Born on June 22, 1987, Hallyu superstar Lee Min-ho started his acting journey in his second year of high school. During his senior year, he entered Starhaus Entertainment, underwent training, and auditioned for television roles. Lee Min-ho majored in Film & Art at Konkuk University. At present, his older sister Lee Yong-jung works with him as the CEO of his current agency MYM Entertainment.
He also survived two car crashes – first in 2006 with his close friend Jung Il-woo and the next was during City Hunter filming in 2011. Because of these past injuries, he fulfilled his military service in 2017 as a social service worker.
Lee Min-ho cemented himself as one of Hallyu wave’s most prominent celebrity when he appeared as the leader of the F4 in the Korean adaptation of “Hana Yori Dango” (Boys Over Flowers) in 2009. Since then, his numerous television and film projects enjoyed massive success. In 2022, he returns to the drama scene in the AppleTV adaptation of the coming-of-age novel, Pachinko. This is also Lee Min-ho’s first project outside of SBS, which has been the home of his hit dramas since 2011.
All hail as we look back on the filmography of the legendary king in this version of In Spotlight!
Secret Campus (EBS / 2006) – Park Doo-hyun
Although he had minor roles in other TV dramas, his official debut role was in the EBS high school series Secret Campus in 2003. The show also stars Park Bo-young.
Mackerel Run (SBS / 2007) – Cha Gong-chan
He appeared in the SBS high school comedy series Mackerel Run together with then rising young stars Moon Chae-won and Park Bo-young. It was originally planned to have 24 episodes, but low viewership ratings caused the drama to get canceled after just eight episodes.
I am Sam (KBS2 / 2007) – Heo Mo-se
In 2007, he was cast in a supporting role in the KBS series I Am Sam. Here he played the role of Heo Mo-se, the “ulzzang” of their prestigious high school.
Get Up (MBC / 2008) – Min Wook-gi
In 2008, Lee Min-ho became a troublesome high schooler in the one-episode drama Get Up.
Public Enemy Returns (2008) – Jung Ha-yeon
His first role on the silver screen is in the action movie, Public Enemy Returns. The film was only one of his four projects in 2008.
Our School’s E.T. (2008) – Oh Sang-hoon
In 2008, he starred alongside Kim Su-ro, Park Bo-young, and Moon Chae-won in the comedy film Our School’s ET. He took on the role of Oh Sang-hoon, one of the students of “alien-like” PE teacher Chun Sung-geun.
Boys Over Flowers (KBS2 / 2009) – Gu Jun-pyo
After appearing in various projects, Lee Min-ho finally landed his breakthrough role as Gu Jun-pyo in the phenomenal hit series Boys Over Flowers. It attracted high viewership locally and gained international popularity. The drama also earned him the Best New Actor award at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Personal Taste (MBC / 2010) – Jeon Jin-ho
Personal Taste is his follow-up project after his successful series, Boys Over Flowers. Lee Min-ho starred opposite Son Ye-jin in this 2010 romcom.
City Hunter (SBS / 2011) – Lee Yun-seong
He led the drama adaptation of the Japanese action manga City Hunter in 2011.
Faith (SBS / 2012) – General Choi Young
In 2012, he starred opposite Kim Hee-sun in Faith, a time-skip sageuk about the love story between a warrior from the Goryeo period and a doctor from the present day.
The Heirs (SBS / 2013) – Kim Tan
He worked with top drama writer Kim Eun-sook and fellow A-lister Park Shin-hye in the hit youth drama The Heirs. The drama was about two teens from opposite social backgrounds who reunited at an exclusive high school attended by South Korea’s elite.
Gangnam Blues (2015) – Kim Jong-dae
He partnered with Kim Rae-won in the hit noir film Gangnam Blues, set in the 1970s when the Gangnam development was at large. They starred as orphans-turned-henchmen who risk their lives for political parties that fight for land rights. The film gave him the Best New Actor recognition at the 2015 Daejong Film Awards.
Bounty Hunters (2016) – Yi San
He ventured into the Chinese movie industry as the main lead of the action-comedy film Bounty Hunters in 2016. He starred alongside Wallace Chung as the martial arts expert Yi San who was pursued by a rival group of bounty hunters.
The Legend of the Blue Sea (SBS / 2016-2017) – Heo Joon-jae / Dam Ryung
After making blockbuster hits, he returned to the small screen through the 2016 fantasy romance, The Legend of the Blue Sea. In the Park Ji-eun penned drama, he played the role of Heo Joon-jae, who fell in love with mermaid Shim Cheong, played by Jun Ji-hyun.
The King: Eternal Monarch (SBS / 2020) – Lee Gon
Reuniting with The Heirs writer Kim Eun-sook, Lee Min-ho was crowned as the King of Corea in the fantasy romance The King Eternal Monarch. He and Kim Go-eun top-billed the series.
Pachinko (Apple TV+ / 2022) – Koh Han-su
He’s currently starring in Apple TV’s series Pachinko, based on the novel of the same name by Min-jin Lee. To land his role as Koh Han-su, he had to audition, which was his first in 13 years. The eight-episode series also marks his first OTT video streaming project.
Ask The Stars (TBA / 2023) – Gong Ryong
He is recently confirmed to take on the role of an obstetrician-gynecologist in the space-themed romantic comedy, Ask The Stars which will premiere in 2023. The drama also booked Kong Gyo-hin for the female lead character.