Joo Sang-wook is a well-known South Korean actor who began his career in lesser roles until landing his big break in the television series ‘Giant’ after completing his mandatory military service. He went on to star in primetime serials such as ‘The Thorn Birds,’ ‘Good Doctor,’ and ‘Birth of a Beauty,’ which helped him become a household figure in South Korea. He’s also proven to be a versatile movie star, with appearances in films like ‘No Mercy’ and ‘The Huntresses,’ which received favorable reviews from critics. He has made guest appearances on prominent variety shows such as ‘Running Man,’ ‘Healing Camp – Aren’t You Happy,’ and ‘Showbiz Korea – Star Lounge.’ He has appeared in music videos for several South Korean artists in addition to his film and television career. He won the SBS Drama Accolades’ New Star Award and Best Couple Award for his role in the television series ‘Giant,’ and went on to win numerous other awards at various ceremonies. He is blissfully married to Cha Ye-ryun, his co-star from the TV series ‘Glamorous Temptation.’
Childhood and Adolescence
Joo Sang-Wook was born on July 18, 1978, into a middle-class household in Seoul, South Korea. His parents brought him up in Seoul.
Joo has always aspired to be an actor and was involved in cultural activities at school since he was a toddler. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Namseoul University to get a degree in Visual Design in order to pursue a career in show business.
He didn’t have many relationships in the sector, which made it much more difficult for him to break in. At the age of 30, he was finally discovered after completing his mandatory military service.
The Career of Joo
He began acting at the age of 21 with tiny roles in television dramas such as ‘Docu X’ and ‘New Generation Report: Adults Don’t Know,’ however he was only discovered afterward.
It took him some time to gather experience and branch out into filmmaking. He first starred in the film ‘Arang’ in 2006, followed by a role in the television series ‘Air City.’
In 2010, he had his big break in the SBS television series ‘Giant,’ in which he played the evil guy. For his performance in the serial, he received the SBS Drama Awards’ Best New Star Award. He’s often joked about his late recognition, claiming that he’s still young and has a long career ahead of him.
He got a break, and the following year he gave a fantastic performance in the KBS2 network’s serial “The Thorn Birds.” He did an excellent job portraying a tragic character who is an illegitimate child who has faced life’s challenges on his own.
With appearances in prime-time television serials such as ‘Good Doctor’ in 2013 and ‘Birth of a Beauty in 2014, he quickly became a household celebrity. His most recent serials, ‘Glamorous Temptations’ and ‘Fantastic TV Series,’ are both quite successful in his homeland.
Joo Sang-Wook was always eager to make his big-screen debut. Following his debut film in 2006, he made a cameo appearance in ‘The Perfect Couple’ the following year. With performances in films like ‘My Wife Got Married,’ ‘No Mercy,’ and ‘The Scent,’ he quickly established himself as a versatile performer.
He recently appeared in the films Days of Wrath and ‘The Huntresses,’ in which he played the lead part. In his latest film, ‘Trot,’ fans will see more of him as Jae-gu.
He began to receive invitations for guest appearances on numerous variety shows, including ‘Happy Together,’ ‘Running Man,’ ‘Healing Camp, Aren’t You Happy,’ and ‘Showbiz Korea – Star Lounge,’ as a result of his celebrity status.
In 2012-2013, he was a regular cast member on the variety program ‘Qualifications of Men,’ for which he won the Best Male Newcomer Award for Actor in a Variety Show.
He has been in music videos and the discography of a few South Korean songs in addition to cinema and television.
His dedication to his profession has earned him the admiration of his peers, as well as prominent directors and producers in the industry. As time passes, his ultimate goal is to direct and produce television shows.
Joo’s Major Projects
He has starred in television dramas such as ‘New Generation Report: Adults Don’t Know (1998), ‘Air City’ (2007), ‘One Mom and Three Dads’ (2008), ‘The Accidental Couple’ (2009), ‘Giant’ (2010), ‘The Thorn Birds (2011), ‘Feats of the Gods’ (2012), ‘Good Doctor’ (2013), ‘Birth of a Beauty (2014), ‘Glamorous Temp (2016).
‘Arang’ (2006), ‘The Perfect Couple’ (2007), ‘My Wife Got Married (2008), ‘No Mercy’ (2010), ‘The Scent’ (2012), ‘Days of Wrath (2013), ‘The Huntresses’ (2014), and ‘Trot’ (2015) are some of his notable films (2015).
He was a cast member of the variety show ‘Qualifications of Men’ (2012-2013) and a guest on ‘Taxi,’ ‘Happy Together,’ ‘Win-Win,’ ‘Running Man,’ ‘Invincible Youth,’ ‘Healing Camp – Aren’t You Happy,’ and ‘Showbiz Korea – Star Lounge.’
He has appeared in the music videos for Jeong Seung-‘Stay won’s the Night,’ The See-‘Be ya’s With You,’ and Hello Venus’s ‘Venus.’
Achievements & Awards
For his work in ‘Giant,’ he won the New Star Award and the Best Couple Award (with Hwang Jung-Eun) at the SBS Drama Awards event in 2010.
For his roles in ‘Giant’ and ‘The Thorn Birds,’ he earned the Model Star Award at the 6th Asian Model Festival, the Diamond Award (Actor) at the 5th Asian Jewellery Awards, and Best Supporting Actor at the 4th Korean Drama Awards the following year.
In 2012, he won the KBS Entertainment Awards for Best Male Newcomer in a Variety Show for his performance in ‘Qualifications of Men.’
In 2013, he received the Herald Donga TV Lifestyle Awards’ Best Dress Award and the KBS Drama Awards’ Excellence Award (Actor in a Mid-length Drama) for ‘Good Doctor.’
In 2014, his performance in ‘Birth of a Beauty’ earned him the SBS Drama Awards’ Top 10 Stars Award and Best Couple Award (with Han Ye-Seul).
Joo’s Personal Experiences
In March 2016, Joo stated that he was dating actress Cha Ye-Ryun. They met while filming ‘Glamorous Temptation,’ a television series. The pair married on May 25, 2017, at a ceremony held at the Grand Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, and honeymooned in Hawaii.
Estimated Net worth
Lee Sang-Wook is a well-known actor who is also one of the wealthiest. Lee Sang-net wook’s worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Because he played the part of a CEO in several serials, he was dubbed “The CEO King” by his fans.