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Jang Hyuk

Jang Hyuk

South korean actor

Jang Hyuk (born Jeong Yong-jun on December 20, 1976) is a South Korean actor and rapper. He is best known for his leading roles in the films Volcano High (2001) and Windstruck (2004), and the television dramas Successful Story of a Bright Girl (2002), Thank You (2007), The Slave Hunters (2010), Deep Rooted Tree (2011), You Are My Destiny (2014), Voice (2017), Money Flower (2017) and The Swordsman (2020).

Career
1997–2001: Beginnings and rise to fame[edit]

Jang Yong-jun spent most of his childhood and adolescence in his birthplace, Busan, before making his acting debut in 1997 in the television drama Model under his stage name Jang hyuk. Besides the teen series School and a minor role in the little-seen film Zzang (The Best), Jang appeared in the music video of "To Mother", the 1999 debut single of popular boyband g.o.d, whom he was housemates with at that time. Also in 1999, he played the good-hearted yet aggressive Myung-ha in the series Into the Sunlight. Using the stage name "TJ", he had a brief career as a rapper and acted in several music videos from his rap album TJ Project, which was released in 2000.

Jang's career first began to take off in 2001, when he was cast in the lead role of the special-effects extravaganza Volcano High with actress Shin Min-a. His acting in the eccentric role drew praise from fans and critics.

2002–2004: Mainstream popularity and controversy

In 2002 he continued to make a name for himself, starring in the sleeper hit Jungle Juice, which made the top of the weekly box-office. His popularity continued to increase when he starred in the hugely popular TV drama Successful Story of a Bright Girl with actress Jang Na-ra. He also took a role in Public Toilet, the HK-Korea co-production by acclaimed Hong Kong director Fruit Chan which won a Special Mention in the Upstream section of the 2002 Venice Film Festival.

Jang continued to appear in high-profile projects; in 2003, Jang starred alongside Lee Na-young in the comedy Please Teach Me English, by director Kim Sung-su and the following year, he starred opposite Jun Ji-hyun in Kwak Jae-yong's Windstruck. Although Windstruck was generally not well received in Korea, it went on to beat Shiri and become one of the best-selling Korean films in Japan.

In late 2004, together with fellow actors Song Seung-heon and Han Jae-suk, Jang was found to have illegally avoided his mandatory military service through his and Han's agency SidusHQ. Amid widespread public condemnation, Jang apologized to his fans, then began to serve his two-year term.

2006–2009: Career revival and international collaborations

After his discharge from the military in 2006, Jang made his comeback in the drama series Thank You. A heartwarming story about a young single mother (played by Gong Hyo-jin) with an HIV-positive daughter and the cynical doctor who enters their lives, Thank You surprisingly became a modest hit, and with it Jang left the stigma of his draft-dodging scandal behind him.

He then signed up for the international movie production Dance of the Dragon (2008), a love story that mixed ballroom dancing with martial arts action and costarred Singaporean actress Fann Wong. He won the Best Actor award at the inaugural West Hollywood International Film Festival for his role. Jang also made a cameo in Japanese drama Ryokiteki na Kanojo, a remake of the 2001 Korean film My Sassy Girl. After his earlier guesting on star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi's talk show, the director of the drama reportedly added new scenes for Jang that were not included in the original script. Jang then appeared as the love interest in three music videos of Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao.

More leading roles in TV dramas followed, including Robber (2008) and Tazza (2008) adapted from the gambling manhwa. In 2009, he appeared in the short film His Concern in the omnibus Five Senses of Eros, the risque thriller Searching for the Elephant, and the melodrama Maybe.

Personal life

Jang began dating his girlfriend, Kim Yeo-jin, in 2002. They met at a fitness club, where Kim was his Pilates instructor. The couple's marriage was registered in January 2008, and the ceremony was held in June. His close friends, singer Kim Jong-kook and actor Cha Tae-hyun, participated in the wedding ceremony. The couple have two sons and a daughter, born in February 2008, November 2009 and April 2015 respectively.

Jang has practiced Jeet Kune Do for more than 10 years and is a former professional Taekwondo athlete.

Timeline

December 20, 1976
Jang Hyuk was born in Busan.

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