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Special Features, Original Features

Actresses you may not recognize in their minor roles before stardom

By alim17   Wednesday, May 25, 2016   113,610   3,053   39
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Believe it or not, many of the popular actresses that you know and love dearly weren't so popular or even known back in the day.


Your favorites all started out from humble beginnings, starting out with minor, smaller, supporting roles for the small screen. Not every role these ladies took on was successful; there was bound to be failure along the way. Unless you're a big fan of the actress, you may not even recognize some of these 'obscure' roles!


But you already know the deal--their hard work and talent eventually paid off and these actresses moved onto bigger and better things, making their grand breakthrough with memorable, impressive characters that we will all love for a long time!


Take a look at some of these actresses who climbed their way up from the very bottom to the very top! 


SEE ALSO: Actors you may not recognize in their minor roles before stardom


Kim So Yeon and Song Hye Kyo in 'Soonpoong Clinic'


This was a very popular sitcom back in the day with these two actresses just starting out, but they both failed to make a lasting impression through their respective roles.  Rather, Kim So Yeon moved on to make her name well known as an antagonist, hitting big with 'All About Eve' and more recently 'Iris.'  Since then she's shown off her versatility in various roles like a ditzy prosecutor in 'Prosecutor Princes' and a grieving mother in 'When One's Home is Happy.'  Since then, Song Hye Kyo made it big by her heart-touching acting in melodramas like 'Autumn in My Heart' and 'All In.'  You may also recognize Kim Rae Won!


Jun Ji Hyun in 'Steal My Heart' or 'Fascinate My Heart'


This was her debut drama and you can tell her good looks had not changed since.  Not a strong debut drama to get her name known, she managed to stand out more in the realm of film through works like 'Il Mare' and, of course, 'My Sassy Girl' three years later.  Since then, her immense stardom continues upward on a steady rise.  


Lee Da Hae in 'Sweet 18'


(around 7:56)

While the drama was a super big hit at the time, a lot of the young K-Pop fans probably do not know this, and people who watched the drama before probably did not even realize that this actress was in it.  Before Lee Da Hae hit it big-time with her adorable and quirky role in 'My Girl,' she played the secondary lead in this drama as the lead male's former girlfriend. You also can note Han Ji Hye and Lee Dong Gun as the leads.


Park Min Ji in '18 vs 29'


A lot of people now know Park Min Ji as the outspoken friend in 'Cheese in the Trap,' but she actually had her breakthrough with the very popular movie 'Jenny, Juno' about teenage pregnancy.  However, before that, a lot of people seemed to have only remembered Siwon in the flashback scenes of '18 vs 29' and not the lady across him who played the younger version of the female protagonist.  That's right, that was Park Min Ji - and she looks exactly the same and adorable!


Song Ji Hyo in 'Goong (Princess Hours)'


It's hard to tell if people forgot that she was in this drama because the drama itself was so popular and she was a second lead, but I do remember that her character was really disliked, and that rubbed off on her personally, too.  This was her debut drama. She got really popular since, especially for her 'Running Man' appearances, though, so it seems as if people have forgotten she played the unlikable secondary lead in this popular manga-turned-drama (as you can tell from the YouTube comments, actually).


Kim Tae Hee in 'Last Present'

Kim Tae Hee may be one of the most adored actresses through her countless charming, 'damsel-in-distress' characters. But even a big name like her started off small. Before her role as an evil stepsister in 'Stairway to Heaven' which shot her to the edges of stardom, Kim Tae Hee kicked off her acting career with a relatively minor role in a film titled 'Last Present.' You can see her play the younger version of lead Lee Young Ae's character around the 0:16 mark above. 


Moon Chae Won in 'Mackerel Run'


Moon Chae Won was little known to the public before her memorable roles in dramas such as 'Painter of the Wind' and 'Brilliant Legacy.' Her first major acting gig was through teen sitcom 'Mackerel Run,' for which she played one of the main leads right alongside Lee Min Ho! After she started gaining popularity, she landed more leads rather than supporting roles, showing off her talent in dramas like 'The Princess' Man,' 'Good Doctor,' and more recently,' 'Goodbye, Mr. Black.' Catch her at the 0:11 mark in the clip provided. 


  1. misc.


webe Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kim So Yeon and Song Hye Kyo's roles in Soonpoong Clinic are not minor roles, they are 2 of the 3 sisters if I remember correctly. They might have not been famous, but far from minor roles.  Minor roles would be background extras, or come out for one episode, which is not the case for them.

MarryTaylor5 (Banned) Thursday, May 26, 2016

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

MarryTaylor5 (Banned) Thursday, May 26, 2016

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

pandaspirit Thursday, May 26, 2016

For the record I have heard of Princess Hour and i wanted to see it and all but the fact that Song Ji Hyo was in it... that made me go for it

airboy Thursday, May 26, 2016

The only drama of these dramas that I have watch is "Sweet 18", I watch it after I had seen Lee Da Hae in "My girl" and an other dramas, so it felt a bit odd to see her in "Sweet 18", her ch archer was so different. hehe. Also saw one, or maybe two, episodes of "18 vs 29", but dropped it.

kaname_sama Thursday, May 26, 2016

I can only think of R88 kiss when I hear the song played in the 18 vs 29 clip >_______<

mydelusion Thursday, May 26, 2016

My first K-drama I've ever watched is Sweet 18. I remember Lee Da Hae as Moon Ga Young there. And I really disliked her role. But her character in My Girl is totally different and she's so funny...

Kawaii8 Thursday, May 26, 2016

i think they're all pretty, but jun ji hyun also has a lot of charm. you can tell by just looking at her that she will grow up to be a big star. she's truly the greatest actress of this generation

mary1 Thursday, May 26, 2016





Song Ji Hyo is a Goddess, love her delicate, very feminine and perfectly propotionate face, i hope we will see this stunningly beautiful actress in a new drama soon

Exo_Leia Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wow, I never realized some of these actresses were that old omo they look really good

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