Best known for starring in the 2016-2017 TV series titled Legend of the Blue Sea, Jun Ji Hyun is a three times SBS Drama Awards winning South Korean model turned actress, whose fame has gone beyond the shores of East Asia, touching the entire globe.
The astonishing actress whose real name is Wang Ji-Hyun strived to make a mark as an actress and today, through hard work and dedication, she is regarded as one of the top Korean actresses people look out for in the movies.
Jun Ji Hyun’s Biography, Childhood and Family Life
Also known as Gianna Jun, the young actress was born on 30 October 1981 in the city of Seoul to Korean parents who were both born in Canada and she has raised, together with her younger brother by their mother who encouraged her to take up a career in acting instead of her earlier passion to become a flight attendant.
Jun Ji Hyun earned her Bachelor’s degree in Drama at the Dongguk University. As of 2017, she was already in the process of acquiring a masters degree from the University’s Graduate School of Digital Media and Contents.
At the age of 16, young beautiful Ji Hyun started her journey into modeling as she was introduced to a photographer by her high school friend who was already in the modeling business. This paved her way into modeling proper with ‘Ecole Magazine’ where she also adopted the new name Jun Ji Hyun. Her amazing looks and posture distinguished her among her peers and further exposed her to better contracts that earned her more money. It was, in fact, her pose, posture and dance move in the Samsung My Jet Printer ad in 1999 that made her some sort of an icon among the young Korean populace.
While she engaged as a commercial model, Jun Ji Hyun gave acting a trial with the 1999 Korean romantic film White Valentine. Although the film failed to garner the expected viewership, it in no way affected her rise to fame. The same year, she made her YV debut with the South Korean TV series Happy Together. The following year she made her first full appearance in a highly publicized South Korean film Il Mare alongside the Korean film director and producer Lee Hyun-seung.
Jun’s breakthrough as an actress came in 2001 when she took up a starring role in the romantic comedy flick My Sassy Girl which later emerged as the highest rated Korean comedy of all times. 2006 was quite remarkable for the young actress who made her way to Hollywood through her leading role in the English language horror action film Blood: The Last Vampire. There, she adopted the Westernized name “Gianna Jun”. The film made her more popular than she previously was and earned her several commercial roles on several Korean billboards and television advertisements. This also led to her name being mentioned among the top ten most bankable stars in the Korean film industry by leading filmmakers in a 2005 survey.
Taking advantage of her shocking rise to fame, the young actress launched her own clothing brand known as Gianna by True Religion. She even became the very first Korean actress to feature in the American prestigious fashion and lifestyle magazine, Vogue. That’s not all, her brilliant performance in the entertainment world helped in her earning of a Grand Prize (Daesang) at the ‘Baeksang Arts Awards’ and an ‘SBS Drama Awards’ in 2014. She was also awarded the President’s Award at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards.
Two more potential awards she earned were the Best Actress award at the ‘Max Movie Awards’ and the ‘Grand Bell Awards’ for the film which is presently the seventh all-time highest-grossing film in the history of Korean cinema. She is believed to have an estimated net worth of $1 million.
Jun Ji Hyun’s Husband, Baby
Jun is married to Choi Joon-hyuk who is not as popular as she is. She got married to her banker husband on April 13, 2012, at Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul with over 600 guests, including family members, close friends, and celebrities being in attendance. Prior to their marriage, the couple were childhood friends and had dated for about two years. She was rumored to have dated a South Korean songwriter, dancer, and actor Jung Ji-Hoon before she settled down with Choi.
Choi is the grandson to Lee Young-hee, a popular South Korean designer best known for designing Korean traditional clothes known as the Hanbok. His father, Lee Jung-woo, is also a fashion designer in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul.
Jun and her husband welcomed their first son on 10 February 2016. Their second child, also a boy, came on January 26, 2018. The couple is yet to make the names of their children public.