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The “nation’s little sister” Moon Geun Young whose life was uprooted after an acute illness, once viral for looking comparable to Son Ye Jin

It has been 22 years since Moon Geun Young gained attention after her role in “Autumn In My Heart”. Now, the actress’s visual, life, and career have completely changed. 

Actress Moon Geun Young used to be so dearly loved in Korea, she gained the title “nation’s little sister”, especially after playing the younger version of Song Hye Kyo in “Autumn In My Heart”. 

Despite starting out as a child actor, Moon Geun Young’s career never became stagnant, and instead only improved over time. Through her talent, Moon Geun Young started to earn numerous big awards, both on the small and the big screen.

However, at the peak of her career, the actress entered a hiatus. She then reappeared, years later, with a completely transformed appearance. This is due to a strange illness that Moon Geun Young contracted, and the actress’s story after the disease left most netizens emotional. 

A once-glorious career as the nation’s little sister

Born in 1987, Moon Geun Young starred as the younger version of actress Song Hye Kyo in the hit drama “Autumn In My Heart”, and was soon considered one of the top young actresses in Korea.  With her expressive acting, audiences couldn’t help but cry over Moon Geun Young, especially at the scene where she had to say farewell to her parents and old brother. 

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Moon Geun Young starred as the younger version of Song Hye Kyo in a hit drama 
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Moon Geun Young’s spectacular acting in “Autumn In My Heart”

After this role, Moon Geun Young basically became a household name. Her round, innocent face, combined with the actress’s impressive eye acting completely captured the hearts of viewers. As a result, she continued to hit big in other notable works like “A Tale of Two Sisters”, “My Little Bride”, “Innocent Steps”, and so on. 

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Moon Geun Young’s round, innocent face, combined with the actress’s impressive eye acting completely captured the hearts of viewers

Alongside commercially successful projects, Moon Geun Young was also recognized critically. She won Best New Actress at the prestigious Blue Dragon in 2003, before snatching awards at both the Grand Bell, and the Blue Dragon the following year. At the age of 21, Moon Geun Young became the youngest actress to be crowned the Grand Prize Daesang at the SBS Drama Awards, and her historical drama “Painter of The Wind” was all the rage in Korea. 

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Alongside commercially successful projects, Moon Geun Young was also recognized critically

At this peak of her career, Moon Geun Young was even compared to the top beauty Son Ye Jin. In a photo of her and Son Ye Ji that went viral 20 years ago, Moon Geun Young looked just as stunning – perhaps more innocent and dreamy than Son Ye Jin, who leaned towards a more matured look. 

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Moon Geun Young managed to shine despite sitting next to Son Ye Jin – one of Korea’s visual goddesses

Struggled with an acute illness 

In 2017, Moon Geun Young was diagnosed with acute compartment syndrome and had to cease all activities to go into treatment. She had to undergo four surgical procedures before she was released from the hospital. 

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During treatment of compartment syndrome, Moon Geun Young put on some weight

In 2020, Moon Geun Young decided to leave the management company that she had been with for 16 years. The actress also launched a personal SNS to share pictures of her daily life with fans.

In March 2022, Moon Geun Young appeared on the top of the most searched news on Korea’s No.1 web portal Naver after she released new photos, showing her current whereabouts. For the first time, she revealed a long scar on her right arm due to past surgical procedures.

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The scar on Moon Geun Young’s arm after 4 surgical procedures she underwent in the past 

Seeing Moon Geun Young’s scar, the public and fans alike couldn’t help but feel heartbroken. Compartment syndrome is a condition common in middle-aged people, but Moon Geun Young was diagnosed with it when she just entered her 30s.

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Dating life

When it comes to her dating life, Moon Geun Young has only confirmed to be in a relationship once, and that was with Kim Bum. They fell in love while filming MBC’s drama “Goddess of Fire, Jung Yi” in 2013. After announcing their relationship, the two were also seen going on a trip to Europe together. Unfortunately, they broke up not long after. In 2014, the two officially called it quits and went back to being each other’s colleagues. Their reps refused to comment on the reason for their split.

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Moon Geun-young
Moon Geun Young used to date Kim Bum 

Not long after parting ways with Kim Bum, Moon Geun Young also shared her honest thoughts on breaking up, “There is no such thing as a good breakup and there is no natural breakup either. Even though it hurts, we have to accept a breakup as it is so that we can move on.”

Currently, at the age of 35, Moon Geun Young almost never appears on TV, but she still communicates with fans through SNS. Although her reputation no longer stays the same, she is still remembered as the original “nation’s little sister”. 

Source: K14

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