BIOGRAPHY

Lee Min-ho Biography 2024: Age, Net Worth, Family, Relationship, Height, Education, Personal Life, Career, Awards and Nomination

Lee Min-ho Biography 2024: Age, Net Worth, Family, Relationship, Height, Education, Personal Life, Career, Awards and Nomination
Written by Ask AllBioHub

Lee Min-ho, born on June 22, 1987, is a renowned South Korean actor, singer, and model.

He has garnered immense popularity for his portrayal of Gu Jun-pyo in the hit drama Boys Over Flowers (2009), which led him to receive the prestigious Best New Actor – Television award at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Throughout his career, Lee Min-ho has delivered remarkable performances in various television series such as City Hunter (2011), The Heirs (2013), The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016), and The King: Eternal Monarch (2020).

Additionally, he has showcased his talent in films like Gangnam Blues (2015) and Bounty Hunters (2016).

In 2022, he took on the lead role in the Apple TV+ period drama Pachinko, an adaptation of the acclaimed novel of the same name.

Born June 22, 1987 (age 36)

Dongjak DistrictSeoul, South Korea
Alma mater Konkuk University
Occupations
  • Actor
  • singer
  • model
Years active 2002–present
Agent MYM Entertainment
Height 187 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Korean name
Hangul
이민호
Hanja
Revised Romanization I Minho
McCune–Reischauer I Minho
Website leeminho.kr

Lee’s television career propelled him to become a prominent figure in the Hallyu wave, solidifying his status as a top star.

He holds the distinction of being the most popular South Korean actor on various social media platforms.

Additionally, Lee achieved another milestone by being the first Korean celebrity to have a wax figure created in his likeness at Madame Tussauds.

These wax figures were unveiled in Shanghai in 2013 and Hong Kong in 2014.

Early Life and Education

Lee Min-ho was born on June 22, 1987, in Heukseok-dong, Dongjak District, Seoul. Raised by Buddhist parents, he is the younger one of two children.

During his childhood, Lee initially aspired to become a professional football player.

While studying at Namseong Elementary School, he was chosen for the junior football class of manager and ex-professional player Cha Bum-kun.

Unfortunately, an injury during fifth grade dashed his dreams.

In a 2009 interview with the Asia Business Daily, he mentioned that during elementary school, his classmates called him kkamdungi (깜둥이; lit. ‘darkie’) due to his tan skin.

Other nicknames included ‘skeleton’ from his time at Banpo Middle School and ‘demon’ in high school—the former due to his slim physique and the latter due to his “playful” nature.

By his first year at Danggok High School, Lee had shifted his focus to acting and modeling.

After appearing in a few magazines, he crossed paths with the future president of Starhaus Entertainment by chance.

This encounter marked the beginning of his professional acting career, leading to his signing with the agency in 2005.

In 2006, Lee began his studies at Konkuk University’s College of Art and Design, where he later earned a bachelor’s degree in Film Arts.

Currently, he is working towards his master’s degree in Film at Kookmin University Graduate School.

Career

Lee began his acting career by auditioning for minor roles in various television shows, including Romance (2002), Nonstop (2000–2006), and Recipe of Love (2005).

However, his official debut as a main character came in 2006 with the EBS series Secret Campus. Initially, he used the stage name Lee Min, as his agency believed his birth name was too ordinary.

However, due to the similarity in pronunciation and spelling between his stage name and the Korean word for “immigration,” he faced difficulties in internet search results.

Eventually, he decided to revert back to his original name.

Unfortunately, in 2006, Lee’s acting career was put on hold for a year due to a serious car accident.

He was riding in the backseat of a car with fellow actor Jung Il-woo when the accident occurred, resulting in the instant death of their two friends who were in the front seat.

Lee suffered severe injuries and had to spend several months bedridden. After his recovery, he received his first leading role in the high-school drama Mackerel Run (2007), but the series was shortened to only eight episodes due to low viewership ratings.

In 2008, Lee appeared in television dramas such as Get Up and I Am Sam, as well as movies like Public Enemy Returns and Our School’s E.T..

It was during the filming of the latter that he formed a close friendship with actor Kim Su-ro.

Kim later praised Lee on a variety show, stating that he recognized Lee’s potential to become one of the top actors in the country.

Lee’s breakthrough occurred in 2009 when he landed the lead role of Gu Jun-pyo in KBS2’s Boys Over Flowers, the Korean adaptation of the popular shōjo manga.

The competition for this role was fierce, and Lee discovered his casting through newspaper articles.

The series garnered high viewership ratings and created a buzz in South Korea during its broadcast.

As a result, Lee’s newfound fame led to numerous endorsement deals, and Boys Over Flowers sparked a Korean Wave throughout Asia, establishing Lee as a Hallyu star.

