Han Hyo-joo (born February 22, 1987) is a South Korean film and television actress. She is best known for her leading roles in television drama series: Spring Waltz (2006); Brilliant Legacy (2009); Dong Yi (2010) and W (2016); as well as the film Cold Eyes (2013), for which she won Best Actress at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards, and romance film The Beauty Inside (2015).
Han Hyo-joo was born in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.Her mother was an elementary school teacher before becoming an inspector for public schools, and her father was an air force officer.
As a child, she was good in sports, particularly track and field. In her sophomore year of high school, she moved to Seoul and attended Bulgok High School, despite the objections of her strict and conservative father. She then entered Dongguk University, where she joined the theater and film department.Han was first discovered in a teenage beauty pageant organized by food corporation Binggrae in 2003. She began her acting career in the sitcom Nonstop 5 and the gangster comedy film My Boss, My Teacher. Han later raised her profile by starring in Spring Waltz, the fourth and final installment of TV director Yoon Seok-ho's "season drama" series
In 2006, director Lee Yoon-ki cast Han in the starring role in his low-budget independent film Ad-lib Night, which follows a young woman who rediscovers herself through an eerie overnight encounter with strangers. She won the Best New Actress awards at the Korean Association of Film Critics Awards and Singapore International Film Festival for her performance.
In 2010, Han took on the titular character in MBC's 49th anniversary project Dong Yi, The series became a hit during its run both domestically and across Asia.Han won several acting awards for her portrayal of Choi Suk-bin, including the Daesang (Grand Prize) award at MBC Drama Awards and the coveted Best Actress award at Baeksang Arts Awards.
In 2011, Han played a blind telemarketer opposite So Ji-sub's ex-boxer in the melodrama film Always. Helmed by director Song Il-gon, it premiered as the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival. Han later contributed voice narration to the "barrier-free" version of Japanese film My Back Page, which features descriptive audio and subtitles for people with hearing or visual impairments.
In 2015, Han starred in the musical biopic C'est Si Bon, which depicted the ups and downs of the folk music group Twin Folio, which was active from the 1960s to 80s. Famous for its live performances, C'est Si Bon was the name of a popular music lounge located in Mugyo-dong in the 1970s, where Twin Folio got its start; Han played the group's muse. This was followed by romantic comedy film The Beauty Inside, where Han's character falls in love with a man who changes to different people every day.
In 2016, Han returns to the small screen with MBC's fantasy suspense series W alongside Lee Jong-suk. Helmed by director Jung Dae-yoon who directed She Was Pretty and writer Song Jae-jung whose previous works include Nine: Nine Time Travels and Queen In-hyun's Man, expectations rises when this also marks Han's small screen comeback after 6 years.
She won the Top Excellence award at the 5th APAN Star Awards and MBC Drama Awards for her performance in W.
In 2018, Han starred in the thriller Golden Slumber alongside Kang Dong-won.The same year, she reunited with Kang as the female lead in sci-fi action thriller Illang: The Wolf Brigade, based on the Japanese animated flick of the same name.
In 2019, Han was confirmed as part of the main cast of American television series Treadstone, an offshoot from Universal’s Bourne franchise.