Let’s look through famous actors who have shown excellent performances in Korean dramas and even won the grand prize.
Kim Soo Hyun
Apart from being the highest-paid actor in the Korean film industry, Kim Soo Hyun has also impressively achieved 5 Daesangs throughout his career. Kim Soo Hyun won his first Daesang at the Korea Drama Awards for his role in “My Love From The Star” in 2014. One year later, he continued to win 3 more Daesangs at Korea Drama Awards, APAN Star Awards, and KBS Drama Awards. “The Producers” was the drama that helped him take home 3 grand prizes in a year.
Unfortunately, at the time Kim Soo Hyun was awarded triple grand prizes for “The Producers“, he received mixed reactions from the viewers. They said this drama was not as successful as expected and pointed out that Gong Hyo-jin and Cha Tae-hyun, who also appeared in that drama, had more impressive performances. However, this was still one of the most important milestones in his acting career.
The latest Daesang that this 1988-born actor received was thanks to his role in “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay“. He was awarded this grand prize at the 2020 Asia Artist Awards and became the Korean actor who earned the most Daesangs.
Lee Jong Suk
Lee Jong Suk also proved that great acting skills have been recognized by not only the viewers but also experts in the film industry. At the age of 27, Lee Jong Suk won a Daesang at the 2016 MBC Drama Awards after gaining huge popularity for his excellent performance in “W-Two Worlds“. Until now, this was still the most shining achievement in his career.
Song Joong Ki
Blockbuster “Descendants of the Sun” not only helped Song Joong Ki rise to his peak of fame but also awarded him 2 grand prize trophies at the 2016 APAN Star Awards and the 2016 KBS Drama Awards. In particular, he also won the Best Couple Awards together with his ex-wife Song Hye Kyo at the KBS Drama Awards that year. It is true that “Descendants of the Sun” did help Song Joong Ki earn a lot of achievements at the age of 36.
Winning a Daesang is already a great achievement, and it would be more impressive if any actor could get that grand prize at the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards, one of Korea’s major film awards. Hyun Bin was the one who made it. He was awarded the first Daesang at the Baeksang Awards, thanks to his role in “Secret Garden”.
A decade later, Hyun Bin earned his second Daesang at the 2020 APAN Stars Awards. Apart from proving his amazing acting skills, “Crash Landing On You“, which once caused a fever throughout Asia, also helped Hyun Bin gain the love of his girlfriend – Son Ye Jin.
Nam Goong Min
Known for his excellent portrayals of villains, but Nam Goong Min received a Daesang thanks to playing a protagonist. Surpassing the cast of “The Penthouse: War In Life“, the 43-year-old actor was crowned as Daesang winner at the 2020 SBS Drama Awards for his role in “Hot Stove League“. Nam Goong Min is considered by the audience to be totally worthy of this grand prize for his performance in the baseball-themed TV series.
Park Hae Jin
Shooting to fame thanks to his role in the 2006 drama “Famous Chil Princesses“, it took 14 years for Park Hae Jin to take home his first-ever Daesang. At the 2020 MBC Drama Awards, the 38-year-old male star deservedly won the Daesang for his starring role in “Kkondae Intern“. “Kkondae Intern” was considered the most outstanding drama of MBC in 2020, so Park Hae Jin’s getting a Daesang was not surprising.
During his career, Joo Won has been nominated for Daesang 3 times and won once with his role in “Good Doctor”. Joo Won surpassed top names such as Yoo Ah In, Kim Hee Ae, Kim Hyun Joo and Ha Ji Won to take home the Grand Prize at the 2015 SBS Drama Awards.
The same as his wife Lee Bo Young, Ji Sung has also won Daesang twice in his acting career. In 2015, he bagged the biggest award at the MBC Drama Awards for his memorable role in the hit drama “Kill Me, Heal Me“. This was one of the years that MBC determined the Daesang winners based on viewers’ votes.
In 2017, with his superb performance in “Innocent Defendant”, the 44-year-old actor earned the Daesang title once again at the SBS Drama Awards. An excellent actor couple of Daesang winners like Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young is perhaps rare in Korea’s entertainment industry.