10 Most popular Korean actresses

Credits: IU/Instagram

Read on to the list of the 10 most popular Korean actresses!

We all have found our favorites in the Korean industry. From BTS members to the Crash Landing on You fame Hyun Bin, there is something different about Korean actors and idols that sets them apart. This is why their popularity is at an all-time high.

Now, blame it on their beauty, charisma, personality, or talent; they have successfully paved their way into the hearts of people and the most popular list. But this is not about the actors.

Since the K-dramas have become so popular with strong independent characters, we have been listing out our favorite actresses!



Singer and actress, also known as Lee Ji-eun, has now cemented herself as a captivating screen presence. After conquering the K-pop world, IU set her vision on the small screen, appearing in dramas such as Dream High and The Producers.

But it was through the critically acclaimed 2018 hit My Mister that she truly proved herself as an actress. She followed that up with the ratings smash romantic drama Hotel del Luna in 2019. She may only have a few credits to her name, but each has been a gigantic success; we have every confidence that when we revisit this feature in years to come, she will have shot up the ranks.

Jun Ji-hyun


Jun Ji-hyun (also known as Gianna Jun) was one of the original pan-Asian stars, thanks to roles in hit romcoms My Sassy Girl and Windstruck. Being selective with her projects, she has appeared in very few dramas in her 25-year career, but her participation guarantees a huge reception each time.

Jun later appeared in The Legend of the Blue Sea and the Netflix spin-off film Kingdom: Ashin from the North.

Choi Ji-woo


Choi Ji-woo became one of South Korea’s brightest stars during a spectacular run of hits in the early 2000s, which included Beautiful Days, Winter Sonata, and Stairway to Heaven, just as K-dramas started to attract global attention.

She has remained a major presence on the screen ever since, headlining hit dramas such as Air City, Second Twenty, and Woman with a Suitcase. She also had her cameo on the buzzed and loved series Crash Landing On You.

Lee Young-ae


Lee Young-ae debuted on the small screen in 1993’s How’s Your Husband. But it was films like Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area (2000) and the romance One Fine Spring Day (2001) that made her a household name.

Lee retired after appearing in Park Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance in 2005, only to return to screens 12 years later in Saimdang, Memoir of Colors.

Kim Hye-soo


A leading actress since the mid-1980s, Kim Hye-soo, continues to lead with attention and her seductive screen aura. Her first major drama hit was 1999’s Did We Really Love? She later headlined the ace cable thriller Signal, which signaled a mature new direction for K-dramas.

She later appeared in the legal dramas Hyena and Juvenile Justice, as well as last year’s period drama Under the Queen’s Umbrella.

Kim Go-eun


After debuting with rave reviews in the 2012 film Eungyo, Kim Go-eun quickly turned to the small screen and soon became one of its biggest stars when she headlined two smashing hits in 2016.

These were the webtoon adaptation of Cheese in the Trap and the fantasy romance Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, in which she starred opposite Gong Yoo, followed by The King: Eternal Monarch (2020). In recent years, she has delighted viewers as the titular character of Yumi’s Cells, another hit webtoon adaptation, and enthralled them in the acclaimed drama Little Women.

Son Ye-jin


Though she’s been working in films and dramas since the beginning of her career, it was the silver screen that made Son Ye-jin famous after she became one of the most iconic romantic leads of the day in films such as Lover’s Concerto and A Moment to Remember.

Back on the small screen, she scored a hit with Something in the Rain (2018) and then the series she is most associated with today, the global hit romance Crash Landing on You, in which she shared the screen with now husband Hyun Bin.

Gong Hyo-jin


Though not as instantly recognizable to international viewers as other names on this list, Gong Hyo-jin has been one of Korea’s biggest stars for two decades and one of its chief K-dramas.

This run began alongside Gong Yoo in 2005’s Hello My Teacher and has included timeless dramas such as Pasta, Master’s Sun, It’s Okay, That’s Love, The Producers, and When the Camellia Blooms.

Kim Hye-ja


Screen legend Kim Hye-ja debuted 60 years ago and has appeared in over 90 shows, many of them cultural landmarks at different points of South Korea’s modern history. She is best known internationally for her role in Bong Joon-ho’s Mother, along with her other roles in Mom’s Dead Upset, Dear My Friends, and Our Blues.

Song Hye-kyo


Long admired by fans for her beauty and poise, Song Hye-kyo has been capturing hearts and ratings for close to 25 years. After debuting in the mid-1990s, Song became a leading K-drama name thanks to the romance Autumn in My Heart and a string of other hits, including All In and Full House. Song soared to new heights in the smash hit Descendants of the Sun, famously marrying and divorcing her co-star Song Joong-ki.

She most recently gripped viewers as the vengeful lead in the brutal school bullying saga The Glory on Netflix.