byung-hun contributed a voice donation to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation for the ‘Haru’ campaign, aimed at offering support to sick children in need. [27]Sports Seoul
  • In 2017, Lee Byung-hun appeared in the music video of the song ‘I LUV IT’ by the renowned South Korean singer Psy.
  • In April 2019, both Lee Byung-hun and his wife, Lee Min-jung, donated 100 million won to aid the victims who were impacted by the forest fires in Gangwon-do, South Korea. [28]MBN
  • In February 2020, Lee Byung-hun donated 100 million won through the Fruit of Love campaign organized by the Community Chest of Korea. [29]Maeil
  • In October 2020, Lee Byung-hun contributed a voice donation to a multi-media-type Braille sensory book developed by The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage.
  • On 30 December 2020, Lee Byung-hun donated 100 million won to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation to provide support for children from low-income families who were facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [30]Daily Sports
  • On 12 July 2021, on the occasion of his birthday, Lee Byung-hun made a donation of 100 million won to Asan Children’s Hospital in Seoul. [31]Dispatch
  • In September 2021, he appeared as Hwang In-ho, the Front Man, in Netflix’s famous survival drama series ‘Squid Game.’ In 2023, he was announced to reprise his role as the Front Man in the second season of ‘Squid Game.’

  • On 6 March 2022, Lee Byung-hun donated 100 million won to the Hope Bridge Disaster Relief Association to help residents affected by the Uljin and Samcheok wildfires. His generous contribution provided temporary shelter for the victims who had to evacuate their homes due to the destructive wildfires. [32]SPOTV News
  • In 2022, Lee Byung-hun was cast in a lead role as Lee Dong-seok in the popular South Korean TV series ‘Our Blues,’ which aired on tvN.
  • Lee Byung-hun owns a management company named BH Entertainment, which manages the professional careers of several actors, such as Han Hyo-joo, Go Soo, Jin Goo, Jinyoung, and Han Ji-min.
  • He owns a shop called BHNC, which offers a variety of items for sale, including hats, scarves, and wallets, among other things.

    BHNC shop in Seoul

    BHNC shop in Seoul

  • He is well-known in the video game industry for providing his likeness to the main character, Wayne Holden, in the 2006 game Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, which is available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC platforms. [33]IGN
  • Lee has been part of several prominent Hollywood films; however, in his early days in Hollywood, he had to deal with racism. During a 2016 interview, he opened up about his experiences of facing racism in the industry and said,

    I can’t say who, but there are actors who wouldn’t even look me in the eyes because I was Asian. I tried to introduce myself and shake their hands, but they would ignore me and walked past me. I couldn’t shake their hands until we had finished filming the movie. Rather than feeling sad, I felt really enraged. To them, I could just be the ‘actor who couldn’t speak English. Still, to confront them, there would be cultural and linguistic barriers. I went to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee and the baristas asked me, ‘You’re a movie star, right?’ I thought, ‘Finally someone recognizes me,’ but then they said that they really enjoyed the movie ‘The Hangover.’ To them, all Asians look the same.” [34]Vulture

  • He consumes alcohol occasionally.

    Lee Byung-hun consuming alcohol at an event

    Lee Byung-hun consuming alcohol at an event