Jun Ji Hyun, known for her leading role in the television series Legend of the Blue Sea 2016-2017, is a three-time SBS Drama Award-winning South Korean actress whose fame has spread beyond the shores of East Asia and touched the globe.
The amazing actress, whose real name is Wang Ji-Hyun, strove to make a name for herself as an actress, and today, through hard work and dedication, she is considered one of the top Korean actresses that people look for in movies.
Jun Ji Hyun Biography, Childhood and Family Life
The young actress, also known as Gianna Jun, was born on October 30, 1981, in the city of Seoul as the daughter of Korean parents, both born in Canada. Together with her younger brother, she was raised by her mother, who encouraged her to pursue a career as an actress instead of her former passion of becoming a flight attendant.
Jun Ji Hyun received her bachelor’s degree in theatre studies from Dongguk University. In 2017, she was already in the process of obtaining a master’s degree at the university’s Graduate School of Digital Media and Contents.
At the age of 16, the young and beautiful Ji Hyun began her journey into modeling when she was introduced to a photographer by her high school friend who was already in the modeling business. This paved her way to the actual modeling with “Ecole Magazine”, where she also took on the new name Jun Ji Hyun. Her amazing looks and posture distinguished her among her peers and earned her better contracts, which brought her more money. In fact, it was her pose, posture, and dance moves in the ad for the 1999 Samsung My Jet Printer that made her something of an icon among the young Korean population.
While working as a commercial model, Jun Ji Hyun put her acting to the test in the 1999 Korean love movie White Valentine. Although the movie didn’t reach the expected audience, it didn’t affect her rise to fame in any way. In the same year, she made her YV debut with the South Korean TV series Happy Together. The following year, she had her first full appearance in the South Korean film Il Mare alongside Korean director and producer Lee Hyun-Seung, who caused quite a stir.
Jun’s breakthrough as an actress came in 2001 when she took a leading role in the romantic comedy My Sassy Girl, which later became the most acclaimed Korean comedy of all time. The year 2006 was quite remarkable for the young actress, who found her way to Hollywood through her leading role in the English-language horror-action movie Blood: The Last Vampire. There she took on the westernized name “Gianna Jun”. The film made her more popular than she had been before and earned her several commercial roles on various Korean billboards and in TV commercials. This also led to her name being mentioned by leading filmmakers in a 2005 survey of the top ten most bankable stars in the Korean film industry.
Taking advantage of her shocking rise to fame, the young actress launched her own clothing brand, which True Religion calls Gianna. She was even the first Korean actress ever to appear in the American fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue. That’s not all, her brilliant performance in the world of entertainment helped her win a Grand Prize (Daesang) at the Baeksang Arts Awards and an SBS Drama Award in 2014. She also received the President’s Award at the Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards.
Two other potential awards she received were the Best Actress Award at the Max Movie Awards and the Grand Bell Awards for the film, which is currently the seventh film with the highest box office receipts in the history of Korean cinema. It is believed that she has an estimated net worth of $1 million.
Her Husband, Baby
Jun is married to Choi Joon-hyuk, who is not as popular as she is. She married her banker husband on April 13, 2012, at Shilla Hotel in Jangchung-dong in downtown Seoul, which hosted over 600 guests, including family members, close friends, and celebrities. Before their marriage, the two friends had been childhood friends and had been together for about two years. There were rumors that she had dated the South Korean singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor Jung Ji-Hoon before she settled down with Choi.
Choi is the grandson of Lee Young-hee, a popular South Korean designer who is best known for designing traditional Korean clothing known as hanbok. His father, Lee Jung-woo, is also a fashion designer in Jangchung-dong in downtown Seoul.
Jun and her husband welcomed their first son on February 10, 2016, in Jangchung-dong, central Seoul. Their second child, also a boy, arrived on January 26, 2018, and the couple has yet to announce the names of their children.