Cho Jae-hyun

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Cho Jae-hyun
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Cho Jae-hyun in 2017
Born (1965-06-30) June 30, 1965 (age 54)
Education Kyungsung University – Theater and Film
Chung-Ang UniversityMaster's degree in Performing and Visual Media
Occupation Actor
Years active1989–present
Korean name
Revised Romanization Jo Jae-hyeon
McCune–Reischauer Cho Chae-hyon

Cho Jae-hyun (born June 30, 1965) is a South Korean film, stage, and TV actor. He is commonly dubbed "director Kim Ki-duk's persona" since Cho has starred as leading and supporting characters in almost all films directed by Kim. [1] [2] [3]


Early years and education

Cho Jae-hyun was born in Gyeongju on June 30, 1965. [4] He and his family lived in a poor neighborhood on the slopes of a hill until his father became successful with his restaurant business in the Jongno area, Seoul. In a 2002 interview with the film magazine Cine21, Cho said he was a rebellious boy wandering outside the home. He aspired to be a painter, so tried to enter an art high school but failed. When he entered another high school, Cho ran away from home to Busan. Cho worked as a waiter there, and studied on his own to pass a qualification exam equivalent to obtaining a high school diploma. However, Cho failed it, so returned to Seoul to finish his high school year. [5]

Cho was admitted to study theater and film at Kyungsung University. Cho recollected he indulged himself in Busan's culture as a freshman and sophomore, then focused on theater for the rest of his university years. Cho said a question from his junior in school during his third summer break shook him to rethink about his future; "What would you do after the graduation from the school?" Cho said he felt shame at the time because he could not clearly answer the question. Therefore, Cho started dedicating himself to acting. [5]

Acting career

After graduation, Cho was selected as a TV actor by a public recruit of Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), and officially debuted as a professional actor by starring as the youngest brother of Yu In-chon in The Age of Ambition (야먕의 세월). But theater remained his main priority, as Cho and his friends established a theatrical company named "Jongak" (종각, literally "Bell Pavilion"), which produced several works on the stage such as Tricycles (세발자전거, 1989), Look Back in Anger (성난 얼굴로 돌아보라, 1990) and The Lovers of Woomook-baemi (우묵배미의 사랑, 1990). In 1991, Cho won Best New Actor in Theater at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his acting in Equus ; he reinterpreted the leading role Alan Strang as an innocent person, though he is largely depicted as a cruel and rebellious character.

In 2009, Cho revisited Equus by directing the play and playing the other lead character Martin Dysart. [6] This was part of the highly successful Yeongeuk Yeoljeon ("A Series of the Best Plays"), [7] of which Cho was the programmer in 2008-2009. Cho was praised for reinvigorating the faltering local theater scene in Daehangno by coming up with the series and its star-studded casting, promotion and marketing. [8] [9] [10]

In 2018, Cho starred as a doctor and head of an organ transplant centre in the medical TV series Cross opposite Go Kyung-pyo. [11] [12] However, on February 24, 2018, while the TV series was still being shot and aired, he was removed from the cast list following his admission of committing sexual harassment. [13]

Other activities

Cho is also the chairman of the Gyeonggi Film Council since 2009, [14] executive festival director of the DMZ International Documentary Film Festival (DMZ Docs) since 2009, [15] [16] chairman of the Gyeonggi Arts Center since 2010, [17] an associate professor at Sungshin Women's University's College of Convergence Culture and Arts since 2012, [18] and an associate professor at Kyungsung University's Department of Theater and Film since 2014. [19]

Personal life

When Cho Jae-hyun was 24 years old in 1989, he married his college sweetheart who was an anchor for the campus channel. [20] His son Cho Soo-hoon is a short track speed skater who won a gold medal in the 500 meter competition for male university students at the 2008 Korean National Winter Sports Festival, [21] while his daughter Cho Hye-jung, who attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, is also an actress.

Sexual assault

On February 23, 2018, Cho Jae-hyun was accused of sexual misconduct by actress Choi Yul, who claimed that Cho had sexually assaulted her in the past. [22] On February 24, Cho acknowledged the allegations. [23]



As actor

1988I Love You (short film)
1989Prostitute 2
1990Man Market
1991 Portrait of the Days of Youth
1992Sorrow Like a Withdrawn Dagger, Left My Heart
1995 The Eternal Empire
Crocodile Crocodile
1997 Wind Echoing in My Being Young man
Wild Animals Cheong-hae
1998 Girls' Night Out Yong-jak
Spring in My Hometown
1999The FaceKim Jae-mok
The Isle Mang-chi
2001Prison World CupQuestion
Address Unknown Dog Eyes
Bad Guy Han-ki
2003 Sword in the Moon Yoon Gyu-yup
2004Mokpo the HarborLee Su-cheol
Father and Son: The Story of MenciusMaeng Man-su
Love, So Divine Cathedral construction worker (cameo)
2006The RomanceHyeong-jun
Hanbando Choi Min-jae
2007Puff the Rice (short film)Jae-won
Beyond the Years Dong-ho
2009 Marine Boy Kang
The ExecutionerBae Jong-ho
2010 The Influence King Gojong
2011 The Kick Master Mun
2012 The Weight Mr. Jung/Han Hae-woon
2013El Condor PasaFather Park
Moebius Father
2014 The Fatal Encounter Gwang-baek
2015 A Korean in Paris Sang-ho
2016 Seondal: The Man Who Sells the River Seong Dae-ryeon

