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20 Beautiful K-Pop Idols Turned Actress

Updated on January 7, 2017

When it comes to singing and dancing, many female K-pop idols are recognized for their performances. But when it comes to acting, these female idols cannot be left behind. Known as K-Pop idols turned actors, these beautiful and pretty idols have already proven themselves when it comes to acting. They are indeed talented, successful, and popular. Here are the 20 beautiful K-Pop idols turned actress.

Note: This list is not in order.

1. Suzy (Miss A)

One of the most popular and most successful K-Pop idol turned actor is Suzy Bae of Miss A. She starred recently in the drama Uncontrollably Fond together with Kim Woo-bin. She is also bound to give us another upcoming drama, While You Were Sleeping with Lee Jong-suk. With her exceptional talent in acting, Suzy received several awards including the prestigious Baeksang Arts Awards for her films, Architecture 101 and The Sound of a Flower. She also won numerous awards for her drama performances as best actress.

Drama Roles:

  • 2011 - Dream High as Go Hye-mi
  • 2012 - Big as Jang Ma-ri
  • 2013 - Gu Family Book as Dam Yeo-wool
  • 2016 - Uncontrollably Fond as Noh-eul
  • 2017 - While You Were Sleeping

Film Roles:

  • 2012 - Architecture 101 as young Yang Seo-yeon
  • 2015 - The Sound of a Flower as Jin Chae-seon

2. IU (singer)

Dubbed as 'Korea's Little Sister' for her girl-next-door image is the beloved IU, also known as Lee Ji-eun in real life. This multi-talented girl became extremely successful not only in her singing career, but in her acting career as well. She started in 2011 playing the role of Kim Pil-suk in Dream High. Though it was her debut act, she nailed the role and was nominated as Best Actress at the KBS Drama Awards. Since then, IU continued to appear in dramas and taking lead roles. Recently, she played the lead role of Hae-soo in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, where she and Lee Joon-gi won the Best Couple Award at SBS Drama Awards.

Drama Roles:

  • 2011 - Dream High as Kim Pil-suk
  • 2013 - You're the Best, Lee Soon-shin as Lee Soon-shin
  • 2013 - Bel Ami as Kim Bo-tong
  • 2015 - The Producers as Cindy
  • 2016 - Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo as Hae-soo

3. Dohee (Tiny-G)

Another K-Pop idol who is proving her talent in acting is Tiny-G's pride, Min Do-hee. She showed her potential as an actress when she took the role of Jo Yoon-jin in the drama series, Reply 1994. It was her acting debut, but her acting is so natural you'd be convinced that she was a child actress. With her heavy accent and 'small but terrible' image, she left the viewers wowing with her performance. She won the Best New Actress award at the 7th Korea Drama Awards and was nominated as Best New Actress at 50th Baeksang Arts Awards.She also played a supporting role in the musical drama, Cantabile Tomorrow.

Drama Roles:

  • 2013 - Reply 1994 as Jo Yoon-jin
  • 2014 - Cantabile Tomorrow as Choi Min-hee
  • 2015 - My Mom as Kong Soon-yi
  • 2016 - Mirror of the Witch as Soon-deuk

Film Roles:

  • 2015 - Perfect Proposal as Yoo-mi

4. Eunji (Apink)

It is not easy to be exceptionally great when you're just new to acting, especially those who are transitioning from being a music idol into an actor. But Jung Eunji of Apink made it possible when she debuted in Reply 1997, one of the highest-rated cable dramas ever. Taking the role of Shi-won, the female lead, she showed off her acting skills by bringing an emotional and hilarious fictional character into life. Her performance gained positive reviews from critics, which is a good sign for a beginner. She was awarded as Best New TV Actress at the 49th Baeksang Arts Award. Since then, Eunji is recognized as one of the best idol actresses.

