Hwang Jung-eum

Hwang Jung-eum
Hwang Jung-Eum.jpg
Born (1985-01-25) January 25, 1985 (age 37)
Seoul, South Korea
EducationUniversity of Suwon
OccupationActress, singer
Years active2001–present
AgentC-Jes Entertainment
Lee Young-don
(m. 2016)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHwang Jeong-eum
McCune–ReischauerHwang Jŏng'ŭm

Hwang Jung-eum is a South Korean actress and a former member of South Korean girl group Sugar from 2001 to 2006.


Hwang Jung-eum debuted with K-pop girl group Sugar in 2002 as a lead vocalist, but left the group in 2004 to pursue a solo career. Hwang appeared as one of the recurring guests of the variety show Love Letter from 2004 to 2006, in which her onscreen pairing with Kim Jong-min became popular. She officially made her acting debut in the television drama The Person I Love in 2007.

In 2009, she and real-life boyfriend Kim Yong-jun (of boy band SG Wannabe) joined the second season of reality dating show We Got Married as the first real-life couple to be featured on the show. Later that year, Hwang rose to mainstream stardom when she appeared in the daily sitcom High Kick Through the Roof. Her character in the sitcom as a college student who was full of energetic vibes but sometimes clumsy, confident despite lacking money and opportunities, representing today's college students well, therefore stirred sentiments among many young adults. Regarding this breakout in her acting career, Hwang said:

You need to do what you enjoy doing as well as finding what is right for you. I realized my passion for acting during High Kick. You tend to do well when you get compliments and with director Kim Byung Wook encouraging me, I had fun acting. And because it was fun, I was able to achieve good results.

After her turn on High Kick, Hwang signed numerous advertising contracts, and in interviews she often tells the story of how she had just ₩487 (US$0.45) in her bank account when she started the show but walked away with ₩1.2 billion when it ended. She was later ranked 18th on Forbes Korea's Top 40 Celebrities in 2011, and among the Top 7 Female Commercial Stars in Korea as compiled by Ilgan Sports.

In February 2010, Hwang hosted MBC's Star Dance Battle together with Kim Shin-young, Oh Sang-jin, and Shin Bong-sun. Later in December, she was also one of the co-hosts of the annual music program SBS Gayo Daejeon along with Super Junior's Heechul, CNBLUE's Jung Yong-hwa, and 2AM's Jo Kwon.

Hwang then began playing leading roles in television series. Among her notable TV dramas are 1970s historical epic Giant (2010), deaf romance Listen to My Heart (2011), and medical drama Golden Time (2012). In 2013, she starred in crime comedy Incarnation of Money, followed by hit melodrama Secret Love. This was followed in 2014 by 1980-1990s set period drama, Endless Love. In 2015, she reunited with some of her former costars, namely Ji Sung from Secret Love for the romantic comedy series Kill Me, Heal Me; then with Park Seo-joon from Kill Me, Heal Me and Go Joon-hee from Listen to My Heart for another romantic comedy, She Was Pretty, which also further solidifies her popularity in China. Ize magazine named her as one of the 10 Persons of the Year and Hwang was selected as Gallup Korea's Television Actor of the Year in 2015. Less than a month after her marriage, Hwang has been cast in a romantic comedy series, Lucky Romance.

Hwang was cast in her first big screen leading role in the 2015 romantic comedy film My Sister, the Pig Lady, which was screened at the 39th Montreal World Film Festival as part of their World Greats selection. The film also won Grand Prize at the 2016 Osaka Asian Film Festival.

In 2018, Hwang returned to the small screen with romance comedy drama The Undateables. She was reunited with Namkoong Min, whom she had starred alongside seven years ago in Listen to My Heart. It was her first drama since giving birth to her son.

In 2020, Hwang has been cast in two drama series, a fantasy mystery Mystic Pop-up Bar and romantic comedy Men are Men.

Other activities

Hwang has been named as goodwill ambassador for various programs and events, such as the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in 2010, Angel (1004) Day in 2010, the Korea Medical Assistance Foundation in 2011, AD Stars (Busan International Advertising Festival) in 2012, the international relief NGO Good Neighbors in 2013, and a Seoul campaign against social problems in 2014.

Personal life

Hwang dated Kim Yong-jun for nine years. They first met in 2005, when Hwang starred in the SG Wannabe music video for My Heart's Treasure Box. The couple then publicly confirmed their relationship in January 2008. Yonhap News Agency broke the news on May 15, 2015, that the couple had ended their relationship after she wrapped up the filming of Kill Me, Heal Me. Hwang later confirmed it in her interview with KBS2's Entertainment Relay.

On December 8, 2015, Hwang's agency, C-JeS Entertainment, confirmed that she had been dating Lee Young-don, a professional golfer and businessman, for the past four months. On January 7, 2016, Hwang announced her planned marriage to Lee Young-don, with the ceremony to be held in February. On February 26, 2016, the wedding reception was held at Hotel Shilla, Seoul.

Hwang was confirmed to be four months pregnant in February 2017 and gave birth to their first child, a son, on August 15, 2017.

On September 3, 2020, after four years of marriage, Hwang's agency C-JeS Entertainment announced that Hwang had submitted an application for divorce and would start the divorce mediation process.

