Song Joong Ki is a South Korean actor who rose to Hallyu status when he starred in the smash hit KBS drama Descendants of the Sun in 2016. Born on September 19, 1985, Song also did notable performances in the television series Sungkyunkwan Scandal in 2010, the KBS melodrama The Innocent Man in 2012, and the box office hit A Werewolf Boy in 2012. He also briefly joined Running Man on SBS as a regular cast member from 2010 to 2011. He was ranked 7th in Forbes Korea Power Celebrity List in 2013 and shot to 2nd place in 2017.
Song grew up in Daejeon province as the second of three siblings. He used to compete in short track speed skating and even represented his hometown at a national competition. But due to an injury, he was forced to quit the sport on his first year in high school. The teenage Joong Ki then completely focused on his studies all through high school, eventually earned scoring 380 out of 400 points in the national college entrance test. With his high scores in the exam, he was granted admission to the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration (minor in broadcasting) in 2012.
After his high school graduation, Song went to Seoul to prepare for his college entrance test. It was during this time that he was scouted by an agent on the subway. However, he did not join the entertainment industry right away because he was still undecided about the career path he wanted to take and due to the fact that his father didn’t want him to become an actor.
While he was a student, Song appeared as a contestant on KBS’ Quiz Korea, marking his first appearance on TV. He substituted for a senior who was sick and went on to win second place in the contest. Song started drawing attention on campus after his win on the quiz show and he became a cover model for the university’s magazine, College.
On his third year in the university, Joong Ki decided to continue his education part-time in order to pursue acting full-time.
Song made his television debut with a minor role in the program Get Karl! Oh Soo Jung in 2007.
In 2008, of the television series Love Racing and My Precious You. In the same year, he made his big screen debut with the period film A Frozen Flower.
His role in the 2009 drama Triple allowed the actor to relive his years as a speed skating athlete, followed by a cameo appearance in My Fair Lady and another role in Will It Snow for Christmas? He also went on to star in the films Five Sense of Eros and The Case of Itaewon Homicide.
Song’s acting career continued to gain traction in the year 2010, appearing in the SBS medical drama OB & GY and the KBS historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, with the latter drawing more attention to him as an actor. By the time Sungkyunkwan Scandal has ended, Song had established a solid following among viewers particularly because of his on-screen “bromance” with co-actor Yoo Ah In. For his role in the drama, Song was nominated for the categories of Excellence Award for an Actor in a Mid-length Series and Netizens’ Award, and won the Popularity Award at the KBS Drama Awards for that year. He was also nominated for the Best New Actor category at the 4th Korea Drama Awards.
Also in 2010, Song starred in the film Hearty Paws 2, a sequel to the 2006 film of the same title and ventured into variety when he joined the cast of the SBS program Running Man. He also did a bicycle tour of Sydney for two episodes for a TV special of popular fashion magazine ELLE. Further widening his breadth as an all-around celebrity, Song took part in the Beautiful Skin Project for Antenna Books. The bestselling book is a compilation of health and beauty guide for men and was re-released in Japan in 2013.
In early 2011, the dashing actor did another lifestyle program, this time for QTV, with I’m Real: Song Joong Ki which aired footages of his trip to Japan.
He also landed a minor role in the SBS period drama Tree with Deep Roots where he played the young King Sejong. And although he wasn’t part of the lead cast, Song was praised by critics for his performance in the drama and eventually won the PD Award at the 2011 SBS Drama Awards.
That year, he decided to leave the variety program Running Man to focus on his career as an actor. He then starred in the film Penny Pinchers alongside Han Ye Seul and lent his voice for the character of ‘Blu’ in the Korean dubbing of the animated movie Rio.
From 2011 to early 2012, Song continued doing non-acting projects with the narration of the six-part documentary Tears of the Antarctic, the fourth installment in MBC’s Tears of the Earth program. The documentary generally focused on various environmental issues but Song’s segment on the Antarctic particularly featured the exotic marine life in the South Pole including rare footage of Emperor penguins, and albatross, and a stranded humpback whale. For his work in the documentary, Song donated all his earnings to charity. The series was later re-edited and released in theaters as Pengi and Sommi with Song reprising his role as narrator.
2012 was a phenomenal year for Song’s career according to the actor himself. Aside from a cameo appearance in the movie The Grand Heist, he also landed the titular role in the movie A Werewolf Boy alongside Park Bo Young. The film first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was later screened at the Busan International Film Festival. It sold more than 7 million tickets during its run making it the most successful Korean melodrama of all time. Song also won the Favorite Actor award at the 6th Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards for his role in the film.
In the same year, Song was given his first leading role in a television drama with KBS’ The Innocent Man. He played the role of an antihero and received praise from critics and audience for his performance. Due to its high ratings, the series was another melodrama hit for the actor, earning him the recognition as the “savior” of the genre both on film and TV. The drama also reunited Song and his former Running Man co-member Lee Kwang Soo a year after Song left the program.
On February 2013, Song signed an exclusive contract with Blossom Entertainment after his contract with Sidus HQ has expired. On August of the same year, he enlisted in the military where he served in an infantry unit tasked to patrol and conduct reconnaissance missions along the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone). He was discharged from service on May 2015.
ong’s first project after his military service was for the KBS drama Descendants of the Sun where he played the role of a military officer alongside Hallyu actress Song Hye Kyo. The television series was hugely popular across Asia with a peak rating of 41.6% in Korea and 2.5 billion views in the Chinese online video platform iQiyi. The success of the drama re-established the actor’s position as one of the top actors in South Korea and he went on to win several acting awards including the Presidential Award at the Korea Pop Culture and Arts Awards.
In 2017, Song appeared in a cameo role in jTBC’s Man to Man and returned on the big screen with the film Battleship Island alongside actors So Ji Sub and Hwang Jung Min.
Marriage to Song Hye Kyo
Song’s on-screen chemistry with his ladylove in the KBS drama Descendants of the Sun went on in real life as the two lead actors started dating shortly after the series. The “Song-Song Couple,” as they are fondly called, were embroiled in several dating rumors but they never admitted to any of them.
On July 2017, however, the two actors announced their engagement through their respective agencies. They married three months later on October 31, 2017 in a private ceremony at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. The wedding was attended by their closest family and friends, as well as other big names in the Korean entertainment industry including Park Bo Gum, Yoo Ah In, Park Bo Young, and Choi Ji Woo.