Drama Roles:

  • 2012 - Reply 1997 as Sung Shi-won
  • 2013 - That Winter, the Wind Blows as Moon Hee-sun
  • 2014 - Trot Lovers as Choi Choon-hee
  • 2015 - Cheer Up! as Kang Yeon-doo

5. Uee (After School)

A successful actor idol in the entertainment world is Kim Yu-jin, also known as Uee of After School. Her acting debut as young Lady Mishil on Queen Seondeok was well received, which brought her several awards. But her image as an idol turned actress rose into fame when she played Baek Ja-eun in Ojakgyo Family, where she won the prestigious Best New Actress award at 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. She continued to perform well in the following dramas. The most recent is her performance at Marriage Contract where she won the Top Excellence Award for Actress and was nominated for a Grand Prize (Daesang) at MBC Drama Awards.

Drama Roles:

  • 2009 - Queen Seondeok as young Mishil
  • 2009 - You're Beautiful as Yoo He-yi
  • 2011 - Birdie Buddy as Sung Mi-soo
  • 2011 - Ojakgyo Family as Baek Ja-eun
  • 2012- Jeon Woo-chi as Princess Hong Mu-yeon
  • 2013 - Golden Rainbow as Kim Baek-won
  • 2015 - Hogu's Love as Do Do-hee
  • 2015 - High Society as Jang Yoon-ha
  • 2016 - Marriage Contract as Kang Hye-soo
  • 2016 - Night Light as Lee Se-jin

6. Seohyun (SNSD)

Besides singing, the maknae of Girls' Generation is incredibly talented and interested in many other projects. Seohyun started her acting career with a supporting role in Passionate Love, where she was praised by the director for her expressiveness and understanding of her character very well. She continued to impress us with her incredible performance in Moon Lovers as Woo-hee, where she earned a Special Acting Award at the 2016 SBS Drama Awards. After showing off her potential by playing supporting roles, she will be taking her first lead role this 2017 on a web drama called Ruby Ruby Love. Aside from acting on small screen, Seohyun is also known on stage for her brilliant performances as a stage actress.

Drama Roles:

  • 2013 - Passionate Love as Han Yoo-rim
  • 2016 - Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo as Woo-hee
  • 2017 - Canvas the Emperor as Dong Pu Ti
  • 2017 - Ruby Ruby Love as Lee Ruby

Film Roles:

  • 2016 - So I Married An Anti-fan as Irene

7. Krystal (fx)

One of the best characters in the 2013 hit drama, The Heirs, is the attractive and beautiful student, Lee Bo Na. This adorable character was brought to life by Krystal of f(x). Her portrayal of a spoiled yet kind-hearted girl was praised positively. Her perfect chemistry with CNBLUE's Kang Min-hyuk brought them the best Couple Award. Later, she took her first lead role in the drama, My Lovely Girl, where she showed off her strong determination in pulling off a difficult character. She won the Most Popular Actress award at the 51st Baeksang Arts Awards in recognition of her performance in the drama.

Drama Roles:

  • 2010 - More Charming By The Day as Jung Soo Jung
  • 2011 - High Kick: Revenge of the Short Legged as Ahn Soo Jung
  • 2013 - The Heirs as Lee Bo Na
  • 2013 - The Miracle as Lee Bo Na
  • 2014 - My Lovely Girl as Yoon Se Na
  • 2017 - Graduation Season as Ye Ran

8. Hyeri (Girl's Day)

Everyone was surprised at Hyeri's breathtaking performance on Reply 1988. At first, many critics seemed skeptical with her taking the lead role, but when Hyeri bursts out her acting potential, they were left astounded. While it may be difficult for idols to set aside their beautiful image just to show off the emotion of the character they're playing, she was able to embrace Duk Seon's personality as if she is not the Hyeri of Girls' Day but the infamous and unattractive 999th student. Her brilliant acting brought a huge success in the drama, making it the highest rated Korean drama in cable television history.

