Multi-awarded actress Jeon Do-yeon has been in the industry since 1992. Debuting in an era where Korean actresses have limited choices in the roles they can get, Jeon Do-yeon still was able to gain her reputation as a “chameleon” actress who can transform from one role to another. She was also not one to back down with adventurous and bold roles until she eventually landed projects that marked her name as one of the most respected actresses in the industry.
In 2007, Jeon Do-yeon made history as she became the first South Korean actress to take home the Best Actress trophy at the Cannes Film Festival. The ‘Queen of Cannes’ didn’t stop proving her acting chops as she went on knocking on the glass ceiling with each international and local recognition that she got, including trophies from Baeksang Arts, Blue Dragon Film Award, and Grand Bell Awards.
Roll out the red carpet as we delve into Jeon Do-yeon’s legendary filmography!
Our Heaven (MBC / 1992-1993) – Lee Jin-woo
Two years after initially debuting as an advertisement model, Jeon Do-yeon became an actress through the MBC Drama, Our Heaven.
The Art of War (KBS) – Kong Ji-sun
She made an appearance in the KBS office sitcom The Art of War.
Scent of Love (SBS / 1994) – Hyejin
In 1994, she continued to play supporting roles including a character in the SBS weekend series, Scent of Love, which was topbilled by Choi Jin-shil and Lee Byung-hun.
General Hospital (MBC / 1994) – Kang Soon-young
She became a nurse in the MBC medical series General Hospital.
Love is Blue (SBS / 1995) – Na Hye-jin
She also became part of the SBS series, Love is Blue, which depicts the love and passion of national swimming athletes.
Our Sunny Days of Youth (KBS2 / 1995) – Lee Jong-hee
She played the role of the main heroine’s younger sister in the hit KBS drama, Our Sunny Days of Youth. Her character Lee Jong-hee likes books and has a strong personality.
Project (KBS / 1996) – Yoo Hyeon-jung
She took on one of the leads in the KBS drama, Project.
Until We Fall in Love (KBS2 / 1996)
She starred opposite Ryu Si-won in the romance soap opera series, Until We Fall In Love.
Star in My Heart (MBC / 1997) – Yang Sun-ae
In 1997, she became part of the MBC mini-series, Star in My Heart.
The Contact (1997) – Su-hyeon
She landed her breakthrough role in her film debut The Contact, a romance film between a cable TV shopping host and a radio DJ. The movie, which also stars Han Suk-kyu, became the second highest-grossing Korean film of that year. Through her role as Su-heon, Jeon Do-yeon bagged numerous Best New Actress trophies including at the 35th Grand Bell Awards and at the 18th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Snail (SBS / 1997) – Yang Sun-ja
In the same year, she also became part of the SBS drama special Snail.
What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten (MBC / 1998) – Se-jin
She worked opposite So Ji-sub in the one-episode MBC drama special, What You Cherish Can Never Be Forgotten. She played the role of Se-jin, a deaf child who lives in the countryside picking green tea leaves. She then met and fell in love with Seoul boy Dong-woo (So Ji-sub) who came back to their family’s plantation after college.
A Promise (1998) – Che Hee-ju
After her breakthrough movie in 1997, she starred opposite Park Shin-yang in the hit melodrama movie, A Promise. Her character Che Hee-ju gave her the Best Actress trophy at the 35th Baeksang Arts Awards.
The Harmonium in My Memory (1999) – Yoon Hong-yeon
In 1999, she continued taking on roles in movies including her another award-winning performance as Yun Hong-yeon in The Harmonium in My Memory. Her portrayal as a country schoolgirl helped her bag the Best Actress awards at numerous award ceremonies including at the 20th Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 37th Grand Bell Awards.
Happy End (1999) – Choi Bo-ra
After taking on an innocent character, she then transformed into a wife having an adulterous affair in the film Happy End. Here, she worked with Choi Min-sik and Joo Jin-mo.
Love Story: Host of Memory (SBS / 2000)
In 2000, she became part of the eight-part omnibus TV series, Love Story.
I Wish I Had a Wife (2001) – Jeong Won-ju
In 2001, she starred as bank teller Jung Won-ju in Park Heung-sik’s directorial debut, I Wish I Had a Wife.
No Blood No Tears (2002) – Soo-jin
She worked together with actress Lee Hye-young in the 2002 film, No Blood No Tears, the second film feature of director Ryoo Seung-wan.
Shoot for the Stars (SBS / 2002) – Han So-ra
She starred opposite Jo In-sung in the hit SBS series, Shoot for the Stars.
Untold Scandal (2003) – Suk
In 2003, she found another box-office success through the film, Untold Scandal. The movie is an adaptation of the famous French novel Dangerous Liaisons but set in Joseon.
My Mother, the Mermaid (2004) – Kim Na-young / Jo Yeon-sun
She reunited with I Wish I Had a Wife director Park Heung-sik in a dual role for the time-bending melodrama movie, My Mother, the Mermaid.
