From being a supporting character in K-dramas like Hotel Del Luna to bagging a succession of starring roles in TV shows such as 18 Again, Lee Do-hyun has had a fascinating journey. These iconic roles have helped the actor establish himself as one of the most prominent faces in the Korean entertainment industry.
Lee made his acting debut in 2017 with tvN’s black comedy Prison Playbook. His portrayal of the vulnerable younger version of Lee Joon-ho landed him many memorable roles in the coming years. These include Gil Oh-dol in Clean with Passion for Now (2018) and Lee Dong-shik in Beyond Evil (2021).
Weaving in elements of romance and fantasy, popular Lee Do-hyun K-dramas like Hotel Del Luna (2019) also gained much acclaim. According to Nielsen Korea (via Soompi), the fantasy K-drama recorded an average rating of 8.3 per cent and a peak of 9.0 per cent across the nation after its 20 July 2019 broadcast.
In 2020, Lee enjoyed his first lead role as part of the romantic comedy 18 Again. His performance in the drama earned him the Best New Actor award in television at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards and Best New Actor award at the 7th APAN Star Awards.
However, it was Lee’s portrayal of Joo Yeo-jeong in the 2022 Netflix global hit The Glory that drew much attention to his acting prowess and charm.
The Melancholia (2021) actor enlists for his mandatory military service in South Korea on 14 August 2023. During his time away from the screen, these popular shows starring the rising star will keep you hooked till he returns.
8 best TV shows by rising K-drama star Lee Do-hyun from The Glory and The Good Bad Mother
The Good Bad Mother (2023)
Directed by: Sim Na-yeon
Other cast members: Ra Mi-ran, Ahn Eun-jin, Yoo In-soo, Seo Yi-sook
Synopsis: Single mother Jin Young-soon (Ra) is a farmer, who vows to give her son Choi Kang-ho (Lee) a good life. After Kang-ho grows up and becomes a renowned prosecutor, he cuts ties with his mother. However, when an accident renders Kang-ho in a state of child-like dependence, it’s Young-soon’s care that slowly heals him and their strained relationship.
The Glory (2022-2023)
Directed by: Ahn Gil-ho
Other cast members: Song Hye-kyo, Lim Ji-yeon
Synopsis: Years after being mercilessly abused as a high schooler, Moon Dong-eun (Song) hatches an elaborate plan to avenge her bullies, especially their leader Park Yeon-jin (Lim). Helping Dong-eun is her right-hand man Joo Yeo-jeong (Lee).
About the show: Lee Do-hyun is in a relationship with his The Glory K-drama co-star Lim Ji-yeon; the duo first met each other in 2022 while working on the TV show.
Youth of May (2021)
Directed by: Song Min-Yeop
Other cast members: Go Min-si, Lee Sang-yi, Keum Sae-rok
Synopsis: It’s May 1980, and amidst the turbulent times of the Gwangju uprising, Hee Tae (Lee) and Myung Hee (Go) fall in love. While Tae is a top medical student, Hee is a dedicated nurse. The rising tensions make it difficult for the duo to balance their duties for the country with their relationship.
Directed by: Kim Sang-hyub
Other cast members: Lim Soo-jung, Choi Dae-hoon
Synopsis: Mathematics teacher Ji Yoon-Su (Lim) takes an interest in a lost and uninterested student Baek Seung-yoo (Lee). The former soon learns that Seung-yoo had won multiple mathematical olympiads as a kid and had entered MIT in the US as a 10-year-old. This makes Yoon-su determined to find the reason behind Seung-yoo’s current apathy for the subject.
About the show: One of the most popular Lee Do-hyun TV shows, Melancholia premiered as tvN’s 15th-anniversary special project on 10 November 2021.
18 Again (2020)
Directed by: Ha Byung-hoon
Other cast members: Kim Ha-neul, Yoon Sang-hyun
Synopsis: When 37-year-old Hong Dae-young (Yoon) is on the verge of getting a divorce from his wife Jung Da-jung (Kim), he suddenly finds himself inside his 18-year-old body (Lee). With a new identity and purpose, he tries to figure out the true reason behind his failing relationships and ways to amend his past mistakes.
About the show: One of the most loved Lee Do-hyun TV shows, 18 Again is based on the 2009 Zac Efron-starrer romantic drama film, 17 Again directed by American director Burr Steers.
Sweet Home (2020)
Directed by: Lee Eung-bok Jang Young-woo and Park So-hyun
Other cast members: Song Kang, Lee Jin-uk, Park Gyu-young
Synopsis: When the socially awkward Cha Hyun-soo (Song) moves to a new apartment in the Green Home complex, strange incidents start occurring. As his neighbours begin turning into monsters, Hyun-soo joins a group of survivors. Along with the leader Lee Eun-Hyuk (Lee Do-hyun), medical student Eun-hyuk (Lee Jin-uk) and musician Ji-su (Park), Hyun-soo fights his way to safety.
About the show: This apocalyptic horror K-drama is adapted from the 2017 webcomic of the same name by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan. While Netflix has officially renewed the TV show for its second and third seasons, whether Lee Do-hyun will reprise his role in the upcoming seasons, is still under wraps.
Hotel Del Luna (2019)
Directed by: Oh Choong-hwan
Other cast members: IU, Yeo Jin-goo, Shin Jung-keun, Bae Hae-sun
Synopsis: Seoul’s Hotel Del Luna is home to mysterious CEO Jang Man-wol, who is tied to it for eternity because of a past mistake. Chung Myung (Lee), a thousand-year-old firefly, has been her loyal guard since the beginning, keeping her out of harm’s way and protecting the people she loves. However, the dynamics between Man-wol and Chung start changing with the arrival of Hotel Del Luna’s new manager, Koo Chan-sung (Yeo).
About the show: With a 9.6 rating, this popular Lee Do-hyun starrer is one of the highest-rated K-dramas on the American video streaming platform Viki.
Prison Playbook (2017)
Directed by: Shin Won-ho
Other cast members: Park Hae-soo, Jung Kyoung-ho
Synopsis: Ahead of his major league baseball debut, star pitcher Kim Je-hyuk (Park) lands in prison under false charges. However, he is relieved to see his old friend Joon-Ho (Jung/Lee) there, who works as a prison officer. With Joon-ho’s support, Hae-soo learns to navigate life in prison.
(Hero and featured image credit: @ldh_sky)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Lee Do-hyun made his acting debut in the 2017 tvN hit 'Prison Playbook', in which he portrayed the young version of Jung Kyung-ho's character, Lee Joon-ho.
Answer: Lee Do-hyun appeared in episode 496 of MBC's variety show 'Running Man'.
Answer: Lee Do-hyun initially started with supporting roles. His role as the young version of Lee Dong-sik in 'Beyond Evil' brought him into the limelight. Since then, the South Korean actor has had several popular K-dramas to his credit, including 'Still 17', 'Hotel del Luna', 'Sweet Home' and 'The Good Bad Mother'. All these add to his success and make him one of the most famous Hallyu stars of the century. Of late, the actor has also been grabbing headlines because of his relationship with 'The Glory' co-star Lim Ji-yeon.