Who is Kim Soo Hyun - South Korea's Highest Paid Actor?
Who is Kim Soo Hyun - South Korea's Highest Paid Actor?

The entertainment industry today has grown leaps and bounds. This has made it easy for many K-Drama actors to rake in millions due to their craft.

The name Kim Soo-Hyun today resonates with almost all K-Drama fans. Famous for his work in a string of successful series, Kim Soo-Hyun is regarded as the most popular and highest-paid actor in the industry. His next venture will be “That Night”, which is a murder mystery.

In a nutshell, Soo Hyun appeared thrice on Forbes’ Korea Power Celebrity list, a.k.a a rundown of the Top 40 Powerful Celebrities in South Korea based on their professional achievements, popularity, and earnings each year. The actor first secured a spot in 2013, ranking number four, then again in 2015 at number two, and most recently in 2016 where he took the number five slot. While this fact alone could tell fans about his wealth, let’s take a more in-depth look, shall we?

Who is Kim Soo-Hyun: Biography, Early Life and Education

Kim Soo-Hyun was born in 1988 on February 16th and is one of the most successful and popular actors in South Korea. He has been taking roles in many dramas and became a Hallyu Star. His recent popular drama works are Hotel del Luna, Crash Landing on You (special appearance), and It’s Okay to Not Be Okay. Besides being an actor and appearing in movies and musicals, he is also a good singer.

Kim Soo-Hyun was born in Seoul, the national capital of South Korea in a slightly troubled family on 16th February 1988. His father, who happened to be a musician, spent most of his time making music and ignoring his family in the process. He was the lead vocalist in the Korean band ‘Seven Dolphins’ and left his family when Kim was still too young to understand what it means to have a life without a father.

This affected his psyche greatly, as Kim turned into a very shy, awkward, and low self-esteemed kid and his mother was worried about that. He would struggle to speak out in front of strangers, and this could have been a major trait that would have haltered his social growth. The mother came to the rescue and enrolled him into drama classes as she believed that it will enable him to gain some exposure to the art of acting, which is a good way to tackle your fears as performing in front of a crowd was no joke. Kim slowly grew into it and by the time he was out of it, he was already a good actor and a changed person.

Before he got enrolled into a high school, he was already a confident person and did some acting in the school, receiving praises from everywhere. His charming looks were a big help and many people predicted in his high school days, that this guy was destined to become a national heartthrob.

Just out of high school, he had already started playing some parts in the Korean TV shows, and in 2009, he got himself enrolled in the Chung-Ang University’s Film and Theatre department and started modeling part-time to make some side money.

Kim Soo-Hyun's Family: How His Father Abandoned Him And Started A New Family

Photo: koreaboo
Photo: koreaboo

Behind that beautiful happy smile is a childhood that’s a lot less happy than what fans had assumed. Kim Soo Hyun is an only child and is the son of singer Kim Chung Hoon, he used to be the lead singer of an 80s band called Seven Dolphins. He left his son and his wife when Kim Soo Hyun was a little child and had no involvement in his upbringing for most of his life. His parents got a divorce when he was young.

This is why many dedicated Kim Soo Hyun fans don’t have a good impression of his father. He even hid the fact that he had a half-sister from him, he had started a new family after leaving him; Kim Soo Hyun found out about his half-sister in 2016 through news outlets like the rest of us.

His half-sister's name is Kim Joo Na, and when she debuted as a singer, news spread that she was his half-sister. She also appeared on Produce 101.

Through his agency, Kim Soo Hyun had told news outlets that he was shocked to learn of her existence but still wished her the best.

Kim Soo Hyun Height, Weight and Physical Appearance

Soo Hyun is the most handsome actor and he has an attractive personality. He keeps himself fit by doing regular exercise and keeping a perfect diet. He has a great physique, having a height of 5’11″ in feet inches and weight is around 70 Kg. He has the most beautiful dark brown color eyes and black hair.

Kim Soo Hyun's Personal Life

Kim Soo-Hyun loves traveling in his free time and loves to spend time with his mother and family. He also loves cooking and says that he has learned the art from his mother, who, according to him is the greatest cook.

Although not one of his relationships has been made public till now, Kim’s name has been linked to actress Ahn Sohee. The rumors were afloat that the beautiful couple can get married, as they are in a long-term serious relationship.

In his free time, Kim also likes to spend hours at a stretch at the bowling alleys. He plays well enough to be ranked 10th in a tryout round.

He serves as the brand ambassador of the Korea Tourism Organization, Goodwill Ambassador for Seoul, and also the honorary ambassador for the Incheon International Airport.

Kim Soo-Hyun's Career

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Soo Hyun debuted in 2007 through a sitcom titled Kimchi Cheese Smile, but a retrospective of his career points towards his rise four years later with the musical teen drama Dream High. Nowwith an established name in the Korean industry, he landed the lead role for Moon Embracing the Sun, a highly successful 20-episode period drama, which peaked at a whopping 42.2% on the rating chart.

