Lee Wan is a South Korean film and television actor who began his career as a child actor in music videos. His acting debut was on the television series ‘My Fair Lady’ in 2003, and due to his older sister Kim Tae-popularity hee’s as an actor, he landed some early roles that established him as a highly competent actor. His breakthrough role came the same year he made his acting debut in the supporting role of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. The audience adored his portrayal, and Lee began to garner attention. His lead role in ‘Snow White: Taste Sweet Love’ cemented his reputation as a bankable young actor. Around that time, his popularity in Japan soared, and he was offered the lead role in the Japanese film ‘Veronika Decides to Die’. Making waves internationally as well, Lee successfully completed some critically acclaimed Korean projects, and as his acting abilities were recognized, he established himself as one of the generation’s most competent actors. He has received awards for his performances at the SBS Drama Awards and the KBS Drama Awards.
Childhood & Adolescence
Lee Wan was born in South Korea’s Nam District on 30 January 1984. He grew up in a small family with his older sister Lee Tae-hee.
Unlike his sister, Lee was never interested in acting in television or feature films during his formative years. He was entirely focused on sports and physical training.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Kookmin University to pursue a degree in physical education and later pursued a career in sports management.
However, by the time he graduated, the acting bug had bitten him, and witnessing his sister struggle to make it as an actor shaped his psyche significantly. He worked on his appearance and educated himself on the nuances of acting before venturing into show business in the early 2000’s.
His entertainment career began with an appearance alongside his sister in a music video, where his solid presence and good looks were noticed, and he then auditioned for television roles. It wasn’t long before he landed his first acting role in 2003.
Career of Lee
Lee began her career in 2003 with a small role in the drama ‘My Fair Lady,’ which was a remake of a popular Japanese series. And it wasn’t long before he made a slightly larger appearance in the same year’s ‘Nursery Story.’
However, it was his role in the television series ‘Stairway to Heaven’ that catapulted him into prominence. Lee gained recognition for his supporting role in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as the younger version of one of the lead characters Tae-hwa. His acting abilities were recognized in the series, which was one of the reasons he was offered his next few projects, where he began playing lead roles.
He portrayed the lead role in 2004’s ‘Snow White: Sweet Taste Love,’ and the success of the comedy drama paved the way for additional lead roles to come his way. He followed it up with ‘Little Women’ the following year.
While he was gaining popularity in South Korea, his charm endeared him to Japanese audiences, and in an attempt to capitalize on his sizable Japanese following, he was offered the lead role in the Japanese-Korean co-production ‘Tree of Heaven,’ which dealt with the taboo subject of step siblings falling in love.
Following some initial controversy, the series premiered to widespread acclaim, with Lee’s performance receiving universal acclaim. Lee was also featured on the series’ soundtrack, contributing to the song ‘Where Farewells do not exist’.
This newfound success led to a role in the Japanese film ‘Veronika Decides to Die,’ which was based on the acclaimed author Paulo Coehlo’s novel of the same name. Although the film was not commercially successful, it was well received by critics and was eventually screened at the prestigious Tokyo Film Festival.
While establishing himself as an actor capable of flawlessly balancing humour and drama content, he was still a young actor. Due to Japan’s growing popularity, he preferred Japanese dramas over Korean ones. In 2007, Lee landed another ground-breaking role as the leading man in ‘Under the Magnolia,’ a Japanese romance drama about the meeting and falling in love of a Japanese woman and a Korean man.
Lee returned to South Korea following the success of the series to star in a supporting role in the series ‘In-soon is pretty’. Following this, he returned to make a cameo appearance in the Japanese drama ‘Ryokiteki na Kanojo’, which was a remake of the popular American film ‘My Sassy Girl’.
Lee starred in the South Korean drama film ‘Once Upon a Time in Seoul’ in 2008, which was based on the 1953 Korean War. Lee portrayed a tough man in the film, and while the performances and direction were lauded, the film fell short of making a splash at the box office. Lee was devastated by the film’s failure.
The success of 2009’s period drama ‘Swallow the Sun’ restored some of his credibility. Lee played a pivotal role in the drama series and received widespread acclaim for his performance.
This was followed by a two-year mandatory military service in 2010. However, by the time he returned, many things had changed, and it appeared as though Lee’s star power had waned.
He returned to the small screen in 2013 with ‘Its Not Over Yet,’ followed by a supporting role in the naval thriller ‘Northern Limit Line.’ The film received numerous major film awards nominations and was a moderate financial success.
Lee made his return to South Korean fiction television in 2016 with ‘Our Gap-soon’, where he appeared as a side character.
Lee won awards in the early stages of his career for his performances in the KBS and SBS drama series ‘Little Women’ and ‘Snow White: Taste Sweet Love’.
He has also made occasional appearances in music videos for South Korean artists such as Tei, Vibe, and Vintage Blue.
Private Life of Lee
Despite their shared industry, Lee Wan has stated openly that he and his older sister Kim Tae-hee do not have a particularly close personal relationship. He also deceived her by claiming that everyone thought he was far more attractive than his sister. He also stated on one of his variety shows that one of his co-actors was ‘thousand times prettier than his sister’.
Lee is currently single, and as is customary among South Korean actors, Lee has not yet spoken publicly about any of his relationships. However, he has been linked to a number of his co-stars.
Estimated Net worth
Lee Wan is one of the wealthiest television actors and is ranked among the most popular television actors. Lee Wan’s net worth is estimated to be around $5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.