You Are My Sunshine (2005) – Eun-ha
In 2005, she starred opposite Hwang Jung-min in You Are My Sunshine, in the melodrama film by Park Jin-pyo. Her performance as Eun-ha, a prostitute who contracts AIDS, received critical acclaim and won her numerous awards including the Best Actress trophies from the 26th Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 4th Korean Film Awards.
Lovers in Prague (SBS / 2005) – Yun Jae-hee
As her movie took on the box-office, Jeon Do-yeon returned to the small screen in SBS romance series, Lovers in Prague, which tells the love story between the president’s daughter and an ordinary detective. The series became a hit and eventually gave Jeon Do-yeon the Daesang at the 2005 SBS Drama Awards.
Secret Sunshine (2007) – Shin-ae
In 2007, she was cast in the melodrama film Secret Sunshine. Her portrayal as Shin-ae, a fearless widow who was struggling in her life after the tragic death of her husband and son, was awarded Best Actress at the 60th Cannes Film Festival. She also swept the Best Actress trophies in domestic awards such as the 28th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
On Air (SBS/2008) – Herself (Cameo Ep. 2)
She made a cameo appearance in the SBS drama series, On Air.
My Dear Enemy (2008) – Hee-soo
Following her international success, she starred in the 2008 film, My Dear Enemy. She played the role of Hee-soo, an unemployed single woman who reunited with her ex-boyfriend.
The Housemaid (2010) – Eun-yi
After she gave birth to a daughter in 2009, she made her comeback to movies in the controversial movie, The Housemaid. The film was chosen to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival.
Countdown (2011) – Cha Ha-yeon
In the 2011 movie Countdown, she took on the role of Cha Ha-eyon, a con artist who risked her life for ten days for a final deal with a cold-hearted debt collector. The movie premiered at the 36th Toronto International Film Festival.
Way Back Home (2013) – Song Jung-yeon
After a two-year break, Jeon Do-yeon returned to the big screen through the movie Way Back Home. The film was based on the true story of a housewife who was imprisoned for two years on the island of Martinique after being wrongly arrested for drug smuggling at Paris’s Orly Airport in 2004.
The Shameless (2015) – Kim Hye-kyung
In 2015, she starred in The Shameless where she played the role of Kim Hye-kyung, a woman who got entangled with a detective that investigates her murderer boyfriend. The movie was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the 68th Cannes Film Festival and Jeon returned to Cannes for the fourth time in her career.
Memories of the Sword (2015) – Wol-so / Seol-rang
She took on a role in the 2015 period drama movie, Memories of the Sword, where she played the role of blind swordswoman Wol-so / Seol-rang. This is her third collaboration with Park Heung-sik and her second with Lee Byung-hun.
A Man and A Woman (2016) – Sang-min
In 2016, she worked for the second time with film director Lee Yoon-ki for the movie A Man and a Woman. She and Gong Yoo filmed most of the scenes in the movie in Finland.
The Good Wife (tvN / 2016) – Kim Hye-kyung
After twelve years, she made a small screen comeback in the tvN series, The Good Wife. In the Korean remake of the American legal drama with the same title, Jeon Do-yeon played the character of Kim Hye-kyung, a housewife who is forced to become a lawyer again after her husband is mired in a scandal and put behind bars.
Birthday (2019) – Soon-nam
After taking a three-year break from any projects, she made her comeback in 2019 through the drama film Birthday. She played the role of Soon-nam, who was struggling to face the loss of her son in a tragic accident. She won Best Actress at the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, the 6th Korean Film Producers Association Awards, and 28th Buil Film Awards for her performance in the film.
Ashfall (2019) – Sun-hwa
She made a cameo appearance in the action disaster film Ashfall in 2019.
Beasts Clawing At Straws (2020) – Yeon-hee
In 2020, she starred alongside Jung Woo-sung in the mystery thriller movie Beasts Clawing at Straws. The film was screened at the 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam and won the Special Jury Award in the Tiger Competition.
Lost (JTBC / 2021) – Lee Bu-jung
In 2021, she made her small-screen comeback in movie director Hur Jin-ho’s first television series project Lost. Starring opposite Ryu Jun-yeol, she took on the role of Lee Bu-jung, a ghostwriter who wants to write an original work in her own name.
Emergency Declaration (2022) – Sook-hee
She reunited with Song Kang-ho and Lee Byung-hun in the 2022 disaster action film Emergency Declaration.
Crash Course in Romance (tvN / 2023) – Nam Haeng-seon
In 2023, she starred alongside Jung Kyung-ho in the tvN rom-com series, Crash Course in Romance. She played the role of Nam Haeng-seon, a former national handball player who now runs a banchan shop, raising a high schooler alone. This project marks Jeon Do-yeon’s return to the romance genre after 17 years.
Kill Boksoon (2023) – Kill Bok-soon
She clinched the titular role in the Netflix film Kill Boksoon, which would stream in March 2023. The film was officially invited to the Berlinale Special section at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival.