|Occupation||Actor, singer, director|
|Revised Romanization||Jang Keun-seok|
Jang Keun-suk (Korean: 장근석; Hanja: 張根碩) is a South Korean actor and singer. He is best known for starring in the Korean television dramas Beethoven Virus (2008), You're Beautiful (2009), Mary Stayed Out All Night (2010), Love Rain (2012), Pretty Man (2013), The Royal Gambler (2016) and Switch (2018).
Jang started working as a child model at the age of five after he was discovered by a talent agent. At that time, Jang's parents were selling their house and the agent, who was a prospective buyer, saw Jang. Seeing his potential, the agent advised Jang's parents to allow him to try a career in modeling.
Jang made his acting debut in the 1997 HBS (now Channel CGV) sitcom Selling Happiness. He then continued to work in television as a child actor. Studying in New Zealand at the time, a role in the popular MBC sitcom Nonstop 4 brought him back to South Korea.
In 2006, Jang debuted on the big screen in the Japanese horror film One Missed Call: Final where he played the role of a deaf boy. He next played the first love of famous gisaeng Hwang Jini (played by Ha Ji-won) in the period drama Hwang Jini.
In 2008, Jang would go on to act in two more music-inspired projects with the film Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do, and the MBC drama Beethoven Virus opposite Kim Myung-min, in which he played a trumpet player in an orchestra. He also starred in the KBS drama, Hong Gil-dong as the fictional brother of King Gwanghae who vies for Joseon's throne. Afterwards, he starred opposite Moon Mason in the movie Baby and I.
2009–2013: Overseas popularity
Jang gained more recognition after starring in You're Beautiful (2009), playing the leader of fictional K-pop band A.N.Jell, who falls in love with a fellow band member who is a girl pretending to be her twin brother (played by Park Shin-hye). The series gained a cult following, and earned high ratings in Japan.
The same year, he took on his first villain role in the thriller The Case of Itaewon Homicide, based on the real-life Itaewon murder case in which a young Korean-American was accused of stabbing a Korean student to death. Jang spoke his lines in English throughout the entire film, and Beyond Hollywood praised him as having "performed very well" in the role.
In 2010, he starred opposite Moon Geun-young in the romantic comedy series Mary Stayed Out All Night. This was followed by another rom-com You're My Pet, adapted from the Japanese manga Kimi wa Petto in which a younger man willingly becomes the "pet" of a career woman (played by Kim Ha-neul). In 2011, Jang starred in the short film Budapest Diary, reportedly participated in the writing and location scouting for the film.
Jang then worked with TV director Yoon Seok-ho on the melodrama series Love Rain, in which he and costar Im Yoon-ah played dual roles in the 1970s and 2012. The drama garnered much positive overseas interest and was sold to Japan for $10 million, the second highest price for a KBS drama at the time, partly due to Jang's popularity.
2015: Scandal and hiatus, directorial debut
Jang filmed the reality show Three Meals a Day: Fishing Village with Cha Seung-won and Yoo Hae-jin, which was supposed to air in January 2015. But a supposed tax evasion controversy in which a fine was paid of ₩10 billion (US$9.27 million) for his agency under-reporting taxes led to him dropping out of the program. He had previously been involved in similar rumors in October 2014 as well (though the rumor was denied). Though Jang was found not guilty as it was his agency's unintentional accounting mistake, he decided to leave the program and his scenes were edited out. He went on a hiatus in Korea after that, and focused largely on overseas activities.
That same year, Jang launched his directorial debut with the short film Camp, participating in the planning and directing stages in collaboration with director Yoon Hong-seung. Filmed in Jeju Island, Camp captures events that occur during Jang's attempts to film wild animals in the mountains as a documentary director. It topped the weekly film section of the Oricon Chart.
He expressed his desire to be recognized as an actor in Korea again, saying that "You may be a Hallyu star, but without a domestic base, it can feel empty." He announced that he will be selecting an "aggressive" range of movies and TV series to work on in 2016.
Jang made a successful comeback in 2016 with Mnet's music survival show Produce 101, where 101 trainee girls competing against each other for their debut. He acts as the host and mentor of the show, making significant contributions in introducing the program to viewers and making the program more suspenseful.
Jang then starred in the historical drama The Royal Gambler where he played a gambler who rivals the King. Though it had lower viewership ratings, the series marked a turning point in Jang's career and allowed him to overcome his fixed image as a "pretty boy" and expand his acting roles. The same year, Jang directed the short film The Great Legacy, which centers on a man who is obsessed with finding the bankbook left by his unconscious father. The film was invited to screen at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.
