Cover Shin Min-a in 'Hometown Cha Cha Cha'

Have you seen these talented ladies during your latest K-drama binge?

There is a plethora of talented K-drama leading ladies who have given life to many iconic roles. In the past years, fans have seen the happy-go-lucky side of Song Hye-kyo as Han Ji-eun in the ever-popular Full House. People also fawned over Jun Ji-hyun's feisty attitude in My Sassy Girl and My Love From the Star.

The success of the aforementioned series proves that no matter what shoes these ladies fill, their convincing performances will always draw the attention of fans and casual viewers. 

Listed below are South Korea's favourite actresses and how their exemplary talent has captivated audiences across the globe.

See also: 7 Of The Most Popular Leading Men In K Drama: Lee Min-ho, Song Joong-ki, And More

1. IU

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Actress and singer IU in 'Hotel de Luna'
Above Actress and singer IU in 'Hotel de Luna'

IU is a highly-regarded personality in South Korea. She is also an incredibly talented musician and actress. At an early age, the star started working to pursue her dream to be in the entertainment industry. She made her first debut in 2008 at the age of fifteen as a solo artist under a small company called LOEN Entertainment.

IU has starred in many popular shows like Dream High (2011), You are the Best (2013), Bel Ami, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, and Hotel de Luna.

2. Jun Ji-hyun

Jun Ji-hyun's beauty is unlike any other actress in South Korea. But more than her looks, she is respected for her versatility in acting. The actress has also earned the title "commercial queen" after appearing in different ads. 

She can easily make her fans laugh, cry, and think in just one scene (seriously, everyone has to see My Sassy Girl's prequel Windstruck).

Some of the hit K-dramas she starred in are Legend of the Blue Sea, My Love from the Star, and Kingdom: Ashin of the North.

More from Tatler: 5 Jun Ji-hyun Movies And Shows We Miss: My Sassy Girl, My Love From The Stars, And More

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Jun ji-hyun in 'My Love From the Stars'
Above Jun ji-hyun in 'My Love From the Stars'

3. Song Hye-kyo

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Song Hye-kyo in 'Descendants of the Sun'
Above Song Hye-kyo in 'Descendants of the Sun'

The South Korean entertainment industry is surely grateful for having talented beauty like Song Hye-kyo. Even as a young artist, she helped spread the Hallyu wave across Asia through shows like My Girl And I (2005) and Full House (2004).

The series immediately catapulted her to superstar status. Today, she is widely known for her roles as Kang Mo-eon in Descendants of the Sun and Oh Young in That Winter the Wind Blows.

Related: Song Hye-Kyo: 8 Facts About One Of Korea's Biggest Stars

4. Suzy Bae

Actress Suzy Bae began her career as a member of K pop group Miss A. In a report, English language K pop website Soompi revealed that the star only trained for 10 months before she made her first debut. 

Her role as Go Hye-mi in the highly-acclaimed music teen drama Dream High (2011) propelled Bae to stardom. 

You may have seen her in hit shows like Start Up, Vagabond, While You Were Sleeping and Wonderland.

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Suzy Bae in 'Start Up'
Above Suzy Bae in 'Start Up'

5. Kim Go-eun

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Kim Go-eun in 'Guardian: The Lonely and Great God'
Above Kim Go-eun in 'Guardian: The Lonely and Great God'

Kim Go Eun has bagged big awards and recognitions such as the Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actress Television (2016), Grand Bell Award for Best New Actress (2012), and Blue Dragon Film Award for Best New Actress.

She is indeed a great artist evident in her heavy drama films and series like Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Tune in for Love, and The King: Eternal Monarch. Recently, you may have seen her in the ongoing drama Yumi's Cells

Read more: Kim Go-eun Fashion: 10 Ways The K Drama Star Proved She's A Style Icon

6. Gong Hyo-jin

Gong Hyo-jin has given life to many of South Korea's favourite leading roles. Because of her highly-regarded series, she is regarded as the country's "Queen of Romantic Comedy". 

