Lee Jong-suk

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Lee Jong-suk
Lee Jong-suk March 2018.png
Lee in March 2018
Born (1989-09-14) 14 September 1989 (age 32)
Yongin, South Korea
EducationKonkuk University
  • Actor
  • Model
Years active2005–present
AgentA-Man Project
Height186 cm (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Jong-seok
McCune–ReischauerYi Chongsŏk
WebsiteOfficial website

Lee Jong-suk (Korean이종석, born 14 September 1989) is a South Korean actor and model. He debuted in 2005 as a runway model, becoming the youngest male model ever to participate in Seoul Fashion Week. Lee's breakthrough role was in School 2013 (2012). He is also well known for his roles in I Can Hear Your Voice (2013), Doctor Stranger (2014), Pinocchio (2014), W (2016), While You Were Sleeping (2017), The Hymn of Death (2018) and Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019).


Lee majored in Professional Motion Pictures and Art at Konkuk University and graduated from the university in 2016.[2]


2005–2010: Beginnings[]

At 15, Lee began his modelling career at the Seoul Collection walkway in 2005, making him the youngest male model to debut in the Seoul Collection program at Seoul Fashion Week. Since then, he has walked in a number of fashion shows.[3][4]

Lee trained as an idol group member for three months, and had signed on with an agency to debut. However, he quit after the agency broke their promise of debuting him as an actor.[5] He took part in a selection for actors at SBS TV station when he was in middle school.[6]

In 2010, Lee made his official acting debut in the South Korean TV series Prosecutor Princess. He also made his big-screen debut in the horror movie Ghost.

2011–2013: Rising popularity and breakthrough[]

Lee started to gain recognition following his supporting role in the hit drama Secret Garden where he played a talented young composer with a surly attitude and a forbidden crush on the second male lead.[7][8] In 2011, he appeared in MBC's sitcom High Kick Season 3 where he gained further popularity.[9][10] Lee also co-starred in the film R2B: Return to Base in 2012, a loose remake of the critically acclaimed 1986 film Top Gun.[11]

At Vogue Fashion's Night Out, 2013

Lee's breakout role came as a high school student in the teen drama School 2013.[12][13] He received his first acting award for the role at the 2012 KBS Drama Awards under the category Best New Actor.[14] He also ranked fifth according to a survey entitled 'Actors Who Lit Up 2013' by Gallup Korea.[15]

Following the success of School 2013, Lee starred in the critically acclaimed drama series I Can Hear Your Voice with Lee Bo-young. He played Park Soo-ha, an intelligent young man who can read minds.[16] Originally slated for 16 episodes, the drama was extended by two episodes due to its successful ratings.[17] He received the Excellence Award in the male category at the Korea Drama Awards for his performance.[18] Lee then starred in the sports film No Breathing and had a supporting role in the box office hit The Face Reader.[19][20]

2014–present: Mainstream popularity[]

At W press conference, August 2016

In 2014, he starred in teen romantic comedy Hot Young Bloods, playing a cheesy womanizer.[21][22] Lee then starred in hit medical drama Doctor Stranger, playing a North Korean defector who works as a doctor in South Korea.[23] The drama was a success in China, gaining 400 million views.[24] Lee next starred in Pinocchio opposite actress Park Shin-hye,[25] and played the protagonist Choi Dal-po, a first year reporter at a broadcasting company who struggles with the idea of justice and truth in a world where everyone wants to hide the facts.[26] Pinocchio was another hit, with a reported revenue of 6.2 billion won (US$5.62 million) for broadcasting rights in just one year.[27][28] Lee's performances in the dramas Doctor Stranger and Pinocchio earned him acting accolades, including the Male Top Excellence Award at the 8th Korea Drama Awards.[29] He also became the youngest actor to win the Best Actor award at the 27th Grimae Awards, chosen by television cinematographers.[30]

Lee then embarked on an Asia fan-meeting tour, and released a photobook titled 2014-2015 Asia Tour Story ~With~, comprising photos taken of Lee's meetings with fans in seven Asian cities during the nine-month tour.[31] Lee was also cast in his first Chinese drama entitled Jade Lovers alongside actress Zheng Shuang. The drama, filmed in Shanghai, is described as a fantasy romance series set in the 1930s.[32] Due to Lee's success in China, a wax figure of him went on display in Hong Kong's Madame Tussauds, which the actor unveiled himself in a ceremony.[33] In December 2015, Lee left his previous agency Wellmade Yedang and signed an exclusive contract with YG Entertainment on 10 May 2016.[34]

In July 2016, Lee returned to the Korean small screen with MBC's fantasy thriller W alongside Han Hyo-joo.[35][36] The drama topped popularity charts in Korea[37] and Lee won the Daesang (Grand Prize) at the year-end MBC Drama Awards.[38] The same year, he co-starred in the promotional web drama First Seven Kisses for Lotte Duty Free.[39]