Jang's first single as a singer, "Let Me Cry," was released by Pony Canyon in Japan on April 27, 2011. "Let Me Cry" debuted at number 1 on Japan's Oricon single charts, selling 119,149 copies on its first week of release, making him the first non-Japanese act to have the debut single to debut at number 1 on the charts. This won him Best New Artist in the 26th Japan Gold Disc Awards.
In September 2011, Jang teamed up with Big Brother (known as Team H) and released their first Chinese album, an EP titled The Lounge H Vol.1 in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and throughout Southeast Asia. The album eventually reached platinum sales. Team H later won Best Selling Album and Best Korean Album at the 2012 IFPI Hong Kong Record Sales Awards.
In May 2012, Jang released his first full-length Japanese album, titled Just Crazy. It debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon daily singles chart with 53,000 copies sold, and again topped the weekly singles chart with 88,009 copies sold. Jang became the first male artist to top the Oricon Weekly Chart with a debut album, and the first time in Oricon history for a foreign male artist to claim such a feat in Japan. An eight-page advertisement promoting the album was awarded a prize by the Japanese Press Association. Jang then embarked on his second Asia tour to promote the album.
In February 2013, Team H released their third album titled I Just Wanna Have Fun in both Japan and China, which consists of 12 electronic tracks. The duo held their first concert, 2013 Team H Party - I Just Wanna Have Fun in Japan; and embarked on a series of concert throughout China, Thailand, Taiwan and America.
In May 2013, Jang released his second Japanese album, Nature Boy, which consists of 11 tracks, including the promotional singles "Nature Boy" and "Indian Summer" as well as a self-written track titled "Love Letter". The album debuted at the top of the Oricon Daily Chart, selling 43,000 copies. From 2013 to 2014, Jang embarked on his first Zepp tour which traveled to different cities in Japan for a total of 14 concerts.
In 2014, Jang project band, Team H, released its third full-length album titled Driving to the Highway consisting of fourteen tracks. The duo then embarked on a concert tour in Japan titled "Raining on the dance floor", which traveled to four different cities for a total of eight concerts.
In February 2015, Jang released his third solo album ‘Monochrome’ to celebrate his fifth anniversary in Japan. Monochrome placed third on both the ‘Oricon’ album daily and weekly chart. He also launched the 2015 "Jang Keun Suk The Cri Show 3" around Japan. The tour, which began with the Osaka concert on March 14, has completely sold out tickets for the 12 hall concerts in six cities (Osaka, Niigata, Fukuoka, Okayama, Shizuika, Hokkaido) and four arena concerts in two cities (Kobe, Tokyo), for a total of 16 concerts.
In September 2015, Jang held the "Jang Keun Suk Live in Seoul 2015" concert at the Changchun Stadium in Seoul. It was Jang's first solo concert in Korea in three years. On October 24 Jang held a concert in Shanghai which was a comeback concert in China since 2013, followed by 4 concerts in Japan in the end of November.
In August 2016, Jang released a new Japanese single titled "Darling, Darling". Jang then kicked off his Asia tour "It's Show Time", performing in Seoul, Japan and China. He went on to unveil two more singles, "Endless Summer" and "Dakishimetai" the same year.
In August 2017, Jang dropped his 4th full-length album Voyage with a total of 14 songs, including three singles released in 2016. The album took second place on the Oricon daily and weekly charts, selling over 21,000 copies the first day.
In the media
Jang has been referred to as the "Prince of Asia" due to his overwhelming popularity in the region, particularly China and Japan. In 2012, Jang became the first Hallyu star to be featured on a Japanese stamp. In 2013, his followers on Chinese networking social site Weibo surpassed 10 million, the greatest number of followers on Weibo for a Korean celebrity.
Jang started his mandatory military service on July 16, 2018. He served as a social office worker following his diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2011, which classified him as ineligible for active duty in the military. He served at Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters and completed his military service on May 29, 2020.
In 2010, Jang became the youngest to be named PR Ambassador for Seoul.
Jang was named promotional ambassador of the Nuclear Safety Summit in 2011.
In 2016, Jang was appointed as a public ambassador for the media art exhibition “Van Gogh Inside: Festival of Music and Light".
