The #1 most powerful Korean actress every year during the last decade according to Forbes Korea 

Here are the actresses who ranked highest on Forbes Korea’s Power Celebrity 40 in the past 10 years. 

Every year, Forbes Korea releases a list of Top 40 most powerful celebrities in Korea. The final ranking is determined based on Korean celebrities’ professional attainments, media coverage, social media buzz, annual earnings, and more. Let’s take a look at the highest-ranked actresses in the Top 40 every year from 2013 to 2022.

2013: IU


2013 is the year that IU landed her first K-drama leading role as actress Lee Ji Eun. Although at the time, IU’s acting was yet to be as much appreciated as it is now, her impact was still the most solid. She led two dramas in 2013, You Are The Best alongside Jo Jung Suk, and Bel Ami with Jang Geun Suk. IU was also the only actress who made it into the Top 10 of Forbes Korea’s Power Celebrity 40 that year. She ranked 8th place.

2014: Suzy


The following year, IU was dethroned by Suzy from the most powerful actress in the list. Suzy impressively came in 3rd place overall. In 2014, Suzy had a successful drama appearance in Gu Family Book alongside Lee Seung Gi. 

2015: Jun Ji Hyun


With the massive success of My Love From The Star, Jun Ji Hyun and her unrivaled popularity in 2015 undoubtedly made her the year’s most powerful actress. She was also the only actress who was named in the Top 10 of Forbes Korea’s list and ranked 4th place. At the time, Jun Ji Hyun‘s influence and media reputation in the industry was second to none among Korean actresses.

2016: Lee Hyeri


Lee Hyeri with the breakout role in Reply 1988 helped her surpass both Jun Ji Hyun and IU to be crowned the most powerful actress in 2016. Hyeri ranking 3rd place in Top 40 was the strongest evidence of her huge popularity following the success of Reply 1988. 

2017: Suzy


Suzy topped Korean actresses for the second time in 2017, beating Song Hye Kyo and Kim Yoo Jung. The drama that contributed to Suzy’s rank was Uncontrollably Fond, in which she delivered a convincing acting performance. 2 times being the most powerful actress within 10 years is indeed a remarkable achievement of the “nation’s first love”.

2018: IU


Song Hye Kyo doesn’t appear to be doing well in the Forbes Korea rankings. She was ranked second for the two years in a row. In 2018, she was placed second behind IU, who gave an outstanding performance in My Mister. My Mister is a work that aims to change people’s opinion on IU

2019: Han Ji Min


Having achieved great success with Miss Baek and Dazzling, Han Ji Min was chosen as the most powerful actress in Korea in 2019. Although Han Ji Min has been praised by the audience for a long time, it wasn’t until Miss Baek that her talent was truly valued and recognized by professionals. 2 Best Actress awards at Baeksang Arts Awards and Blue Dragon have been Han Ji Min‘s greatest achievements up to this point.  

2020: IU


Although she only ranked 19th overall, that was enough to make IU the most powerful actress in Korea for the 3rd time. After My Mister, IU was recognized as a good actress and she performed well in  Hotel Del Luna.  Hotel Del Luna‘s achievements even exceed My Mister‘s, so it’s not surprising that IU ranked highest among actresses on Forbes Korea’s ranking that year. 

2021: IU


Following the success in 2020, in 2021, IU continued to be selected as the most powerful actress in Korea.  This was also the 4th time she gained this achievement. Notably, her overall ranking increased 6 places compared to 2020 and reached 13th overall on the Forbes’ rankings.

2022: Youn Yuh Jung


After 2 years in a row when female actors did not enter the Top 10 of the overall rankings, Youn Yuh Jung was ranked at No. 8 this year.  Since making history with her Oscar victory in 2021, Youn Yuh Jung has once again stepped up to a new level in her already glorious career.  Youn Yuh Jung‘s perfect performance in Pachinko once again shows the talent of a veteran star.

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