Kim Yun-jin

Active - 1998 - 2010  |   Born - Nov 7, 1973 in Seoul, South Korea  |   Genres - Drama, Thriller

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A talented South Korean actress who first made a name for herself throughout Asia with a powerful performance in director Kang Je-gyu's ultra-stylish, heart-stopping action film Shiri, Kim Yun-jin soon found her popularity in her native country spilling over into the U.S. when she was cast as the survivor of a horrific plane crash in the hit ABC series Lost in 2004.

Born in South Korea and raised in the United States, Kim enrolled in her school's drama club in the seventh grade. Though the bright lights simply prove too intimidating to some, the bilingual but somewhat shy young actress felt strangely at home in front of an audience. In the years that followed her initial exposure to the stage, Kim refined her talents at both New York's High School of the Performing Arts and later at the University of Boston. Upon graduation, Kim wasted no time in taking to the New York stage until a phone call from a friend in Korea led her to a temporary job as a film location manager in 1996. It didn't take long for Kim to catch the eye of the producers who were working on the project, and after being quickly cast in a role originally intended for another Korean actress, her career began to accelerate. Proving her abilities with a series of supporting roles on television in the following months, Kim received her breakthrough when cast in a pivotal role in the wildly successful South Korean action film Shiri.

In addition to making the actress a household name in her native land, Shiri surpassed even Titanic at the Korean box office and found international success throughout Asia before eventually arriving on American shores. A series of high-profile roles in such profitable South Korean features as Iron Palm and Yesterday were quick to follow, and after appearing in the 2002 Hong Kong drama Milae, Kim returned stateside to essay the role as one half of a South Korean couple whose airplane crash lands them on a mysterious island in Lost.

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Factsheet

  • Born in Korea and moved to the U.S. at age 10; grew up on New York City's Staten Island.
  • First performed in a school production of My Fair Lady as a seventh grader.
  • Starred in Shiri (1999), one of the most successful Korean films of all time.
  • Served as a Korean Goodwill Ambassador for soccer's 2002 World Cup.
  • Originally auditioned for the role of Kate on Lost; the role of Sun was created after she met with the show's producers.
  • Described living in Hawaii during Lost as "magical," but admitted she once called a security guard to help her get a flying cockroach out of her condo.
  • Is unable to wear pierced earrings because she was born with a cleft in her left earlobe.
  • Is fluent in Korean and English.
  • Is skilled in multiple genres of dance (ballet, jazz and Afro-Caribbean) and combat (quarter staff, broad sword and Tae Kwon Do).  
  • In 2010, she married her former manager in Hawaii, shortly after filming some of her final scenes for Lost.