In 2017, Lee starred in the crime film VIP, marking his first lead role as a villain.[40][41] Lee then starred in the supernatural-procedural drama While You Were Sleeping alongside Bae Suzy in September.[42][43] In July of the same year, Lee was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Korean tourism by the Korea Tourism Organization. The organization also released promotional videos featuring the actor, titled "8 Episodes of Korea", which focused on tourist spots in 10 different regions including Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Jeju and Gyeongju.[44]

In 2018, Lee was cast in the three-episode drama The Hymn of Death, a remake of the 1991 film Death Song.[45][46] Lee signed with new management agency YNK Entertainment once his contract with YG Entertainment ended on 31 March 2018,[47] but terminated his contract five months later.[48] and established his own agency "A-man Project".[47]

In 2019, he starred in his first romantic comedy drama Romance Is a Bonus Book alongside Lee Na-young.[49][50]

In 2021, after finishing his military duty, he made a comeback with a cameo in The Witch: Part 2.[51] Lee later confirmed for the official film Decibel alongside Kim Rae-won, Lee Sang-hee, and Cha Eun-woo. [52]Later in September 2021, Lee confirmed the tvN drama Big Mouth with Im Yoon-ah, coming back three years after his discharge from the military. It will air in 2022.[53]

Personal life[]

Lee is best friends with fellow model-actor and School 2013 co-star Kim Woo-bin, whom he has known since their modeling days. [54][55]

He is the owner of the dining cafe, 89Mansion.[56]

Military enlistment[]

Lee began his mandatory military service on 8 March 2019. Lee was deemed unfit to enlist as an active duty soldier as a result of going through a car accident when he was 16 and tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Therefore, he was confirmed to work as a public service officer, and was expected to be discharged on 31 December 2020. [57][58][59] He was finally discharged on 2 January 2021.[60]



Soundtrack appearances[]

Title Year Peak chart
Sales Album

"Come To Me" (내게 와) 2017 N/A While You Were Sleeping OST
"Would You Know" (그대는 알까요)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Awards and nominations[]

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Nominee / Work Result Ref.
APAN Star Awards 2013 Excellence Award, Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated [62]
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Lee Bo-young
I Can Hear Your Voice
2016 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries W Nominated [63]
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Han Hyo-joo
2018 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries While You Were Sleeping Nominated [64]
K-Star Award Nominated
Asia Model Festival Awards 2014 Model Star Award Lee Jong-suk Won [65]
Baeksang Arts Awards 2012 Best Male Variety Performer High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Nominated
Most Popular Actor – Television Nominated
2014 Best Actor – Television I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
2015 Most Popular Actor – Television Pinocchio Won [66]
Grand Bell Awards 2014 Most Popular Actor Hot Young Bloods Nominated
Grimae Awards 2014 Best Actor Pinocchio Won [67]
KBS Drama Awards 2012 Best New Actor School 2013 Won [14]
Netizen Award, Actor Nominated
Korea Brand Stars 2015 Grand Prize (Daesang) Lee Jong-suk Won [68]
Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards 2013 Top Excellence Award, Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Won [69]
Hallyu Grand Award Won
Korea Drama Awards 2013 Excellence Award, Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Won [18][70]
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Lee Bo-young
I Can Hear Your Voice
2014 Top Excellence Award, Actor Doctor Stranger Nominated
2015 Top Excellence Award, Actor Pinocchio Won [29]
Korean Popular Culture & Arts Award 2015 Prime Minister Award Lee Jong-suk Won [71]
MBC Drama Awards 2016 Grand Prize (Daesang) [72] W Won [38]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Won
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Han Hyo-joo
Mnet 20's Choice Awards 2012 20's Drama Star – Male Lee Jong-suk Nominated
SBS Drama Awards 2013 Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries I Can Hear Your Voice Won [73]
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated
Top 10 Stars Won
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Lee Bo-young
I Can Hear Your Voice
2014 Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special Pinocchio Nominated [74]
SBS Special Award Pinocchio, Doctor Stranger Won
Netizen Popularity Award Nominated [74]
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Park Shin-hye
Won [74]
Top 10 Stars Pinocchio, Doctor Stranger Won [74]
2017 Grand Prize (Daesang) While You Were Sleeping Nominated [75]
Top Excellence Award, Actor in Wednesday-Thursday Drama Won [76]
Best Couple Award Lee Jong-suk with Bae Suzy
While You Were Sleeping
Won [77]
Seoul International Drama Awards 2014 People's Choice Actor I Can Hear Your Voice Nominated
SMART Model Contest 2006 Most Photogenic Award Lee Jong-suk Won
South Korean Superstar Selection Competition 2005 Star of New Advertising Models Won
Style Icon Awards 2011 SIA's Choice Award Won [78]
2013 The 21st Century Gentleman I Can Hear Your Voice Won [79]
2014 Top 10 Style Icons Lee Jong-suk Nominated


Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Forbes 2015 Korea Power Celebrity 12th [80]


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