In 2010, Lee starred in the romantic comedy Personal Taste alongside Son Ye-jin.

He portrayed a young architect who pretends to be gay in order to become roommates with a young woman, resulting in romantic complications.

When asked about his decision to take on this role in an interview, Lee explained, “I believe that as I grow older, I will excel in heavier and more complex roles.

However, I felt that Personal Taste was perfect because it had a bright and cheerful tone, yet it also allowed for moments of laughter and tears.”

In 2011, he assumed the role of the main character in the action drama City Hunter, which was loosely inspired by Tsukasa Hojo’s well-known manga of the same title.

The show was a hit commercially and significantly boosted Lee’s fame, particularly in Japan, the Philippines, China, and France.

He made an appearance on the popular Chinese variety show Happy Camp in December 2011.

In 2012, Lee took on a role in the medical fusion sageuk Faith alongside Kim Hee-sun.

Despite achieving viewership ratings in the 10% range, the drama was considered a commercial failure due to its high production costs.

In April 2013, Lee’s wax figure was revealed at Madame Tussauds Shanghai.

He then released his debut album “My Everything” in May 2013 and embarked on a fan meeting tour across Asia.

Lee also confirmed his comeback to television with a new series titled The Heirs, a teen drama penned by Kim Eun-sook.

Explaining his decision to portray a chaebol heir in high school four years after his role in Boys Over Flowers, he stated: “Before I outgrew my 20s, I wanted to portray a more cheerful character, one that would bring me back to that sense of simple, uncomplicated innocence I had in my youth.”

The Heirs premiered on October 9, 2013, and gained immense popularity both domestically, with a peak rating of 28.6%, and internationally, amassing over one billion views on the Chinese streaming platform IQIYI. Lee’s global popularity continued to rise.

In January of the year 2014, a second wax figure of Lee was revealed at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.

Read Also: Lee Jae-wook Biography: Age, Height, Wife, Net Worth, Family and Career

On January 30, Lee made history as the first Korean celebrity to perform at China’s CCTV Lunar New Year Gala.

During the event, he sang a song alongside Harlem Yu, the original singer of the theme song from Meteor Garden, the Taiwanese adaptation of Boys Over Flowers.

Additionally, Lee was selected to represent the entertainment industry at the third conference of the South Korean Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment, where he actively participated in discussions regarding the development of Korea’s cultural content.

For his significant contributions to the Korean Wave, Lee was honored with the Prime Minister’s Commendation at the 5th Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards.

Following these achievements, Lee released his second EP titled “Song for You” in October 2014 under Universal Music.

Despite stating that the tracks were dedicated to his fans and expressing no desire to pursue a singing career, the album was well-received.

The release of the album coincided with the commencement of his RE:MINHO fan meeting tour across various Asian cities.

Subsequently, Lee took on the role of Yoo Ha’s neo-noir action saga Gangnam Blues (2015), which was set in the 1970s during the real estate development boom in the Gangnam area.

This film, in which he starred alongside Kim Rae-won, marked Lee’s first leading role in a major motion picture.

In 2016, Lee starred in the action comedy movie Bounty Hunters, helmed by Shin Terra. His fellow cast members included Wallace Chung, Tiffany Tang, Jeremy Tsui, Karena Ng, and Louis Fan.

The film was a box office hit, earning over US$31 million in China. Following this success, Lee returned to television in 2016 with the fantasy romance series The Legend of the Blue Sea, where he acted alongside actress Jun Ji-hyun.

The show was also well-received by audiences. Lee commenced his compulsory military service on May 12, 2017.

Lee’s involvement in the SBS-broadcast and Netflix-distributed fantasy romance The King: Eternal Monarch, written by Kim Eun-sook, was highly anticipated in 2020.

This marked his return to the screen after completing his mandatory military service.

The drama achieved impressive ratings and held the top position on the weekly Wavve drama chart for eight consecutive weeks.

However, it received mixed reviews and lower viewership ratings for later episodes compared to Kim Eun-sook’s previous works.

Despite this, The King: Eternal Monarch became the most popular Korean drama on Netflix in India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore, and one of the top two in the U.S. in 2020.

In 2022, Lee made his Hollywood debut in the television series adaptation of Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko, portraying the enigmatic merchant Koh Hansu.

The series garnered positive reviews and widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Lee’s performance, particularly in Chapter 7, a standalone episode centered around his character, received critical acclaim and was recognized by outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Collider, who included it in their list of Best TV Episodes of 2022.

In August 2023, Lee joined notable figures such as Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Campbell, Matteo Berrettini, and Suki Waterhouse as part of Hugo Boss’s new collection campaign.

