From Co-Stars to Real-Life Lovers: Korean Celebrity Couples

From Co-Stars to Real-Life Lovers: Korean Celebrity Couples

We love watching our favorite k-drama characters fall in love. Sometimes we wonder if the chemistry between actors is real. In some cases, the answer is yes! Today, we're looking at Korean celebrity couples who went from co-stars to real-life lovers.

Korean Actors Who've Tied the Knot

Let's start our list with Korean actors who "gave their heart and soul" and exchanged their vows to be together for life.

Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin

Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin on their wedding

Image Credits: Hyun Bin via Instagram

The wedding of the century! "Crash Landing on You" (2019-2020) co-stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin tied the knot on March 31, 2022 and welcomed their first child on November 27. They'd played enemies in the 2018 film "The Negotiation" before appearing as star-crossed lovers Ri Jeong-hyeok and Yoon Se-ri in CLOY. The romantic acts and heartbreaking moments shared by the couple stole the hearts of netizens around the world and inspired many tourists to come to Korea to find their own oppa.

Cha In-pyo and Shin Ae-ra

Cha In-pyo and Shin Ae-ra wedding

Image Credits: Cha In-pyo via WoW!Korea

Korean actors usually don't marry early in their career. So when "Love in Your Arms" (1994) co-stars Cha In-pyo and Shin Ae-ra announced their engagement, the news made a splash. The couple had starred as Kang Poong-ho and Lee Jin-joo, a chaebol heir and a department store worker who fall in love.

Cha and Shin married in 1995 just before he entered the military. They have one biological son and two adopted daughters. 28 years later, these stars are still very much in love, with Cha revealing in a 2021 "My Ugly Duckling" episode that he tells Shin he loves her six times a day.

Cha In-pyo and Shin Ae-ra this year

Image Credits: Cha In-pyo via Instagram

Jang Dong-gun and Ko So-young

Jang Dong-gun and Ko So-young wedding

Image Credits: AM Entertainment via The Korea Times

10 years after appearing onscreen together, Jang Dong-gun broke the news that he'd been dating Ko So-young for the past two years. They'd played the lead couple in 1999 romance film "Love Wind Love Song" set on Jeju Island, a popular destination for lovers and honeymooners.

Jang and Ko married at the glamorous Shilla Hotel on May 2, 2010 in one of the most extravagant Korean celebrity weddings of all time. Their first child was born on October 4, and their second child on February 25, 2014.  

Jang Dong-gun and Ko So-young now

Image Credits: Ko So-young via Instagram

Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung

Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung wedding

Image Credits: Image via Soompi

Unlike most of the actors on this list, Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung didn't play the main couple. In fact, Lee's character Yoon Soo-jin is rivals with female lead Ji Eun-soo (Eugene), who falls for the male lead Kang Hyun-woo (Ji Sung) in "Save the Last Dance for Me" (2004-2005).

Cast of "Save the Last Dance for Me"

L-R: Jung Tae-min (Ryu Soo-young), Yoon Soo-jin (Lee Bo-young), Ji Eun-soo (Eugene), Kang Hyun-woo (Ji Sung) / SBS via Couch Kimchi 

After the k-drama finished filming, Ji confessed to Lee. At first she turned him down, saying she couldn't be with another celebrity. However, he was persistent, and she eventually agreed to date him. They married in 2013 and have two children.

Lee Bo-young and Ji Sung

Image Credits: Image via Soompi

Ki Tae-young and Kim Yoo-jin (Eugene)

Eugene and Ki Tae-young wedding

Image Credits: Image via HanCinema

Speaking of Eugene, she married Ki Tae-young in 2011. They had acted together in "Creating Destiny" (2009-2010), playing a couple trying not to get married. Just like the leads, however, the actors fell in love in real life.

Eugene and Ki were the first couple to appear on reality show "Super Couple Diary," which began airing in 2012. They have two young daughters, whom they love and look after equally. The stars are also unafraid about showing physical affection, as Eugene shared in an 2021 episode of "Same Bed, Different Dreams 2: You Are My Destiny."

Eugene, Ki Tae-young, and family

Image Credits: Eugene via Instagram

Shin Seong-il and Um Aing-ran

Shin Seong-il and Um Aing-ran wedding

Image Credits: Korea Film Archive via Koreaboo

We can't discuss Korean celebrity couples without mentioning silver screen icons Shin Seong-il and Um Aing-ran. They starred in 27 films in 1964 alone and co-starred in 58 films altogether, with "The Barefooted Youth" (1964) solidifying their couple status. That same year, they married in the "wedding of the century."

Shin and Um had three children and remained one of Korea's most famous celebrity couples, loving and supporting each other until Shin died of lung cancer in 2018.

