5 K-drama actresses called ‘Cinderella’ in real life after married ultra-rich husbands.
If you’re a K-drama fan, you’ve probably swooned over the heart-fluttering romantic moments in your favourite shows. But Korean actresses often live out their own versions of these scenes in real life, with glamorous weddings and even lavish proposals from their wealthy beaus.
Meet five Korean actresses who made headlines when they tied the knot with some of the country’s richest men.
1. Jun Ji-hyun
In 2012, one of Korea’s all-time favourite actresses and CF queen Jun Ji-hyun married Choi Joon-hyuk, whom she knew since junior school. Her husband comes from a prestigious family – his grandmother Lee Young-hee was a famous hanbok designer and his grandfather ran a steel business.
After working for Bank of America, he joined his family business and became CEO and later largest shareholder of Alpha Assets in 2020. According to Maeil Business Newspaper, business is booming as sales revenues increased by seven times to 10.9 billion South Korean won (US$9.1 million) a year after he took the lead.
What’s more than K-drama-like is his proposal: he took Jun to Japan for a surprise trip and popped the question. Also, we can’t not point out that he has the looks of an actor too.
Soo-hyun, also known by her English name Claudia Kim, rose to fame after her Hollywood roles in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. She married Korean-American businessman Cha Min-geun (also known as Matthew Shampine) who used to be the general manager of WeWork Korea.
According to Korea’s JoongAng Daily, he joined WeWork at the very beginning and rose to directing the start-up in Korea. The couple had their wedding at Shilla Hotel, which is known as one of the most expensive wedding venues in the country.
3. Han Chae-young
Dubbed “Korean Barbie doll”, Han Chae-young became popular after acting in the 2005 drama series Delightful Girl Chun-hyang. In 2007, she married Korean-American businessman Choi Dong-joon who comes from a wealthy financier family. Choi is known to the public as the vice-president of Medcare Korea and CEO of a tech company HBK.
Just like Jun and her husband, the pair knew each other before Han’s acting debut in 2000, meeting in 1998, when they were both in the US, according to her agency.
Choi’s big marriage proposal also made headlines as he spent around 7 billion South Korean won (almost US$6 million), gifting her a five carat diamond ring and a luxurious sports car. After a lavish wedding, the pair moved into a 5,000 sq ft marital home in Cheongdam-dong.
4. Lee Si-young
Lee Si-young is one of the most social media savvy actresses out there and has more than 10 million followers on Tiktok, the first Korean actress to achieve that number. And while Lee keeps up with social media trends, her husband Cho Seung-hyun has a similarly savvy business sense: he is the owner of a successful restaurant franchise. Cho built his business from the ground up during his 20s and saw a yearly sales revenue of around 2.5 billion Korean won (around US$2.13 million) in 2021, according to Chosun Ilbo.
His F&B business includes a rooftop bar in Cheongdam-dong, a Korean barbecue restaurant and more. He even opened a salad shop for his wife! The couple tied the knot in 2017 while Lee was 14 weeks into her pregnancy.
5. Shin Joo-ah
After making her television debut in 2004, Shin Joo-ah grabbed the media’s attention when she married a second-generation Chinese-Thai tycoon in 2014. After meeting her husband Sarawut Rachanakul through a mutual friend while she was travelling, they connected quickly – thanks to her husband’s caring personality, according to Shin’s past interviews.
With her husband’s successful family business – JBP International Paint – Shin now lives in Thailand and often shares her luxurious lifestyle and the family’s grand mansion on her social media.