Jang often donates to charitable causes; in 2011 he donated 10.1 million yen from his charity event for its earthquake and tsunami victims to the Japanese Red Cross; in 2012 he donated an unprecedented sum of 1.2 billion won to his school; in 2013 he donated 100 million won through UNICEF to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines. In 2017, it was revealed that he helped a Mongolian teenager get treatment for ovarian cancer in South Korea by helping to pay for the patient's trip and medical expenses.
His fanclub also makes donations frequently, such as to The Snail of Love, an organization that supports people with hearing impairments. and to the Namsanwon orphanage. In 2015, Jang volunteered at the said orphanage together with his fans.
In 2016, Jang stated that he wished to create a charity foundation to take his philanthropic activities a step further.
|2006||One Missed Call: Final||Ahn Jin-wo||Japanese film|
|2007||The Happy Life||Park Hyeon-jun|
|2008||Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do||Shin Eun-gyu|
|Baby and I||Han Joon-soo|
|Crazy Waiting||Park Won-jae|||
|2009||The Case of Itaewon Homicide||Robert J. Pearson|
|2011||Budapest Diary||Keun-Suk||Short film|
|2011||You're My Pet||Kang In-ho ("Momo")|
|2015||Camp||Film director & lead role||Short film|
|2018||Human, Space, Time and Human||Adam|
|2000||School 3||Kang Won-seok's younger brother||KBS2|
|2001||Ladies of the Palace||young Jeong Ryeom||SBS|
|Four Sisters||young Lee Young-hoon||MBC|
|The Great Ambition||young Park Si-young|
|The Owl Museum||Lee Jung-woo||KBS2||Drama Special|
|2005||Lovers in Prague||Yoon Gun-hee||SBS|
|Hwang Jini||Kim Eun-ho||KBS2|
|2008||Hong Gil-dong||Lee Chang-hwi|
|Beethoven Virus||Kang Gun-woo||MBC|
|2009||You're Beautiful||Hwang Tae-kyung||SBS|
|2010||Marry Me, Mary!||Kang Mu-gyul||KBS2|
|2011||Ikemen desu ne||Himself||TBS||Cameo, Episode 8|
|2012||Love Rain||Seo In-ha/Seo Joon||KBS2|
|2013||Pretty Man||Dokgo Ma-te|
|2016||The Royal Gambler||Baek Dae-gil||SBS|
|2017||A Korean Odyssey||Gong Jak||tvN||Cameo, Episode 3|
|2018||Switch||Sa Do-chan / Baek Joon-soo||SBS|
|2007||Inkigayo||Co-host with Kim Heechul|
|2012||The Center of the New Hallyu, I Am Jang Keun-suk||Reality show|
|2016||Produce 101||Mentor and MC|
|2016||Candy In My Ear||Cast|
- 2012: Jang Keun Suk Love Recipe
Awards and nominations
|2006||Mnet Top 100||Charming Guys Who are Single||N/A||Won|
|Adorable Males||N/A||Rank #29|
|KBS Drama Awards||Best Couple Award (with Ha Ji-won)||Hwang Jini||Won|||
|Best New Actor||Nominated|
|2007||Mnet Top 100||Must Have Males||N/A||Rank #3|
|10th Director's Cut Awards||Best New Actor||The Happy Life||Won|||
|28th Blue Dragon Film Awards||Best New Actor||Nominated|
|6th Korean Film Awards||Best New Actor||Nominated|
|2008||44th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actor (Film)||Won|||
|17th Buil Film Awards||Best New Actor||Nominated|
|45th Grand Bell Awards||Best New Actor||Nominated|
|2nd Korea Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor||Beethoven Virus||Nominated|
|MBC Drama Awards||Best New Actor||Won|||
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Hong Gil-dong||Nominated|
|Popularity Award, Actor||Won|||
|2009||46th Grand Bell Awards||Best Supporting Actor||The Case of Itaewon Homicide||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama Special||You're Beautiful||Nominated|
|Netizen Popularity Award||Won|||
|Top 10 Stars||Won|
|2010||46th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actor (Film)||The Case of Itaewon Homicide||Won|||
|Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards||Top Buzz Male Korea Star||N/A||Won|||
|Top Buzz Male Asia Star||N/A||Won|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Mary Stayed Out All Night||Nominated|
|Netizen Award, Actor||Won|||
|Best Couple Award (with Moon Geun-young)||Won|
|2011||15th Global Chinese Music Awards||Most Popular Korean Artist||N/A||Won|||
|Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards||Commendation from the Ministry of Culture and Finance||N/A||Won|||
|3rd Asian Jewelry Awards||World Star Award||N/A||Won|||
|19th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards||Hallyu Grand Prize||N/A||Won|||
|Yahoo! Asia Buzz Awards||Taiwan Top Searched Single Korean Artist||N/A||Won|||
|2012||26th Japan Gold Disc Awards||Best 3 New Artists (with 2PM and B2ST)||N/A||Won|||
|10th IFPI Hong Kong Record Sales Awards||Best Selling Korean Album (with Big Brother)||The Lounge H Vol. 1||Won|||
|48th Baeksang Arts Awards||Most Popular Actor (Film)||You're My Pet||Won|||
|Huading Awards||Top 100 Asian Celebrities||N/A||Rank #3|
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama||Love Rain||Nominated|
|2013||27th Japan Gold Disc Awards||Best 3 Albums||Just Crazy||Won|||
|KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries||Pretty Man||Nominated|
|Best Couple Award (with IU)||Nominated|
|2016||5th APAN Star Awards||Best Actor in a Serial Drama (excellence award)||The Royal Gambler||Nominated|
|SBS Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial Drama||Won|||
|Top 10 Stars Award||Won|
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- "[10LINE] Actor Jang Keun-suk". Asiae. 19 April 2011.
