[caption id="attachment_16326" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="Ko Hyun Jung poses for Vogue Korea"]
As a former beauty pageant contestant, this talented actress is no stranger to drama. As the 1989 Miss Korea runner up, this 39 year old bombshell Ko Hyun Jung has touched ground in all aspects of entertainment. She sings, models and acts and to top it off, her spunky personality makes her one of the favorite actresses of Korean drama, even when she's playing the bag guy. Her almost two decade resume may not be as crowded as the other actors, however her consistent out-performance defintitely proves that quality beats quantity any time.
Starting out just one year after her crowning as first runner up, Ko Hyun Jung debuted in the first installment of the three part drama Love on a Jujube Tree
(1990). The "small town drama" introduced Korean audiences to Hyun Jung and ever since, she has stolen the spotlight. Her next drama would prove to be one of many groundbreaking projects in her career. The critically acclaimed Eyes of Dawn
(1991) was shot in the Phillipines and China and set the standard for on-location shooting in Korea. As her launching pad into the genre of modern historic melodramas, this drama brought to light so many serious issues (like Japanese war crimes), viewers not only witnessed great acting, but learned of history as well.
While her popularity was gaining over the years with subsequent dramas (1992's Love Without Fear
, 1993's My Mother's Sea
, and 1994's Farewell
), Ko Hyun Jung's star wasn't truly solidified until 1995. The airing of "Sandglass
" that year brought about an unprecedented viewership with over half of the population tuning in to watch. The story, based on true events during the politically violent 70s and 80s in South Korea, was and still is, one of the best Korean dramas to date*
. A compelling story and a heart wrenching reality, Ko Hyun Jung portrayed her character Hye Rin with such heart, that fans instantly fell in love with her. One of the few actresses at the time who could, as practically a rookie, carry such an intense and heavy role, Hyun Jung's performance has been lauded as masterful, and this series set the cultural standard for the makings of a good Kdrama.
[caption id="attachment_16328" align="aligncenter" width="439" caption="Cozying up with Chun Jung Myung in "What's Up Fox?""]
After a 10 year hiatus, Hyun Jung dipped into movies (Woman on the Beach
, 2006) but jumped back into dramas with the romance "Spring Days
" (2005), followed by the rom-com "What's Up Fox
?" (2006) with Chun Jung Myung
, Cinderella's Sister
). This drama mixes aspects of "Sex and the City
" and "Friends
" with Hyun Jung giving a delightful performance in the lead role. Her sweet yet sassy charm and perfect comedic timing was given a chance to shine after having many fans previously know her for dramatic roles. Continuing to prove that she wasn't just a one trick pony, Ms. Ko kicked it up a notch when she took on her next role as tough-as-nails cop, Cha Soo Kyung, in H.I.T.
(2007). Wielding a gun, she kicked ass and took names like a seasoned veteran. Her role in H.I.T.was action packed and full of sass--perfect for the fast rising star.
[caption id="attachment_16330" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Stealing the spotlight as Mishil in Queen Seon Duk"]
[caption id="attachment_16331" align="alignright" width="315" caption="Ko Hyun Jung works it for Vogue Korea"]
In 2009, Hyun Jung starred appeared in two movies Actresses
, and Like You Know It All,
but it was her role in the epic drama Queen Seon Duk
that boosted her already high popularity through the roof. Ko Hyun Jung stole the show as Mishil, the Evil Mastermind
plotting to kill Korea's first female ruler, Seon Duk. Her onscreen appearances captivated fans: her intense stare, cool demeanor, and sly-as-a-fox tricks were only the tip of the iceberg, creating a character that everyone loved to hate. Her expressive face mixed with her stunning good looks threw fans into a tizzy, anticipating every emotion she felt. So much were fans into her character, and hers alone, that the network saw ratings dip once her appearance in the series had ended. Talk about a show stopper!
Ko Hyun Jung is slated to appear in the 2010 drama Dae Mu
l aka Big Fish
. A drama about a woman who tries to become Korea's first female president; this will be no doubt, another hit! Until it airs later this year, why not catch up and see why so many love Ko Hyun Jung right here on DramaFever:
*East Of Eden portrays another facet of the true story of Sandglass, and many fans have said the two are great in conjunction with one another.