Shin Seong-il and Um Aing-ran in old age

Image Credits: Yonhap via The Korea Times

Dating with the K-drama Stars

It's not easy being in a relationship with another actor/actress, especially if you're working on different projects. But it's still worth a try! These next celebrity couples are finding ways to make the dating life work for them.

Lee Do-hyun and Lim Ji-yeon 

Lim Ji-yeon and Lee Do-hyun

Image Credits: Image via KapanLagi.com

"The Glory" (2022-2023) has given us an intense story, riveting performances, and a real-life couple. On April 1, weeks after Part 2 of the show had been released, the actors' agencies confirmed that Lee Do-hyun (who played male lead Joo Yeo-jeong) and Lim Ji-yeon (who played main antagonist Park Yeon-jin) are dating. The news came as a surprise to some netizens, while others pointed out the strong chemistry between the actors onscreen. We wish all the best to the new couple! 

Shin Min-a and Kim Woo-bin

Kim Woo-bin and Shin Min-a ad

Image Credits: Giordano via Pinterest

This couple didn't meet on a k-drama set but through modelling. Shin Min-a and Kim Woo-bin appeared in commercial films and ads for brands like Giordano before announcing their relationship in May 2015. They didn't act in a k-drama together until 2022's "Our Blues." The model-actors have stuck together through hard times, including Kim's diagnosis and treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer. Fans are now eagerly waiting for them to tie the knot.

Lee Hye-ri (Hyeri) and Ryu Jun-yeol

Hyeri and Ryu Jun-yeol
Image Credits: Image via KpopStarz

Hyeri and Ryu Jun-yeol announced they were dating in 2017. They'd played childhood friends Sung Deok-sun and Kim Jung-hwan in 2015 hit series "Reply 1988." While their characters don't end up together (spoiler alert), Hyeri and Ryu are in an offscreen relationship, which they have kept mostly private.

Celebrity Partners Who've Parted Ways

Sadly, relationships don't always work out. It's always a shock when our favorite actors break up. For one reason or another, these couples did just that.

Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo (Song-Song)

Song-Song wedding

Image Credits: United Artists Agency via Koreaboo

One of the biggest celebrity couples, Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo were the main leads in "Descendants of the Sun" (2016), considered one of the best romance k-dramas of all time. The following year, Song-Song married in a private but lavish ceremony at the Hotel Shilla.

Fans who'd cheered on the couple were shocked when they divorced in 2019 due to differences in personality. Early this year, Song Joong-ki announced he'd married former British actress Katy Louise Saunders, who is expecting their first child. Both he and Song Hye-kyo have continued acting in hit k-dramas, including "Vincenzo" (2021) and "Reborn Rich" (2022, Song Joong-ki) and "The Glory" (Song Hye-kyo).

Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki

Image Credits: Song Hye-kyo via SCMP

Koo Hye-sun and Ahn Jae-hyun

Koo Hye-sun and Ahn Jae-hyun wedding

Image Credits: Image via Soompi

Koo Hye-sun and Ahn Jae-hyun are another celebrity couple that divorced, but their story is messier. The actors had starred in supernatural thriller "Blood" (2015) before getting married in 2016.   

Blood kdrama poster

Image Credits: KBS2 via Wikipedia

However, things soured between the couple, and Ahn requested a divorce. After a public and ugly media battle, they ended their relationship in 2019. He has continued appearing in k-dramas, including his most recent series "The Real Has Come!" (2023). Meanwhile, Koo has taken a break from acting to focus on creating art and directing movies.

Koo Hye-sun and Ahn Jae-hyun

Image Credits: Image via Netizen Turkey

Lee Sung-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk

Nam Joo-hyuk and Lee Sung-kyung

ÔĽŅImage Credits:¬†ÔĽŅLee Sung-kyung via¬†Cosmopolitan

No one could get enough of this weightlifter-swimmer duo, so fans were excited to hear that Lee Sung-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk were dating in real life in 2017. The actors co-starred in "Cheese in the Trap" (2016) and "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" (2017), playing the main couple in the latter. Due to busy schedules, however, they broke up after just a few months. 

Lee Min-ho and Park Min-young

Park Min-young and Lee Min-ho

Image Credits: Image via Soompi

Conflicting schedules got in the way of another onscreen-turned-real life couple. "City Hunter" (2011) leads Lee Min-ho and Park Min-young dated each other for five months, but they were barely able to meet due to their activities. They announced their breakup in 2012, although they'd ended their relationship some time earlier.

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Did we leave out your favorite real-life k-drama couples? What is one celebrity actor pairing that made you believe in love again? Drop their names and the show/s they appeared in below.

April 2023 Korean Dramas Seoulbox

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

And if you'd like to add some extra flavor to your k-drama date night with your oppa or noona, consider getting our new Korean Dramas Seoulbox. From savory chips to sweet cakes, they're sure to make your bingeing a more delightful experience!

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