Lee Dong Hwi – the Korean actor’s career from its beginnings until now

Born on July 22nd, 1985, in Seoul, South Korea, Lee Dong Hwi’s foray into the entertainment industry began with aspirations of pursuing a career in acting.

He honed his craft through rigorous training and auditions, determined to make his mark in the competitive world of Korean drama and film.

Lee Dong Hwi’s breakthrough in the acting world

While he acted in several minor film and drama roles in 2013 and 2014, Lee Dong Hwi’s breakthrough role didn’t come until 2015 when he appeared in the critically acclaimed television series Reply 1988.

Portraying the character of Ryu Dong Ryong, a lovable and loyal friend, Lee captivated audiences with his endearing portrayal and natural charm.

His performance in Reply 1988 garnered widespread acclaim in South Korea, earning him recognition as a rising star in the Korean acting scene.

Following his success in Reply 1988, Lee Dong Hwi continued to impress audiences with his versatility as an actor in a wide variety of projects.

Lee Dong Hwi’s career from 2016 to the present

More of a film actor than a K-drama actor, and with appearances in more than 30 movies so far, in the 2016 film The Sound of a Flower, the Korean actor delivered a captivating performance in a supporting role as the ambitious pansori singer, Chil Sung.

His portrayal showcased his ability to embody complex characters with depth and authenticity, earning him praise from critics and fans.

Switching gears in 2019, Lee Dong Hwi then showed off his excellent comedic talents both in the action-comedy film Extreme Job, playing a detective who goes undercover in a chicken restaurant, and in the TV drama Pegasus Market, where he portrayed the eccentric character Moon Seok Goo.

Closer to the present, in 2022, the Korean actor starred in the K-drama Big Bet, followed by its sequel Big Bet 2 the following year.

Lee Dong Hwi is currently starring in the superb drama Chief Detective 1958 – photo courtesy MBC

And just in case you thought he wasn’t still busy, he has already starred in two major projects this year.

They are the blockbuster action adventure film The Roundup: Punishment, alongside Ma Dong Seok, and in the new MBC drama series Chief Detective 1958, which kicked off on Friday to huge ratings, and also stars Lee Je Hoon, Choi Woo Sung and Yoon Hyun Soo.

Upcoming projects include a supporting role in the Disney+ K-drama Low Life, which began filming last month, and possible roles in three movies, although more information about all three has yet to be announced.

Lee Dong Hwi and charity

But, while you may think Lee Dong Hwi’s life is all about acting, the now-38-year-old actor is also incredibly generous when it comes to supporting various charities.

In 2022, he donated 10 million won (approximately $7,300) to the Hope Bridge Disaster Relief Association to aid those affected by massive wildfires in several South Korean provinces, then donated another 10 million won to help victims of massive floods the same year.

And there you have it in a somewhat nutshell — the acting career of Lee Dong Hwi up until now.

He’s multi-talented, has appeared in some of South Korea’s best and most successful films and dramas and, also has a good heart.

What more could you ask for, eh?

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered anime, manga, K-drama and music news for over a decade.