Korean American Actors – 9 Best Hollywood Actors From Korea!

korean american actors

From superheroes to car drifter, Korean-American actors have been killing it in the hollywood as well as major global TV shows. Some of them start of from a very wealthy family, while others climb up to the top. In this article, I will share my own top picks of Korean-American actors who have made an impact on Hollywood and beyond.

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Korean American Actors

Hallyu spread rapidly all over the world, makes korean much more well known and respected compare to decades ago. Recenly there are a lot of opportunity for korean stars to conquering Hollywood after the monumental success achieved by some k-movies and dramas like Squid Game.

However, not many people realize that there are a lot of korean american actors that nailed it in hollywood even before hallyu wave start infecting the world. Here are some of the best korean hollywood actors that you might don’t know were korean before.

1. Daniel Dae Kim

korean american actors

Daniel Dae Kim is one of the most famous Korean-American actors in Hollywood. His iconic works, ranging from Lost to Hawaii Five-0 and Hellboy, have earned him a great deal of recognition. For examply, in 2016 he was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and even won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for his role as Jin Ah Kim in Lost.

2. Steven Yeun

korean american actors

Steven Yeun was born in South Korea, migrate to Canada and raised in Michigan before he started getting into theatre performances during college and eventually moved to LA where he started getting exclusive roles.

After his gig playing Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead earned him worldwide recognition, he got tons of numerous opportunities in various media outlets such as Okja and Burning both directed by South Korean director Lee Chang-Dong who won Best Screenplay (2007). 

In addition to all of his achievement, Steven yeun is also the first korean american to win the AACTA International Award for Best Actor for his role in Minari.

3. Ken Jeong

korean american actors

Ken Jeong is best known for his roles in The Hangover trilogy and Community. Jeong was born in Detroit, Michigan where he attended Duke University School of Medicine, and earned medical degree. He then completed his residency in psychiatry at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Jeong began his acting career by appearing in several independent films such as Knocked Up and Pineapple Express. He rose to prominence with his role as Mr. Chow in The Hangover.

4. John Cho

korean american actors

John Cho was born in April 1972 in Seoul and moved with his family to Los Angeles at age six. He studied English and drama during his studies at Stanford University before starting off his acting career appearing on various TV shows like Felicity and Charmed.

His breakout role came in 2004 with the release of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, which astounded audiences worldwide and opened up numerous opportunities for him afterwards. 

Nine years later, he got casted as Hikaru Sulu for the first reboot movie Star Trek (2009). Further sequels followed over the years such as Star Trek into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016).

5. Sung Kang

korean american actors

Sung Kang is a korean american actor renowned for his role as Han Lue in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Kang was born to Korean immigrant parents in Georgia and spent most of his childhood in California.

Afterwards, Kang attended the University of California, Riverside studying acting, a decision that disappoint his parents since there’s lack of asian americans job opportunity on American television.

However, he manage to break through and since then, he has been been seen in multiple films like Better Luck Tomorrow (2002), The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), Finishing the Game (2007), and The Come Up (2013).

On television, some of his credits include Cold Case(2004), CSI: Miami (2006 to 2007), Gang Related (2014) and Hawaii Five-0 (2016-2017).

6. Aaron Yoo

korean american actors

Aaron Yoo is a prominent Korean American actor who was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. After studying at University of Pennsylvania, he made his feature film debut in “Rocket Science” (2007). Since then, Yoo has starred in various hits, such as Disturbia (2007), 21 (2008), and Friday the 13th (2009).

7. Will Yun Lee

korean american actors

Will Yun Lee is a Korean American actor who has appeared in both mainstream American films and television shows as well as international productions. He is best known for his roles in the films The Wolverine and Die Another Day, as well as the TV series Hawaii Five-0.

Lee was born in Arlington, Virginia and began his acting career in 1997 with a small role in the film Nash Bridges. Afterwards, he has appeared in a number of films and television shows, including The Good Doctor, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, The Guardians of Justice.

8. Randall Park

korean american actors

Randall Park was born in Los Angeles, California to immigrants from Korea and was raised in West Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. in English and Asian American Studies from UCLA, and began his career with a stand-up comedy routine.

Randall Park is known for his role as Kim Jong-Un in the 2014 film The Interview and Louis Huang in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat. 

He made his television debut in 2003 on Fastlane. Since then, Park’s filmography includes roles in The Office, Veep, Trainwreck, Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Aquaman (2018), and more.

9. Ma Dong-Seok

korean american actors

Dong-seok Ma known as Don Lee, is a Korean-American actor born and raised in Korea before immigrated to the United States and became a citizen. Before venturing into his entertainment career, he worked as a personal trainer, training former UFC champion Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman. 

His manly image suits the diverse roles he’s isn’t afraid to take on, including homicide detective and thug. Some of his most well-known work includes Train to Busan and The Eternals. In Korea, he even carries an endearing nickname – Ma-vely, which translates loosely to ‘Lovely Ma’ – acknowledging his strong presence and yet still somehow retain his cute and attractive side.

Sum Up

While there are many other korean american actors that are killing it in Hollywood and global entertainment industry, I just shared my short picks to keep it short and simple. Who is your most favourite korean american actors? Let me know in the comment sections below!

korean american actors
korean american actors

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