- Nelson College Old Boys' Register, 1856–2006, 6th edition
- 장근석, 가능성과 끼로 똘똘 뭉친 10대. Star News (in Korean). 20 December 2004.
- "장근석, SBS '프라하의 연인'서 대통령 아들로 안방 컴백". Sports Chosun (in Korean). 11 August 2005.
- 장근석, ‘착신아리 파이널’로 일본 진출 본격화. Osen (in Korean). 4 June 2006.
- 장근석 열연 '착신아리 파이널' 6월 한일 동시 개봉. My Daily (in Korean). 21 May 2006.
- 장근석, '황진이' 첫촬영..관광객에 '인기'. Star News (in Korean). 1 September 2016.
- 장근석 '대박'으로 사극 도전, 과거 '황진이·'쾌도 홍길동' 보니 '사극 프린스!'. SE Daily (in Korean). 29 January 2016.
- "Jang Geun-suk, "I'm living a 'Happy Life'"". Hancinema. 6 September 2007.
- "장근석, SBS '인기가요' 새 MC 발탁". Osen (in Korean). 22 February 2007.
- 장근석, ‘도레미파솔라시도’에서 차예련과 호흡. My Daily (in Korean). 7 June 2006.
- "Dramas Bring Hero, Gamblers and Orchestra". The Korea Times. 9 September 2008.
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- "Jang Geun-suk, becomes a father". Hancinema. 26 June 2008.
- ‘미남이시네요’가 ‘아이리스’에 기죽지 않는 이유 - 일간스포츠. JoongAng Ilbo (in Korean). 30 October 2009. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- "Korean drama "Minamishineyo" scores top rating in Japan". 10Asia. 5 August 2010.
- "Jang Geun-seok "You're Beautiful" beats "Winter Sonata"". HanCinema. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- [장근석] 어쩌면, 성장통은 끝났다. Cine21 (in Korean). 14 September 2009.
- "Jang Geun-suk to play Indie rocker in new drama". Hancinema. 10 September 2010.
- "Jang Keun-suk to star in film "You're My Pet"". Asiae. 6 April 2010.
- "Jang Keun-suk Defends Slavish Portrayal of Men in 'You're My Pet'". The Chosun Ilbo. 12 November 2011.
- "Kim Ha Neul and Jang Keun Suk Turn On the Cute for 'You're My Pet'". enewsWorld. 20 October 2011. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
- "Actor Jang Geun-suk aims to direct". Korea JoongAng Daily. 31 October 2011.
- "Jang Keun-suk and Yoona of Girls' Generation to play lovers in new drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. 24 March 2014.
- "Not just another rom-com for Jang Keun-suk". The Korea Herald. 23 March 2012.
- "Jang Keun Suk and Yoona (of SNSD)'s Love Rain is sold to twelve countries". Star News (in Korean). 11 May 2012. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
- "'Love Rain' Expected to Bring Big Profits From Sales Abroad". enewsWorld. 30 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-01-06.
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- "Jang allegedly evaded taxes". Korea JoongAng Daily. 18 October 2014.
- "Jang Geun-suk and Rain deny allegations of tax evasion". The Korea Herald. 5 July 2014.
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- "Jang Geun-suk's directorial debut tops Japanese chart". The Korea Herald. 25 March 2015.