In the same year, he did a short film called ‘Cherry Blossom’ and also appeared in a variety show ‘Delicious Quiz’. But somehow, what worked in his favor, was the fact that, unlike other young Korean young actors, he wasn’t keen on creating an image as a lover boy, he chose his acting roles sensibly and appeared in an award-winning short film ‘Worst Friend’ and what further enhanced his ability as a fantastic actor was his role for the TV drama ‘Father’s House’.

In 2011, came the biggest role of his career which made him a household name in Korea. He played the character of a local nobody who later turned out to be a fantastic musician in ‘Dream High’. The drama, other than becoming a popular show domestically, brought the cast and crew international fame as well. Kim had prepared intensely for the role and also sung two songs for the musical drama series.

His stint as a young King in the acclaimed period drama ‘Moon Embracing the Sun’ in 2012 took Kim to newer levels of fame. He won the best TV actor award at the Baeksang Art Awards for the role. Kim also sang for a few songs for the series and after this success, he started getting more and more offers, in form of more films and endorsement deals. In the year 2012 alone, he signed 15 endorsement deals and started signing films.

Also in 2012, his debut feature film came into the theatres with the name ‘The Thieves’, and the heist thriller film eventually became the second highest-grossing Korean film of all time. The success continued with his next film ‘Secretly, Greatly’ and it became one of the highest-grossing films of the year in Korea. Kim’s performance went on to earn him Baeksang Arts Award and a Grandbell award.

With his career reaching new heights with every project, ‘My Love from the Star’ came in 2013. It was a fantasy romance series and became so successful that it started new trends in South Korea related to fashion and make-up. The 7th Korean Drama Awards honored Kim with the Grand Prize. This series of him became extremely popular internationally as well.

In 2014, Kim attended the opening ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games held in China and also made an appearance for the opening of the 2014 Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea.

In 2015, Kim reached another career milestone as he received another Grand Prize at the Korea Drama Awards, this time for the series ‘The Producers’. The series did well nationally as well as domestically and Kim became a youth sensation in the neighboring countries as well.

In June 2017, Kim featured as the leading man in the dark thriller film ‘Real’. Although the film has received mostly negative words from the critics, it’s still doing pretty good in terms of box office numbers and Kim’s performance, as always, is getting praised.

Kim Soo Hyun as a Brand Ambassador

Kim Soo Hyun has appeared in numerous advertisements additionally to his role in dramas and films. Brands and items he has modeled for include Domino’s Pizza, iPhone 4, SK II, Tous Les Jours, Premium Notebook New Series 9, fashion designer Jeans, Pizza Hut, Lotte Duty-Free, etc. Kim Soo Hyun appears in about 30 advertisements a year in keeping with his agency KeyEast. a number of his advertisements air in China and other Asian countries.

Kim Soo-Hyun's Net Worth

Photo: toptenco
Photo: toptenco

Kim Soo-Hyun's net worth is estimated to be 1.2 billion dollars. Kim Soo-Hyun is said to have received a 600 million won (the US $500,000) paycheck by the end of 2012 after he was cast in the drama The Moon Embracing the Sun. In 2014, He reportedly made $550,000 from the drama My Love from the Star, but his fee increased to between $720,000 and $900,000 per advertisement after that. However, after he enlisted in the military, Kim Soo-Hyun's fee increased from $83,000 to $165,000.

According to a news outlet, Kim Soo-Hyun supposedly signed an advertising contract in China for six months and received about 33 billion won for about sixty events. In 2017, the model’s fee in China is more than 2 billion won in a contract per year. It’s also known that Kim Soo-Hyun received over 1 billion won in Japan.

Furthermore, it is assumed that Kim Soo-Hyun's model fees for commercials in which he appears are 100 billion won per year in his 30s. Personal sales, in other words, reach 100 billion won per year. If you are curious about the property of actor Kim Soo-Hyun, who has earned 100 billion won in personal sales, you will be curious about the environment of the house he lives in. What neighborhood do you think Kim Soo-Hyun lives in?

Hanwha Galleria Foret, a high-end residential-commercial apartment designed by Hanwha E&C in 2011, is the residence of Kim Soo-Hyun. Galleria Foret is a residential-commercial apartment in Seoul’s Seongsu-dong neighborhood of Seongdong-gu. It’s a luxurious apartment complex that consists of two 45-story buildings. Between the two buildings, there are 230 units, with the majority of them costing at least $1 million. This apartment complex is ranked second after Hannam the Hill. Besides Kim Soo-Hyun, many top actors, actresses, and idols live there, such as BIGBANG’s G-Dragon, Han Ye-Sul, and SM Entertainment’s founder Lee Soo-man.

Some lesser facts about Kim Soo-Hyun

  • Kim loves traveling and cooking.
  • In 2015, he made his position in the Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia list”.
  • Kim loved bowling and also applied for it. He ranked 10th out of 114 participants in his first try-out tournament.
  • His favorite actress is Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • Soo Hyun also served in the military.
  • His favorite Korean singer is Kim Teahyung.
  • The media has named Kim the “King of Product Endorsement”, because he has been the face of so many products.
  • He is also a dog lover. He has a pet dog named Amoni.
  • His favorite color is Navy Blue and black.
  • Soo-Hyun has a wax statue at Madame Tussauds, Hong Kong.
  • He has won more than 60 awards yet.
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