Some of her most famous shows are Crush and Blush (2008), It's Okay, That's Love, When the Camellia Blooms, The Greatest Love, Jealousy Incarnate, Hello My Teacher, and many more. 

Hyo-jin has also bagged prestigious awards like the coveted Baeksang Arts Award for Best Leading Actress in TV (2012), Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Female (2012 and 2013), Grand Bell Award Popularity Award (2015), and SBS Drama Award for Top Excellence in Acting - Romantic-Comedy Drama (2016). 

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Gong Hyo-jin in 'It's Okay, That's Love'
Above Gong Hyo-jin in 'It's Okay, That's Love'

7. Park Shin-hye

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Park Shin-hye in 'He's Beautiful'
Above Park Shin-hye in 'You Are Beautiful'

Park Shin-hye made her debut in 2003 in Lee Seung-Hwan's music video Ggot (flower) as the female lead. She later decided to audition for a side role in the popular drama Stairway to Heaven and was chosen out of the 250 applicants.

From then on, Shin-hye's fame never stopped. She has starred in series like The Heirs, Memories of Alhambra, You Are Beautiful, Heartstrings, The Royal Tailor, and You've Fallen for Me.

Recently, the actress was seen in movies like Alive, Call, and Miracle in Cell no. 7.

See also: Korean Fashion: 8 K Drama Stars And Their Favourite Designer Bags

8. Park Bo-young

Besides being one of the youngest-looking Korean actresses, Park Bo-young is also a talented artist who starred in shows like Doom at Your Service, Abyss, and Oh My Ghost.

Her exemplary performances allowed her to gain recognition and awards such as Baeksang Arts Award for Most Popular Actress in Film (2009), Baeksang Arts Award for Best New Actress in Film (2009), Grand Bell Award Popularity Award (2009), and Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Female (2015). 

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Park Bo-young in 'Oh My Ghost'
Above Park Bo-young in 'Oh My Ghost'

9. Park Min-young

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Park Min-young in 'What's Wrong with Secretary Kim'
Above Park Min-young in 'What's Wrong with Secretary Kim'

Talented actress Park Min-young rose to fame for her role as Kim Yun-hee in the historical coming-of-age drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010). Since then, Min-young has starred in hit series like What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?, Her Private Life, Healer, and City Hunter

She's often recognised for her signature sleek fashion styling and irresistible smile.

More from Tatler: 7 Wedding Dresses From Your Favourite K Dramas

10. Shin Min-a

Perhaps one of Shin Min-a's best and most popular performance is in My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2010) where she played the role of a gumiho, a creature that appears in folktales and legends of Korea. 

Since then, the actress has received more projects and shows like Arang and the Magistrate (2012), Oh My Venus (2015), and Tomorrow, With You (2017).

Her most recent (and ongoing) TV drama is Netflix's Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha where she plays the role of a dentist who rediscovers herself in a town far away from the busy city of Seoul. 

Read more: Shin Min-A: 5 Things To Know About The ‘Hometown Cha Cha Cha’ Lead Actress
 

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Shin Min-a in 'Hometown Cha Cha Cha'
Above Shin Min-a in 'Hometown Cha Cha Cha'

11. Son Ye-jin

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Son Ye-jin in  'Crash Landing on You'
Above Son Ye-jin in 'Crash Landing on You'

Actress Son Ye-jin has been in the entertainment industry for a long time now. However, she became (even) more famous for her role as the wealthy heiress Yoon Se-ri in the megahit Crash Landing on You. The said drama was named the highest-rated tvN drama and the third highest-rated South Korean television drama series in the history of cable television.

Ye-jin was able to bag awards like Baeksang Arts Award for Best Leading Actress in Film (2009 and 2017), Blue Dragon Film Award Popular Star Award - Female (2008, 2010, and 2016), Grand Bell Award for Best Actress (2014 and 2016), and Baeksang Arts Award for Most Popular Actress (2020).

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