Drama Roles:

  • 2012 - Tasty Life as Jang Mi-hyun
  • 2014 - Seonam Girls High School Investigators as Lee Ye-hee
  • 2015 - Hyde, Jekyll, Me as Min Woo-jung
  • 2015 - Reply 1988 as Sung Duk-seon/Sung Soo-yeon
  • 2016 - Entertainer as Jung Geu-rin

9. Yoona (SNSD)

She might be popular thanks to being a member of Girls' Generation, but Yoona is more than just beauty and voice. Yoona proved her acting skills by taking lead and supporting roles in dramas. Her first lead role in You Are My Destiny brought her several awards, including the Best New Actress at the 45th Baeksang Arts Awards. Her performance in Cinderella Man and Love Rain have also gained her recognition. The drama, Prime Minister and I became successful and popular in Asia. Lately, she starred at The K2 as Anna, a woman with social phobia. Her acting was praised and the drama received favorable reviews.

Drama Roles:

  • 2007 - Two Outs in the Ninth Inning as Shin Joo-young
  • 2008 - You Are My Destiny as Jang Sae-byuk
  • 2009 - Cinderella Man as Seo Yoo-jin
  • 2012 - Love Rain as Kim Yoon-hee / Jung Ha-na
  • 2013 - Prime Minister and I as Nam Da-jung
  • 2016 - The K2 as Go An-na
  • 2017 - The King Loves as Wang San

10. Sulli (fx)

Sulli, a former member of the girl group, f(x), continued her career in the world of acting. When she was in the girl group, she was praised for her singing and rap skills, but now that she had decided to pursue in acting, she received positive praises for her performance as an actress. She originally began acting at 11, where she starred in the drama, Ballad of Seodong. She continued taking supporting roles until she played the lead role of Goo Jae-hee in the drama, To the Beautiful You. Her tomboyish image in the drama brought her the New Star Award at the SBS Drama Awards. Recently, she joined Kim Soo-hyun in the film, Real.

Drama Roles:

  • 2005 - Ballad of Seodong as Young Princess Seonhwa of Silla
  • 2006 - Vacation as Jin-joo
  • 2012 - To the Beautiful You as Goo Jae-hee

Film Roles:

  • 2007- Punch Lady as Gwak Chun-sim
  • 2008 - BABO as young Ji-ho
  • 2014 - The Pirates as Heuk-myo
  • 2014 - Fashion King as Kwak Eun-jin
  • 2016 - Real as Song Yoo-hwa

11. Yuri (SNSD)

Another idol turned actor from Girls' Generation is the beautiful and charming Kwon Yuri. She nailed her first lead role as Choi Anna in the 2012 drama, Fashion King. The drama was positively praised, as well as Yuri's performance alongside the lead actor, Yoo Ah-in. She won the Most Popular Actress award for TV at 49th Baeksang Arts Awards for her performance at Fashion King, and later received the Most Popular Actress award for Film at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards for her role at No Breathing.

Drama Roles:

  • 2007 - Unstoppable Marriage as Kwon Yuri
  • 2012 - Fashion King as Choi Anna
  • 2016 - Neighborhood Hero as Bae Jung-yeon
  • 2016 - Gogh, The Starry Night as Goho
  • 2017 - Defendant as Seo Eun-hye

Film Roles:

  • 2013 - No Breathing as Jung Eun

12. Dasom (Sistar)

Kim Da-som of Sistar is also making her way into acting. She is now a certified idol turned actor for her brilliant performance in several dramas. Her acting in the 2013 drama, Melody of Love, brought her several nominations as best new actress. Her most recent work is the 2015 drama, The Virtual Bride, where she played the role of Oh In-young, a member of a four-member girl group. She also made her debut with a lead role on the big screen in the movie, Like a French Film.

Drama Roles:

  • 2012 - Family as Woo Da-yoon
  • 2013 - Melody of Love as Gong Deul-im
  • 2015 - The Virtual Bride as Oh In-young

Film Roles:

  • 2015 - Like a French Film as Gi Hong

13. Seolhyun (AOA)

Although Seolhyun's ultimate dream since child is to become a singer, her rising popularity can't help but let her become an actress as well. AOA's singer is now also taking some lead roles in dramas such as Ugly Alert and Orange Marmalade. Her role as Baek Ma-ri in Orange Marmalade is kind of complicated, because she portrayed a teenage student who is actually a vampire. Her performance made her won the Most Popular Actress award at the 2015 KBS Drama Awards.

