Fresh Faces

Kim Tae-hee

Kim Tae-hee is a South Korean actress best known for her roles in Korean dramas such as "Stairway to Heaven," "Love Story in Harvard," "Iris," "My Princess," and "Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love."

It was in 2000 that an advertising executive saw Ms. Kim riding the subway that saw her big break in the modelling industry. She appeared in television commercials and print ads, before making her acting debut with a small role in the 2001 melodrama "Last Present." In 2002, she starred in the short film "Living in New Town" and the sitcom "Let's Go," followed by "Screen" and "A Problem at My Younger Brother's House" in 2003.

In late 2003, Ms. Kim rose to stardom via her portrayal of the evil stepsister in the popular SBS TV series "Stairway to Heaven." Starting 2004, she was casted in leading roles in her succeeding projects, including the supernatural KBS series "Forbidden Love" and the SBS campus romance "Love Story in Harvard."

She then turned to film, starring in action fantasy epic "The Restless" (2006), and the romantic comedy "Venus and Mars" (2007). Both were unsuccessful at the box office.

She returned to the small screen in 2009, playing an NIS profiler in the spy action thriller "Iris." It was one of the most expensive Korean dramas ever produced and was a critical and commercial success with an average viewership rating of 30%. Ms. Kim shed tears at the KBS Drama Awards when she won an Excellence Award in a Miniseries; this was her first acting award, excluding newcomer and popularity awards.

She left her then-agency Namoo Actors in January 2010 to join Lua Entertainment, which was founded by her brother-in-law. That year, she also played a horse jockey who dreams of winning the championship in the sports film "Grand Prix."

After the success of Iris, she again drew positive reviews in the romantic comedy series "My Princess" (2011); Ms. Kim played an ordinary college student who discovers that she is Korean royalty. Later that year, she starred in her first Japanese television drama "Boku to Star no 99 Nichi," where her character is a South Korean Hallyu star who meets an ordinary Japanese bodyguard and he somehow makes her fall head over heels in love with him. Ms. Kim encountered backlash from some Japanese netizens for her participation in a 2005 rally in Switzerland supporting South Korea's claim in the Dokdo Islets territorial dispute.

In 2013, Ms. Kim starred in her first period drama "Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love" as the infamous royal concubine Jang Hui-bin. This was followed by another period role, as the wife of famed Chinese calligrapher Wang Xizhi in the Chinese television drama of the same title.

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