As director

2006"Standing in the Shade of a Tree-lined Road" by Yim Jae-beom Music video
20135th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival Film festival trailer
His Special Day Documentary short
20146th DMZ International Documentary Film Festival Film festival trailer
2015A Break Alone Feature film;
also credited as screenwriter

Television series

1989The Tree of Love KBS2
1990Love on a Jujube TreeKBS2
The Age of AmbitionKBS2
1993Drifting Myth MBC
Woman's ManMBC
Joy Amidst SadnessKBS2
Love and Friendship SBS
1994MBC Best Theater "A Meeting with the Perfect Man"MBC
The Way to YouKBS2
MBC Best Theater "Human Decency"MBC
1995One FenceKBS
You Said You Love MeKBS2
Glorious Dawn KBS1
1997The MountainMBC
Passionate LoveKBS2
Railing on FireKBS
1998Legendary AmbitionMa Dal-sooKBS2
Like the Wind, Like the WavesKBS2
MBC Best Theater "Jeondeungsa"MBC
1999You're One-of-a-KindMBC
School 2 Cho Jae-hyunKBS1
Happy Together Jo Pil-dooSBS
QueenPark Jang-soonSBS
Did You Ever Love?KBS2
2000Juliet's ManSBS
RookieHeo Jang-seokSBS
School 3 KBS1
2001 Piano Han Eok-kwanSBS
2003SnowmanHan Pil-seungMBC
Damo (cameo)MBC
2005 Hong Kong Express Kang Min-sooSBS
Smile of Spring DayIm Dae-beomMBC
2007 New Heart Choi Kang-gookMBC
2011 Gyebaek [24] King Uija MBC
2012 Syndrome Cha Tae-jinjTBC
Sent from HeavenGeum Bo-hwa's
ex-boyfriend (cameo)
2013 The Scandal Ha Myung-geunMBC
2014 Jeong Do-jeon [25] Jeong Do-jeon KBS1
Punch Lee Tae-joonSBS
2015 Take Care of My Dad HimselfSBS
Assembly (cameo, episode 1)KBS2
2016 Master – God of Noodles Kim Gil-doKBS2
Solomon's Perjury Han Kyung-moon JTBC
2017 Whisper Lee Tae-joonSBS
2018 Cross Go Jung-hoon tvN


1991 Equus Alan Strang
2004 Equus Alan Strang
2007Kyung-sook, Kyung-sook's FatherJo Jae-soo
2008 Educating Rita Frank
2008-2009Dandelions in the Wind [26] Ahn Jung-ki
2009-2010 Equus [6] Martin Dysart
2011Dandelions in the WindAhn Jung-ki
2012Thursday Romance [27] Jeong-min
2014-2015 Educating Rita Frank
2016 Blackbird Ray

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
1991 Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (Theater) Equus Won
1992 Blue Dragon Film Awards Best New ActorSorrow Like a Withdrawn Dagger, Left My HeartWon
1993 Baeksang Arts Awards Best New ActorWon
1998 Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Girls' Night Out Nominated
1999 SBS Drama Awards Best Supporting Actor Happy Together Won
KBS Drama Awards Best Supporting ActorWon
2001 Busan Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor Address Unknown Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor Piano Won
Top 10 StarsWon
2002 Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor Bad Guy Won
2003 MBC Drama Awards Special Acting AwardSnowmanWon
2008 Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) New Heart Nominated
Korea Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, ActorNominated
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, ActorWon
PCG AwardsCommunicator of the YearN/AWon
2011A Series of the Best Plays 3 AwardsAward for Excellence Equus (as director)Won
2013 Fantasia International Film Festival [28] [29] Best Actor The Weight Won
Sydney Intercultural Film FestivalBest ActorWon
Grimae AwardsBest Actor The Scandal Won
MBC Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Special Project DramaNominated
Golden Acting Award, ActorWon
2014 Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Jeong Do-jeon Won
Korea Drama Awards Grand Prize (Daesang)Nominated
APAN Star Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial DramaWon
KBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, ActorWon
Excellence Award, Actor in a Serial DramaNominated
PD AwardWon
2015 Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor (TV) Punch Nominated
Gwangju International Film Festival Grand Prize (Daesang)Won
SBS Drama Awards Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Drama SpecialWon
Top 10 StarsWon
2016 KBS Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actor in a Mid-length Drama The Master of Revenge Nominated

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