Drama Roles:

  • 2012 - My Daughter Seo-young as Seo Eun-soo
  • 2013 - Ugly Alert as Gong Na-ri
  • 2015 - Orange Marmalade as Baek Ma-ri

Film Roles:

  • 2015 - Gangnam Blues as Kang Seon-hye
  • 2017 - A Murderer's Guide to Memorization as Eun-hee

14. Sooyoung (SNSD)

Proving herself talented not only in music and dance but also in acting is Girls' Generation's Sooyoung. She started her acting career in drama with a supporting role in Unstoppable Marriage. She then started taking lead role in The 3rd Hospital, and later, in Dating Agency: Cyrano where she was nominated as Best New Actress at 6th Korea Drama Awards. Her performance in My Spring Days became the most iconic, which made her won several awards for her acting.

Drama Roles:

  • 2008 - Unstoppable Marriage as Choi Soo-young
  • 2012 - The 3rd Hospital as Lee Eui-jin
  • 2013 - Dating Agency: Cyrano as Gong Min-young
  • 2014 - My Spring Days as Lee Bom-yi
  • 2016 - Perfect Sense as Eun-soo
  • 2016 - 38 Revenue Collection Unit as Cheon Sung-hee
  • 2017 - Polyclinic Doctor

15. Minah (Girl's Day)

One of the cutest K-pop idol is Bang Min-ah of Girl's Day, and she's getting cuter because she's now a certified idol actress. She started her acting career by taking part in playing a supporting role, but in 2016, she finally had her first lead role. When Minah landed her first leading role in Beautiful Gong Shim, many were touched and amazed by her performance. She portrays the image of a girl with no self confidence who always feel ugly and bad about herself. It may not be an easy role to take, but Minah's performance is so convincing. She received Excellence Award, Actress in a Romantic Comedy Drama at SBS Drama Awards for the role.

Drama Roles:

  • 2011 - Vampire Idol as Min-ah
  • 2013 - The Miracle as Cha Eun-sang
  • 2014 - The Best Future as Mi-rae
  • 2015 - Sweet, Savage Family as Baek Hyun-ji
  • 2016 - Beautiful Gong Shim as Gong Shim

16. Naeun (Apink)

Son Na-eun of Apink is also becoming popular for her acting performances. Besides singing and dancing with her group mates in Apink, she is also venturing in other projects, like taking mini roles in dramas. But recently, she had the role of a second female lead in the drama, Cinderella and Four Knights, where she portrayed Park Hye-ji, a tough woman with a kind heart inside.

Drama Roles:

  • 2012 - The Great Seer as teenage Hae-in
  • 2012 - Childless Comfort as Oh Soo-mi
  • 2015 - Twenty Again as Oh Hye-mi
  • 2016 - Cinderella and Four Knights as Park Hye-ji

Film Roles:

  • 2012 - Marrying the Mafia 5: Return of The Family as Eun Hee-Jae
  • 2013 - The Miracle as Tae Gong-shil

17. Eunjung (T-ara)

Before she debuted as a member of T-ara, Hahm Eun-jung is already popular as a child actress. She started in the entertainment at the age of 5, when she won as "Little Miss Korea" in 1995. Since then, she had been taking minor roles and up to date, continues to appear in dramas and movies.