- "Actor Jang speaks out about plans". The Korea Times. 1 January 2016.
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- "Jang Keun-suk back in epic drama". The Korea Times. 29 January 2016.
- "Jang proves he's a serious actor in 'Jackpot'". The Korea Times. 23 May 2016.
- "Jang Keun-suk: 'Jackpot' is not a hit, but that's okay". The Korea Herald. 20 May 2016.
- "Actor Jang Keun-suk to attend int'l film festival as director". The Korea Times. 12 May 2016.
- "Jang Keun-sunk teams with Kim Ki-duk". Korea JoongAng Daily. 23 May 2017.
- "Jang Keun-suk cast for new TV series on SBS". Yonhap News Agency. 24 January 2018.
- "Jang Keun-suk Tops Japanese Chart with Debut Single". The Chosun Ilbo. 4 May 2011.
- "KARA wins five crowns at Japan's Gold Disc Award". The Korea Times. 30 November 2012.
- "Jang Keun-suk Hoping to Conquer Asia with New Album". The Chosun Ilbo. 13 October 2011.
- "Jang Geun-suk, Big Brother duo Team H to start Asia tour". The Korea Herald. 22 February 2013.
- (in Japanese) チャン・グンソクのユニット“Team H”が日本上陸 Oricon. 18 January 2012.
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- "Jang Keun-suk may be the prince of Oricon, too". Korea JoongAng Daily. 6 June 2012.
- "Jang Keun-suk's Album Ad Wins Award from Japanese Press". The Chosun Ilbo. 24 October 2012.
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- "Lena Park, Jang Keun-suk Tasked with Spreading Nuclear Safety Awareness". The Chosun Ilbo. 7 November 2011.
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- "Hallyu star gives to his school". Korea JoongAng Daily. 24 November 2011.
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- "[MOVIE REVIEW] '24 Months' sheds light on conscription". The Korea Times. 20 December 2007.
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- "Celebrities sign on for tvN's new 'Candy'". Korea JoongAng Daily. 29 January 2016.
- "Made with love by Jang Keun-suk". Korea JoongAng Daily. 9 June 2012.
- "현빈-성유리, 오만석-윤은혜..KBS베스트커플상". Star News (in Korean). 31 December 2006.
- 제10회 디렉터스 컷 어워즈…‘밀양’ 올해의 감독상， 남·여 연기자상. Kuki News (in Korean). 22 December 2007.
- 장근석, 백상예술대상 남자 신인연기상 수상. Osen (in Korean). 24 April 2008.
- "박해진-장근석, 男신인상 공동 수상(MBC 연기대상)". My Daily (in Korean). 30 December 2008.
- "장미희-성유리-장근석, 'KBS 연기대상' 인기상 수상". edaily (in Korean). 31 December 2008.
- "Jang Seo-hee wins grand prize at SBS Drama Awards". Asiae. 4 January 2010.
- "Ko Hyun-jung, "Haeundae" win grand prize at PaekSang Arts Awards". Asiae. 29 March 2010.
- "Jang Keun-suk Voted Asia's Most Talked-About Star". The Chosun Ilbo. 21 December 2010.
- "Jang Hyuk scores top prize at KBS Drama Awards". Asiae. 3 January 2017.
- "Jang Keun-suk named most influential Korean artist in Asia". The Korea Times. 18 April 2011.
- 이병헌·장근석·김병만·소녀시대, 대중문화예술상 수상. MK (in Korean). 15 November 2011.
- 장근석·엄지원 등, 2011 아시아 주얼리 어워드 수상자. MK (in Korean). 6 December 2011.
- 장근석 소녀시대 한류스타상 수상 ‘한류의 핵’ (대한민국 문화연예대상). Newsen (in Korean). 15 December 2011.
- "Jang Keun Suk is Taiwan's Most Searched Korean Male Celebrity". enewsWorld. 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 25 November 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- 카라, 제26회 일본 골드 디스크 어워드서 5관왕. 10Asia (in Korean). 30 January 2012.
- 장근석, 중화권 앨범으로 홍콩서 '베스트셀러상' 수상. My Daily (in Korean). 9 September 2012.
- "Jang Keun-suk named most popular actor of the year". Korea JoongAng Daily. 27 April 2012.
- 카라, 日 골드디스크 대상 2년 연속 수상…3관왕 달성. Donga Ilbo (in Korean). 8 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Winners of the 2017 MBC Drama Awards". Hancinema. 30 December 2017.
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