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Seoul, South Korea
Birth Sign
Seoul, South Korea

Jo Seung-woo is a well-known South Korean actor who has built a name for himself in the entertainment industry with his diverse and powerful performances in films, stage musicals, and television shows. His main appearances in films such as ‘Marathon,’ ‘Tazza: The High Rollers,’ and ‘Inside Men,’ as well as stage musicals such as ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch,’ and ‘Jekyll & Hyde,’ have further increased his popularity and recognition, earning him several honors and accolades. Jo wanted to be a musical actor because she came from a musical household. He made his acting debut, though, in the Korean Pansori film ‘Chunhyang’ in 2000. Other big screen films followed, in which he demonstrated his versatility and acting ability. His major break came with the South Korean hit film ‘Marathon,’ which catapulted him to prominence and paved the path for films like ‘Tazza: The High Rollers’ and ‘Inside Men.’ In the year 2000, he began acting in stage musicals and went on to become one of the most well-known actors, with roles in films such as ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch,’ and ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ He made his television debut considerably later in his career, winning the prestigious Daesang (Grand Prize) at the MBC Drama Awards for his first TV performance in ‘Horse Doctor.’

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Childhood and Adolescence

Jo Seung-woo was born in Seoul, South Korea, on March 28, 1980. His father, Jo Kyung-soo, is a singer, while his older sister, Jo Seo-yeon, is a musical theatre actor. Since his boyhood, this has pushed him to pursue a career as a musical artist.

With high school, he was so engrossed in musicals that his studies took a back seat. Instead of literature, he would frequently take musical CDs in his luggage.

A Career of Jo Seung-woo

Dankook University is his alma mater. During his time at university, he auditioned for the starring role of Lee Mong-ryong in the Korean Pansori film ‘Chunhyang,’ where he was chosen out of a thousand candidates.

Chunhyang was directed by Im Kwon-taek and premiered on January 29, 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival. Despite its commercial failure, the picture received positive critical reviews as well as multiple accolades and nominations.

In 2000, he made his musical theatre debut with ‘Blood Brothers,’ followed by several local musical productions such as ‘The Last Empress’ (2000-2001) and ‘Subway Line 1’. (2001).

Jo’s performances in films like ‘Wanee & Junah’ (2001) and ‘The Classic’ (2003), as well as musicals like ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ (2002) and ‘Carmen’ (2003), garnered him positive reviews and increased his reputation.

The 2005 blockbuster film ‘Marathon,’ based on the life of autistic marathon runner Bae Hyeong-jin, gave him his big break. It earned US$33,284,089 at the box office, making it the fourth most popular Korean film of that year.

In the film ‘Marathon,’ Jo played Bae Hyeong-jin. His outstanding performance as an autistic young man who finds peace only in zebras and the Korean snack choco pie, in which he co-starred with Kim Mi-sook, garnered him widespread acclaim and fame.

In 2005, he received multiple honors and nominations for his work in ‘Marathon,’ including the Grand Bell Award for Best Actor and the Baeksang Arts Award for Best Actor.

In 2005, he appeared in the songs ‘Another Side of Memory’ and ‘Prayer to Overcome Sadness’ by the South Korean rock band Boohwal.
Jo continues to gain critical acclaim and popularity for his parts in hit musicals such as ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ (2004–2005, 2006, 2010–2011, and 2014–2015) and ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ (2004–2005, 2006, 2010–2011, and 2014–2015). (2005, 2007, 2013 and 2014). Eventually, his fame in musicals grew to the point where his fans would rush to get seats.

In the 2006 romance drama ‘Love Phobia,’ he co-starred with Kang Hye-jung, his then-girlfriend. Despite the appreciation for the two actors’ performances, the film did not do well at the box office.
Following that, he played Kim Goni in the South Korean gambling film “Tazza: The High Rollers,” which was based on Huh Young-man and Kim Se-manhwa yeong’s of the same name.

It was released on September 28, 2006, and was a tremendous critical and commercial success, generating US$39,212,715 at the box office, making it one of the largest blockbuster films in Korean cinema history.

‘Tazza: The High Rollers’ is one of his most well-known films, earning him a number of prizes and nominations, including the Best Actor award at the Korea Movie Star Awards and the Jury Award – Best Feature Actor at the Newport Beach Film Festival in 2007.

On December 15, 2008, he enlisted in the South Korean military for two years of required military service.
With ‘Jekyll and Hyde,’ he made a triumphant return to musical theater in 2010. All of Jo’s scheduled performances were quickly sold out, and the online reservation site crashed within fifteen minutes of its launch due to the strong demand for tickets.

Jo played Choi in the 2011 sports film ‘Perfect Game,’ which was based on the true story of legendary pitchers and rivals Choi Dong-won of the Lotte Giants and Sun Dong-yeol of the Haitai Tigers. At the box office, the film earned $9,966,609 dollars.

In 2012, he stepped in for Ju Ji-hoon, who was suffering from a vocal chord condition, to portray the lead character of Yuri Zhivago in the smash hit musical ‘Doctor Zhivago.’

Jo made his television debut with the South Korean historical medical drama ‘Horse Doctor,’ after reigning in both big-screen and musical theatre plays for years. The series was based on the true story of Jo’s character, Baek Gwang-hyeon, a Joseon Dynasty veterinarian.

From October 1, 2012, to March 25, 2013, MBC broadcasted 50 episodes of ‘Horse Doctor.’ In 2012, Jo won two MBC Drama Awards for his outstanding performance as the main character, including the coveted Daesang Award (Grand Prize).

The part of Woo Jang-hoon in the November 2015 neo noir political crime action ‘Inside Men’ was his next noteworthy big-screen production. ‘Inside Men’ was a major commercial success, becoming the highest-earning R-rated film in Korean box office history, grossing US$62.95 million.

Jo’s other notable works include the musicals ‘Man of La Mancha’ (2007, 2013–2014, and 2015), ‘Zorro’ (2011–2012), ‘Werther’ (2015–2016), and ‘Hedwig: New Makeup’ (2016); TV series ‘God’s Gift – 14 Days’ (2015) and ‘Secret Forest’ (2017); and movie ‘The Sword with No Name’ (2009). (2012).

Estimated Net Worth

Jo is one of the wealthiest and most well-known actors in Hollywood. Jo Seung-net woo’s worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.