Drama Roles:

  • 1995 - A New Generation of Adults as Jessica
  • 2004 - Little Women as young Hyun Deuk
  • 2004 - Age of Heroes as Layla
  • 2004 - Toji, the Land as young Bong Soon
  • 2010 - Coffee House as Kang Seung Yeon
  • 2011 - Dream High as Yoon Baek Hee
  • 2011 - King Geunchogo as Jin Ah Yi
  • 2012 - Queen Insoo as young Insoo
  • 2014 - Endless Love as Tae Cho Ae
  • 2015 - Love on a Rooftop as Min Chae-won
  • 2015 - Sweet Temptation (Only For You) as Eun Jin

Film Roles:

  • 1999 - A-rong's Big Expedition as Song-i
  • 2002 - Dodge Go! Go! as Min Sang Mi
  • 2002 - Madeleine as young Song Hye
  • 2005 - The Beast and the Beauty as Hae Mi
  • 2006 - Ice Bar as Mi Sook
  • 2006 - World of Silence as Min Hee
  • 2007 - Dating On Earth as Yun Yi Soo
  • 2008 - Death Bell as Kim Ji Won
  • 2011 - White: The Melody of the Curse as Eun Joo
  • 2017 - Micro Love as Kim Min Jee
  • 2017 - Flowers of Evil as Sun Young

18. Nam Ji-hyun (4Minute)

Although 4Minute has disbanded in 2016, the leader and vocalist of the group, Nam Ji-hyun is still known for her acting performances in dramas. She had taken some lead roles in mobile dramas, working alongside Kim Woo Bin, Oh Kwang Rok, Kim Yoo Jung, Park Sun Ho, and others. In 2016, she also took a main role in My Little Baby, with Oh Ji-Ho and Lee Soo-Kyung as her colleagues.

Drama Roles:

  • 2010 - It's Okay, Daddy's Girl as Shin Sun-hae
  • 2011 - A Thousand Kisses as Jang Soo-ah
  • 2013 - Love and War 2 as Seo Young
  • 2013 - Please Remember, Princess - Generation of Romance as Yoon Min-ah
  • 2014 - Love Cells as Seo-rin
  • 2015 - She Is 200 Years Old as Se-yeon
  • 2016 - My Little Baby as Han So-yoon

19. Jiyeon (T-ara)

Apart from performing on stage, the maknae and main dancer of T-ara is also performing on small screen. Jiyeon appeared as supporting actress and cameo in numerous dramas since 2008. In 2010, she appeared as Na Hyun-jung in the drama, Master of Study, which is based on the Japanese manga, Dragon Zakura. She was nominated as Best New Actress and Best Couple with Yoo Seung-ho at the 2010 KBS Drama Awards.

Drama Roles:

  • 2008 - Aeja's Older Sister, Minja as Maeng Na-yeon
  • 2009 - Soul Yoon as Doo-na
  • 2009 - High Kick! (season 2) as Lee Yu-ri
  • 2010 - Master of Study as Na Hyun-jung
  • 2011 - Miss Ripley as Yu
  • 2012 - Dream High 2 as Ri-an/Lee Ji-kyung
  • 2014 - Triangle as Seong Yoo-jin
  • 2015 - Sweet Temptation (Reborn) as Ji-ho
  • 2016 - My Runway as Han Seo-yeon

20. Sandara (2NE1)

Before she started gaining popularity as a member of the girl group, 2NE1, Sandara was already famous in Philippines as an icon. She was first discovered in Star Circle Quest, a reality-based talent search in the Philippines and was able to pursue her singing and acting career. She had numerous roles in Filipino dramas which usually showed her hilarious and comedic side. Because of her mainstream success, Sandara became a well-known icon as an entertainer in the Philippines, gaining the title, 'Pambansang Krung krung ng Pilipinas', meaning a National Icon of Being Hilarious. She also took roles in Korean drama, such as Dr. Ian, where she won the "Best Actress" award at the K-web festival for her portrayal as Lee So Dam.

Drama Roles:

  • 2004 - Krystala (Filipino drama) as Kim
  • 2006 - Komiks Presents: Machete (Filipino drama) as Mara
  • 2009 - The Return of Iljimae as Rie
  • 2015 - Dr. Ian as Lee So-dam
  • 2015 - We Broke Up as Noh Woo-ri
  • 2015 - Missing Korea as Ri Yeon-hwa

That's it!

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