Kim Hee Sun is a South Korean actress from Seoul who has been acting in Korean TV dramas and films for over a decade.
Kim debuted on TV as a year 11 student and later majored in Drama at Chung-Ang University. Since then she has acted in many TV dramas, becoming well known in South Korea.
In recent years, Kim has also gradually built up a career in film, beginning in 1997 with Repechage opposite Jang Dong-gun. Director Lee Kwang-hoon subsequently put her in his next film, Ghost in Love in 1999. Kim's most high-profile role to date has been in the big-budget martial arts fantasy Bichunmoo, shot in China and released in the summer of 2000. She played the daughter of a Mongolian general in love with her childhood sweetheart. Although criticised for her acting in the film, it gave her more local and international exposure than any of her other films. The film cemented her position as one of Korea's leading actress not only in her home country, but also in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and throughout South-east Asia.
In late 2001, Kim took on a completely different kind of role, cutting her hair short and starring as an animator in Wanee and Junah. Although her acting in this film drew a favorable response from critics, the film itself was a flop at the box office. Kim is currently living in Seoul and is still popular as a model and presenter. She is renowned within the industry for her longevity as an actress. In 2003 she co-starred with Shin Ha-kyun in the film A Man Who Went to Mars by Kim Jung-kwon, the director of Ditto. She is popularly known as the "first beauty of South Korea". In 2005, she starred alongside Jackie Chan as a Korean Princess in The Myth. During this film she learned to speak Mandarin.
Through acting and promotional work (such as for Samsung), Kim now has an income of some USD 7 million. It is rumored that her next move will be to try to break into the Japanese market.