Korea’s “National grandma” Kim Young Ok took on 3 roles in the TV series that ended this year, all of which have broken the viewers’ hearts.
Despite being over 80 years old, the “nation’s grandma” Kim Young Ok is still actively engaged in acting. Within this year alone, she has starred in 5 dramas, including 3 series that have released all episodes, a newly aired drama and one that will soon be broadcast. Coincidentally, in all three dramas that ended including “Mouse”, “Squid Game” and “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”, her characters have the same sad endings that make the audiences cry buckets of tears.
In early 2021, Kim Young Ok appeared in the crime thriller “Mouse” as the grandmother of the female lead Bong Yi. Her character is adored by the viewers because of her optimistic attitude despite going through a life with many hardships. Unfortunately, Bong Yi’s grandmother only appears in 2 episodes before she gets stabbed by the killer and dies.
Moving onto “Squid Game”, the veteran actress plays the male lead’s mother, who still has to work hard to pay the debt of her laid-off, irresponsible son with a gambling addiction, despite her old age and poor health conditions. Even when she gets seriously ill, she endures the pain alone to the point she has to undergo a surgery, otherwise she will never be able to walk on her feet again. In the final episode of “Squid Game”, she dies alone, without being able to see her son and granddaughter for the last time.
Her longest and most endearing role in 2021 is in “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”. In the romance drama, she plays grandma Gam Ri, a kindhearted woman who adores Doo Sik wholeheartedly even though she is not related to him by blood. Working hard all her life, she dies after experiencing different kinds of emotions, including happiness, but the viewers are still deeply saddened because even at the end of her life, grandma Gamri is still unable to see the family who is biologically related to her but refuses to care about her. The opening scene of “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”’s final episode has given the viewers a good cry because of grandma Gam Ri’s funeral and how the residents of Gongjin village express their grief.
Currently, Kim Young Ok is taking on another role in the drama “Young Lady and Gentleman”. In “Jirisan” – the upcoming drama to replace “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” on the same time slot, she will also appear as a supporting character.
Hopefully, the “nation’s grandma” Kim Young Ok will always stay healthy to continue bringing the audiences more meaningful roles in the future!