Public Image and Philanthropy

Lee established the PROMIZ website in 2014 as a platform for fundraising to support social and humanitarian causes.

The website sells PROMIZ merchandise, with proceeds going to selected partners who carry out charity projects.

For example, $50,000 was donated to Charity: Water to help build wells in Malawi, with the funds raised by Lee and his fans.

PROMIZ has also supported causes like Good Neighbours, World Water Day, the “Transparent Umbrella Project,” and the “Making Warm Winter for Both Bodies and Hearts” campaign. In 2016, PROMIZ received the Korea Good Brand Awards.

In 2015, Lee donated ₩100 million to UNICEF to assist victims of the earthquake in Nepal.

The following year, he was honored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare for his contributions to society.

To celebrate his 10th debut anniversary, Lee’s fans engaged in various charitable activities.

For instance, his Chinese fans planted 510 trees in Inner Mongolia, while his Mexican fans collected plastic bottle caps for recycling and donated the proceeds to children with cancer.

Fans from Taiwan and Hong Kong made donations to World Vision and UNICEF. In previous years, his Chilean fan club supported Patagonia Compassion and participated in other charitable initiatives.

Lee has an extensive social media presence, with over 3 million followers on Twitter, 23 million followers on Weibo, and being the first Korean celebrity to reach 20 million followers on both Instagram and Facebook.

In 2014 and 2015, he was voted as the “Asian Male God” in an online poll conducted by a Chinese entertainment magazine.

Additionally, in 2017, Lee was selected as the “Most Favoured Korean Actor” by fans of the Korean Wave in the United States.

With a total of 65 million followers across various platforms, he has earned the title of the “King of Social Media”.

Personal Life

Lee’s older sister, Yun-jeong, is the co-founder and CEO of MYM Entertainment, his current agency.

In 2006, Lee’s acting career was temporarily halted for a year due to a severe car accident.

The accident occurred while he was riding with fellow actor Jung Il-woo and two other friends.

They were driving to Gangwon Province when a car from the opposite lane, which was fleeing from a previous accident, collided with their car head-on.

The impact destroyed the hood and engine of their car. Lee and Jung, who were seated in the back, survived the accident but were in critical condition.

Unfortunately, their friends in the front seats were killed instantly. Lee suffered severe injuries and was in a coma for a month.

He then spent several months bedridden, recovering from broken ribs, thigh, ankle, and a tear in his knee cartilage.

As part of his treatment, a 46-centimeter metal pin was inserted in his thigh, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other.

On May 12, 2017, Lee Min-ho began his mandatory military service as a public service officer at the Suseo Social Welfare Centre in Gangnam District Office.

Due to his previous injuries, he was unable to serve as an active duty soldier. In 2011, he also experienced another car accident while filming City Hunter.

On March 15, 2018, Lee commenced his military training at the Korea Army Training Centre in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province.

After completing four weeks of basic training, he returned to his public service duty. He was discharged from military service on April 25, 2019.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Public Enemy Returns Jung Ha-yeon Bit part
Our School’s E.T. Oh Sang-hoon
2015 Gangnam Blues Kim Jong-dae
2016 Bounty Hunters Yi San Chinese-South Korean co-production
TBA Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint Yoo Jung-hyuk

Television series

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Romance Student
2003–2005 Sharp Lee Jin-ho Ep. 55–63
2005 Nonstop 5 MC Mong with plastic surgery Ep. 213
Recipe of Love Waiter
2006 Secret Campus Park Du-hyun
2007 Mackerel Run Cha Gong-chan
I Am Sam Heo Mo-se
2008 Get Up Min Wook-gi
2009 Boys Over Flowers Gu Jun-pyo
2010 Personal Taste Jeon Jin-ho
2011 City Hunter Lee Yoon-sung
2012 Faith Choe Yeong
2013 The Heirs Kim Tan
2016 The Legend of the Blue Sea Kim Dam-ryeong / Heo Joon-jae
2017 DMZ, The Wild Himself Documentary
2020 The King: Eternal Monarch Emperor Lee Gon
2024 Ask the Stars Gong Ryong

Web series

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2011–2012 Toyota Camry
The One and Only
Joon / Kwon
2012 Innisfree First Love Innisfree CEO
2014 Line Romance Min-ho
2015 Innisfree Summer Love Lee Min-ho
2016 7 First Kisses Lee Min-ho
2022–present Pachinko Koh Hansu Season 1–2

Music video

Title Year Artist(s)
Kiss 2009 Sandara Park

Awards and Nomination

Totals
Wins 43
Nominations 81
Note
  1.  Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up, and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.

Net Worth

According to various sources online, Lee Min-ho net worth as at 2023 is ranged around $26 million…

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