MON, AUGUST 15, 2022
Actor Youn makes Korean, Asian history with Oscar win
Actor Youn makes Korean, Asian history with Oscar win
  • By Kim Minji (
  • 승인 2021.04.27 12:33
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Actor Youn Yuh-jung on April 25 in Union Station of Los Angeles celebrates her historic win at this year's Academy Awards as the first Korean to earn the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. (Yonhap News)

Actor Youn Yuh-jung has made history by winning Best Supporting Actress at this year's Academy Awards for her performance in "Minari."

At the awards ceremony held at Union Station in Los Angeles on April 25, Youn became the first Korean to win an Oscar for acting and the second Asian to do so after Miyoshi Umeki, who appeared in the 1957 film "Sayonara."

"(The Oscars) is like a television program to me, but I cannot believe that I am here," Youn said. "Thank you (to) the wonderful 'Minari' family. We became a family."

"So (to) all the nominees, we are the winners (from) five different movies. We played different roles so we cannot compete against each other. I have a little bit of luck, maybe, I'm luckier than you."

The 74-year-old actor debuted in 1966 with Tongyang Broadcasting Co. While working a part-time job to pay for her tuition as an undergraduate at Hanyang University in Seoul, she was advised to take part in a talent audition.

Youn made her film debut in director Kim Ki-young's "Woman of Fire." She mentioned Kim at the Oscar ceremony by saying, "I would like to dedicate this award (to) my first director, Kim Ki-Young, who was a genius director," adding, "I think he would be very happy if he was still alive."

In 1974, the actor went on hiatus from her career and moved to the U.S. after marrying singer Cho Young-nam. After their 13-year marriage ended in divorce, she returned to Korea with their two sons and mostly appeared in TV dramas for a long while.

In 2003, she made her silver screen comeback in "A Good Lawyer's Wife" and expanded her acting range through roles in films like "Actresses" in 2009 and "The Taste of Money" in 2012.

On TV, she has also shown an easygoing demeanor and witty humor in variety shows like "Youn's Kitchen."

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