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Cheongju, South Korea
Birth Sign
Cheongju, South Korea

Lee Jin-wook is a South Korean actor and model who is best known for his roles in the romantic television series ‘Glass Castle’ and ‘The Time We Were Not in Love’. As a child, Lee was fascinated by baseball but never considered a career in acting. It wasn’t until he pursued engineering that his interest peaked and he entered the acting business. After making his on-screen debut in 2004 with a small role in ‘Resurrection,’ he continued to appear in small roles in TV series and made his film debut in 2014 with a supporting role in ‘Miss Granny.’ Eventually, Lee began to land better and larger roles, and with his extended roles in the series ‘Air City,’ ‘Before and After,’ and ‘Smile Again,’ he established himself as one of the industry’s most sought-after young actors. Everything changed when Lee made his film debut in ‘Nine: Nine Time Travels’. The film revitalized Lee’s career and laid the groundwork for him to land one of the lead roles in ‘The Target,’ an action thriller film. Throughout his career, he has won an SBS Drama Award and a Mnet 20’s Choice Award, as well as being nominated for a few others.

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Childhood & Adolescence

Lee Jin-wook was born into a middle-class family in Cheongju, South Korea on 16th September 1981. Growing up in a fairly conservative household, he was in awe of his favorite television and film stars, but becoming an actor was never the path he anticipated for his life. Rather than that, he concentrated on his studies and played baseball whenever he could.

He was a natural actor, and as he grew older, his parents became aware of Lee’s proclivity for making amusing expressions and joked that he might make a really good actor. What began as a joke evolved into a suggestion that little Lee took to heart and began dreaming. However, it vanished when he entered high school and chose to concentrate on his academics.

He began his college career at Cheongju University in the Environmental Engineering department after graduating from high school, but was never able to maintain his concentration on his studies. During his college years, he realized that he was uninterested in engineering and that his true calling lay elsewhere.

He then dropped out of college and began looking for modeling jobs, which he believed was an excellent way to gain exposure to the industry. After months of unsuccessful attempts, he was hired in 2003 to appear in a print advertisement for the electronics company Panasonic. After completing a few additional modeling assignments, he took the leap and increased his appearances at acting auditions.

To hone his acting skills further, he appeared in a short film titled ‘My New Boyfriend,’ in which he played the lead role. The short film served as an excellent showcase for his talent, which he presented to agents and eventually landed his first acting role in 2005.

Career of Lee

Lee began his acting career in 2005 with the film ‘Resurrection,’ in a minor role that went unnoticed. However, in the series ‘Alone in Love,’ he played a stalker and a wealthy young man who turns his back on his father’s money. He received only a token of appreciation for the latter.

Lee starred as a popular former high school student in the 2006 series ‘Smile Again’ as one of the storyline’s three main leads. The drama, which began well, eventually saw a decline in ratings as the series progressed, and thus did not prove to be very profitable for the cast members or the producers.

Lee then starred in another supporting role in the drama ‘Air City,’ which focused on the Korean air force and was filmed almost entirely at Incheon airport. Lee portrayed a feisty security officer. Although the series was a modest success in South Korea, it garnered significant attention in Japan and Thailand, where broadcast rights were sold to a few other neighboring countries.

In 2008, Lee was cast as one of the lead characters in the romantic drama series ‘Glass Castle,’ in which he portrayed a wealthy and charming man who successfully courted the lead lady, Yoon So-yi. Lee received nominations for his portrayal at the Korean Drama Awards and the KBS Drama Awards, but was unable to win either award.

In 2009, Lee enlisted for the mandatory military training and, while bonding with other actor friends, gained a new perspective on his career.

Lee returned to acting with ‘Myung-wol the Spy,’ a romantic drama in which he portrayed a North Korean secret agent. His performance drew widespread praise.

In 2012, Lee starred as a woman’s on-again, off-again boyfriend in the romantic comedy ‘I Need Romance 2012,’ which was another box office smash. However, he was still waiting for the role that would establish him as ideal material for leading roles in blockbuster films and television series, a luxury he would be denied until the following year.

Lee starred as a TV news anchor in ‘Nine: Nine Time Travels,’ a science fiction thriller about a man who travels back and forth in time to avenge his family. Lee received the Mnet 20’s Choice Award for Best Drama Star and was nominated for the Korea Drama Awards’ highly coveted Daesang Award for his portrayal of a broken and vengeful man.

The success of the series enabled Lee to branch out into film with 2014’s ‘Miss Granny,’ a comedy film in which Lee played a supporting role. The success of the film provided Lee with additional opportunities in film, and he appeared as the lead in ‘The Target,’ a thriller in which he played the role of a retired Mercenary.

Lee was re-signed by the producers of ‘Nine: Nine Time Travels’ to lead the cast of period drama ‘The Three Musketeers,’ in which he portrayed Crown Prince Sohyeon. The series was a success, and Lee followed it up with another, ‘The Time we were not in Love,’ a remake of an award-winning Taiwanese drama.

Lee’s film career flourished during this time period as well, with the comedy ‘The Beauty Inside’ and the thriller ‘Time Renegade’.

Private life of Lee

Lee Jin-personal wook’s life has been every bit as complicated as the thrillers with which he has enchanted his fans. In July 2016, a woman sued Lee for rape, alleging that the actor followed her home one night and raped her. Lee countersued the woman for defamation. Lee was found innocent in court, and the woman faced charges and jail time.

Lee has been more or less candid about his personal life since 2007, when he began dating actress Choi Ji-woo. The couple separated in 2011. Lee began dating Gong Hyo-jin in 2014, but the couple broke up a few months later. Lee is currently single.

 Estimated Net Worth

The net worth of Lee is $3-$5million.