On July 9, 2021, agency C-JeS Entertainment announced that Hwang and her husband had mediated their divorce and decided to continue their relationship. Both of them decided to live together.

On October 12, 2021, Hwang's agency announced that is pregnant with her second child. and is expected to give birth in the next year. On March 16, 2022 she gave birth to a baby boy, her second son.


Television series

Year Title Role Network
2005 Princess Lulu Mi-so (cameo, ep. 13) SBS
Banjun Drama "Love Virus"
Banjun Drama "Memories of Love"
2007 The Person I Love Lee Jung-min
Winter Bird Jin-ah MBC
2008 Last Scandal Sa Ruby
Little Mom Scandal - Season 1 Na Hye-jung CGV
Little Mom Scandal - Season 2 Na Hye-jung
East of Eden Kim So-jung MBC
2009 Two Wives Song Ji-ho's blind date
High Kick Through the Roof Hwang Jung-eum MBC
2010 Giant Lee Mi-joo/Cha Soo-jung SBS
2011 Listen to My Heart Bong Woo-ri MBC
High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged Hwang Jung-eum
(cameo, episode 106)
2012 Golden Time Kang Jae-in
Full House Take 2 Jang Man-ok/Michelle Jang TBS/SBS Plus
2013 Incarnation of Money Bok Jae-in SBS
Potato Star 2013QR3 Noh Soo-dong's secretary
(cameo, episode 1)
Secret Love Kang Yoo-jung KBS2
2014 Endless Love Seo In-ae SBS
2015 Kill Me, Heal Me Oh Ri-jin MBC
She Was Pretty Kim Hye-jin
2016 Lucky Romance Shim Bo-nui
2018 The Undateables Yoo Jung-eum SBS
2020 Mystic Pop-up Bar Wol-joo JTBC
Men are Men Seo Hyun-ju KBS2


Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Relation of Face, Mind and Love Eun-bin Telecinema
Wish Joo-hee
2010 Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp Park Eun-su
2015 My Sister, the Pig Lady Jae-hwa

Variety show

Year Title Network Notes
2009 We Got Married - Season 2 MBC Cast member
2010 It City: Fukuoka Together
with Hwang Jung-eum
O'live Host
Ultra Fashion with Hwang Jung-eum MBC Every 1

Music video

Year Song Title Artist Costar
2005 "My Heart's Treasure Box" SG Wannabe Chun Jung-myung, Bong Tae-gyu
"A Dreamy Conversation"
2006 "Craze" Han Eun-jung
2007 "I Can't Help Liking You" Black Pearl Jung Woo
"Finally... It's You"
2008 "Shoes" SeeYa Choi Jung-won
"Crazy Love Song"
2009 "It's a Lie" Ock Joo-hyun Kim Yong-jun
"Did You Really Hate My Love?"
"Sunflower" Kim Jong-wook


Digital single

Release date Title Artist Notes
2009-09-22 "N-Time" Hwang Jung-eum feat. T-ara
2011-06-11 "Good Person" Hwang Jung-eum from Listen to My Heart OST


Release date Title Artist Notes
2008-09-26 "Going" SeeYa feat. Kim Yong-jun,
Hwang Jung-eum, Mario
from the album Brilliant Change
2009-06-12 "Couple" Kim Yong-jun feat. Hwang Jung-eum from We Got Married

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2009 3rd Mnet 20's Choice Awards Hot Couple with Kim Yong-jun We Got Married - Season 2 Won
MBC Entertainment Awards Best Female Newcomer in a Variety Show Won
Best Female Newcomer in Comedy/Sitcom High Kick Through the Roof Won
2010 46th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actress Won
3rd Korea Drama Awards Most Popular Actress Won
11th Korea Visual Arts Festival Photogenic Award, TV Actress category Won
1st Barbie & Ken Awards Korean Barbie Won
26th Korea Best Dresser Swan Awards Best Dressed, TV Actress category Won
23rd Grimae Awards Best Actress Giant Won
SBS Drama Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Special Planning Drama Nominated
New Star Award Won
Best Couple Award with Joo Sang-wook Won
2011 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Listen to My Heart Won
2012 MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Golden Time Nominated
2013 SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Drama Special Incarnation of Money Nominated
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Secret Love Won
Netizen Award, Actress Won
Best Couple Award with Ji Sung Won
2014 7th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Secret Love, Endless Love Nominated
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama Endless Love Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2015 10th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Actress Kill Me, Heal Me Won
8th Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang) Kill Me, Heal Me, She Was Pretty Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Won
Popularity Award, Actress Won
PD Award Won
Top 10 Stars Won
2016 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress She Was Pretty Nominated
43rd Korea Broadcasting Awards Best Actress Won
9th Korea Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Lucky Romance Nominated
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
7th Korea Popular Culture and Art Awards Prime Minister Award Won
2018 26th SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Wednesday-Thursday Drama The Undateables Nominated
2020 34th KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actress Men Are Men Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Nominated
2021 Seoul International Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress Pending


Name of publisher, year listed, name of listicle, and placement
Publisher Year Listicle Placement Ref.
Forbes 2010 Korea Power Celebrity 20th
2011 18th

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